This month is all things hip pain. The anatomy, function, thrills and spills! The hip is an interesting guy with incredible movement potential, made up of your femur (thigh bone) and your acetabulum (better known as the hip socket), the hip joint is surrounded by some of the most powerful musculature the human body has to offer, but we always want to make sure these powerhouse muscles are friend not foe.
A very common complaint surrounding the hip is a ‘pinching’ sensation at the front of the joint when being in a seated position for too long, this can sometimes be accompanied by nerve tension along the front of the thigh. Often what needs to be treated isn’t the front of the hip at all but the rear of the joint and more specifically a set of muscles known as the deep lateral rotators (see link below for stretching exercise). When these guys are tight the top of the thigh bone can’t move backwards (posteriorly) well, so instead is pushed forward (anteriorly) pinching the structures at the front of the hip.
My hip is fine when seated but walking for long periods is sheer agony you cry! Well a healthy hip should compress and decompress naturally throughout the walking cycle. Full compression occurs at the same time as the foot fully pronates (flattens). So if you have a ‘flat foot’ or have been told you over pronate and are suffering with hip pain the two are very likely linked, the question is; is the foot driving the hip compression or has the compressed hip led to a foot that spends too much time in pronation? Either way if your hip is spending more time compressed when walking than decompressed you’re going to have improper function of your bum muscle, which will often require strengthening to gain optimal hip decompression (see link below). Should this alone not improve hip pain, the foot will probably also need a movement re education to utilise your new found bottom strength when walking.
These are all of course solutions focused around the hip joint itself, however every case is completely unique and history plays a large part in why pain may have arisen. Whilst the work at the site of pain is 100% necessary when it comes to hip problems more often than not the same side ankle and knee will need close attention. Abdominal stability needs to be considered also, if abdominal stability is the major issue driving hip compression a plethora of possibilities may need to be addressed.
Deep lateral rotator stretch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR1rtQ-PF38
Glute max strengthening – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrKDb8t-DcQ
Should you need any further assistance on resolving your hip pain please get in touch. Together we can work through a corrective strategy, guiding you to freedom from hip pain.
Call – 07745 039 485