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Why does my hip hurt?

Christmas week folks and this post is following up what we said earlier on this week about your hips tilting when you go Christmas shopping and carrying those heavy bags the wrong way!

It is pretty straight forward to understand why your hip hurts and how to also treat it!

It is also quite simple how to identify the problem in the first place so if it happens again you know beforehand what to do to ease it before it gets worse.

This is how your hips are placed within your trunk, take a look…(Free picture by pixabay.com; edited by Christos Christofides)

A little bit about your hips....

So, the hip bone which is called the femur has its top end blending into the socket created by your trunk (pelvis) and this is what forms your hip joint.

 

Your hip joint is a “strong” joint meaning it has a lot of protection from the surrounding ligaments and muscles. As you can see from this diagram, there is a big amount of muscle protection around your hip joint. More muscles always means more tightness (CLICK on this link to see how tightness causes injury http://www.olympossic.co.uk/i-got-bad-back/).

It is a natural reaction for these muscles to tense-up and protect your hip joint especially when you….walk!

 

What does really happen when you walk?

That’s a great question!!!

Think of it like a daily task. So, in order to move forwards you need to walk. In order to be able to walk you need to put one leg on your front and push your body weight forwards using the swing from the other leg and so on…

This sounds and seems so easy, isn’t it just?!!!

Yes it would be only if we did it with a straight back and without slumping…

97.4% of the public don’t keep their back straight when they walk

Do you know why?

Because we always rush to go to places and we always have too many things to deal with day in, day out. So there is not much time there to think how we really walk…

But what actually happens when we slouch as we walk??

Take a quick look at this video for a few seconds…..

Can you see what I can see??

What do you think I can see that you probably haven’t picked on yet??

Watch again……

……………………………..

A lot of hip movement!

More than usual. So , when you slump you make your body weight heavier because you press your chest and shoulders forwards and down towards the hips. Try it yourself now whilst you’re sat down, or maybe you already have done!

So, you can imagine that those hips not only carry your upper body weight but they also carry the extra weight you add -on by slumping.

 

So, how can I keep my back straight when I walk?

Easy peasy!!!

Imagine a “rope” attached to the top of your head and then trying to pull you up towards the ceiling. I can see you trying it already well done !!!

Then try and keep this position and walk with shorter strides than you normally do.

So, slumping when we walk is pushing more body weight through the hips than normal. This means more pressure through the hip joints which in turn can cause various types of injuries. Take a quick look at the most common hip injuries:

  • Hip Arthritis: This is a condition where the cushions inside your hip joints (called cartilage) wear off because of too much pressure through the hips. Less cushion means more pressure travelling through the joint all the time. This can create pain, discomfort and a lot of frustration..This picture shows a hip with arthritis as opposed to a normal hip on the opposite side.

  • Hip Bursitis: This is a condition where a bursa (the cushion outside the joint) is poorly and causes swelling and sometimes warmth around the hip and a lot of pain with it. Click this link to view a good picture of what the bursa is and where is located (https://goo.gl/images/VM1Ctm).

 

  • Hip Impingement: This is a condition where one of the hip muscles works beyond its own strengths so as to protect your hip even further and then it becomes so tight that it is actually pushing up and against the joint walls, pinching everything around it. This usually happens due to bad postures as mentioned above on this text, slumping whilst walking gives extra work to the hips therefore some muscles will try and take over.

 

  • Referred pain: This basically means that sometimes the actual pain might not be where you feel it yourself but travelling from somewhere else nearby. For example, the buttock muscles and your lower back muscles can be the source of the hip pain as opposed to the hip itself.
So, how can you treat hip pain?

Follow these steps to help to reduce the amount of pain into your hip and then the exercise routine that follows below so as to strengthen the area after the pain has gone down.

 

Treatment Steps (for the first 7-10 days):

(1) Apply an ice pack or a bag of ice on the painful area for 10 minutes every day.

(2) Make sure you avoid things that make the pain worse.

(3) Drink plenty of water (more than usual) so as to keep your hip joint hydrated enough. Yes hydration will help!!!

(4) Try and sleep on your back with 2 or 3 pillows under your knees.

 

Exercise Routine (after the pain eases):

(1) LATERAL RAISES

  • Lie on your side with your upper and lower body in a straight line.
  • You will know you are in the right position if you look down to see your feet. The less of your feet you can see the better you position.
  • Then lift the top leg up slowly and slowly down without clashing it to the bottom leg.
  • Repeat 10 times and then repeat the whole sequence 3 times with a minute rest in between.
  • Apply this exercise on both sides.
  • Watch the video below for more information.

 

(2) DONKEY KICKS

  • Put your hands and knees on the floor and face the floor.
  • Tense your stomach slowly and lift one leg up with your knee bent as shown below.
  • Do not over lift, meaning keep your leg level with your hips.
  • Watch the video below for more information

Conclusion

So, walk straighter with shorter strides and avoid slumping when you’re sat down in the office because if you do it becomes a habit and you carry this habit in every movement you do, especially when you walk. Therefore the hips have more pressure to deal with which can cause a few conditions in your hip joint like arthritis. The hips will then be in a constant ache, pain and discomfort. And this is WHY YOUR HIP HURTS !!!

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog. If you need any more information or any further help with your hips and any injury please contact CHRISTOS (me!) on:

07527-836-754 OR christos@olympossic.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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