People often tell me about their hip pain.
So, let’s talk about it. First, let’s be clear on exactly where the hip is and isn’t.
It’s not the area in the middle of your back around your sacrum. It is also not the area where you put your hands on your waist.
To find you hips, place the palms of your hands on the top of the pelvis – point your fingers straight down to the floor – where your finger tips touch is approximately your true hip joint. Diagnosis of true hip issues can be tricky as this area can refer pain to the groin butt and low back. Injury to the low back or sacroiliac joints can likewise cause referred pain to the hip region.
Two common causes of hip pain include osteoarthritis and bursitis/tendonitis. Of course there are others but these two conditions make up the majority of hip issues I typically see in my office.
The hip joints are ball and socket joints. This affords us great motion in all planes. Unfortunately this joint takes a lot of abuse due to its weight bearing location. If we don’t take care of our hips it can lead to early breakdown of cartilage and arthritic changes in the joints leading to pain and disability.
Here are a few activities that place a great deal of stress on hip joints.
1) Sitting crossed- legged
2) Sleeping side-lying with the top leg tucked up in front of you
3) Hanging or standing on only one leg while the opposite side of the pelvis drops downwards.
Try to avoid these bad hip habits when possible. Also, keeping your weight as close to your ideal weight as possible will de-stress the joints.
Self- help for the hips?
* First, make sure you know what the issue is. A chiropractor, physiotherapist, or your medical doctor should be able to help you figure it out.
* Second, it’s important to maintain as much motion in these joints as possible. Remember ‘motion is lotion’ for all joints of the body. Simple stretches of the large quadriceps, hamstring and gluteal muscles and a few deep squats are a great way to keep the hips moving through their full range of motion.
* Once you have them moving – you MUST strengthen them!!
There are many muscles that must be balanced in order to maintain stability and minimize stress on the joints. Squats, clams, and bridge exercises are excellent ways to strengthen hips
If you’d like help with setting up a program for your hips, feel free to drop by.