Understanding Hip Pain

The hip consists of a “ball-and-socket” joint that is formed between the Femoral Head and the Acetabulum, a part of the Pelvic Bone. As a result of its shape the hip joint is capable of a wide range of motion in all directions – forward and backwards, side-to-side, and rotation inwards and outwards. In addition to this large range of motion it is important to understand that because the hip joint joins the leg to the trunk there is a tremendous amount of force that must pass through this region with daily activities. Due to the high amount of force, combined with the large range of motion, the hip must rely on a complex system of muscles to control and protect the area.

These muscle groups around the hip are essentially organized into opposing pairs. This means that the muscles on the front on the hip are paired with muscles on the back of hip and together these muscles control motion in the forward-to- backward direction. Likewise the muscles on the outer side of the hip are paired with the muscles on the inner side and this pair of muscles controls side-to-side movements. Other muscle pairs act to control inward and outward hip rotation as well. These “pairs” of muscles basically surround the hip so that together the can move and control the hip in all directions. When the muscles are all working properly the chance of pain and injury is less.

Through a variety of causes such as prolonged sitting, repetitive movements, excessive use, previous injury, improper exercise, various athletic activities, or lack of physical activity, one or more of the muscles of the hip region can become tight or weak resulting in a “muscle imbalance”.  This will stress the hip joint and place further strain on the other muscle groups as they now must work harder to compensate for the tight or weak muscle.

For more information contact Shaw Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center at (515) 987-6332 or visit our website at www.shawchiroandsport.com.

More Recommended Reading:

The Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Hinge

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