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Swing those hips – understanding hip pain

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Hip Pain | 2 comments

Introducing your hips

Hips are amazing! They are weight bearing structures that provide stability and movement for the whole of your body.

Your hip joints are a deep ball and socket structure – the top of your femur (thigh bone) is a ball shape and this fits neatly into the hollow socket in your pelvis to form the joint. The hip joint is held together by muscles, ligaments and fascia which form a capsule around the joint itself. Inside the capsule is synovial fluid which acts a bit like oil in a car engine to keep everything lubricated and moving smoothly without friction.

The ligaments are the strong tissues that connect bones to bones and keep joints stable. There are 3 major ligaments of the hips which are arranged in a unique spiral orientation and stabilise the hip joint by literally screwing it together and preventing excessive and damaging movements.

Swinging hips and pain

However sometimes hip issues can start to cause pain and other problems. The high degree of range of movement in your hips means you can rotate your legs in all sorts of directions. This is very useful when doing sports such as running, tennis or golf, also for dancing, walking or even just sitting down.

You can do all of these things and much more because your hips are supported by so many muscles and soft tissues to enable this movement. However you can do too much of a good thing and when this happens your soft tissues start to get irritated. Sometimes this can be due to fatigue where the tissues don’t have enough energy to move correctly any more and the structures of the hip move out of alignment. Sometimes this can be due to too much repetition causing micro tears and damage in the tissues.

People often don’t realise anything is wrong at first because they may have a brief period of pain which then goes away. However if you keep doing the same movements over and over, micro tears and misalignments start to build up. The main tissue that records all of these changes is your fascia which is the main connective tissue in the body and is intimately involved in all hip movements. Even minor damage can start to change the way your fascia moves and starts to build up restrictions in the tissue. Over time this becomes a repetitive restrictive cycle which changes the way your hips move until maybe they are no longer the free moving rotational structures they once were.

Typical hip pain

Typical hip pain caused by fascial restrictions includes pain which gets worse with exercise, pain and stiffness in the mornings which eases as you get up and start to move. Often this pain can spread from the hip itself down into the thigh and groin, or up into the side of the hip and the lower back.

When you feel hip pain, especially when linked to specific exercise, it makes sense to take a break and let your body recover. However you also need to help your fascia to release for longer term recovery. One way to do this is through myofascial self-help exercises. These are simple and relaxing exercises you can do at home. In our Fascial Fix for Hip Pain we introduce some exercises that can help with hip pain:

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Bob Young

    A great demonstration, with clear directions. Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • amanda oswald

      Thank you!

      Reply

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