Hips play a bigger part in overall health and movement than you might realize. Maintaining the health of your hip joints is an important part of living an active, healthy lifestyle. Prioritizing hip flexibility and strength before problems arise will help you stay active, mobile, and agile.
The Function of Hip Joints
People frequently term the tops of the bones surrounding the belt line the hips, but this is incorrect. The hips are where the femur (thigh-bone) meets the ilium (pelvis). So, contrary to popular belief, the hip is actually lower and to the side.
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The femur has a ball-shaped top, and the ilium has a socket called the acetabulum where the femur’s head (ball) lies. The socket is lined with labrum, a cartilage-like substance that helps with gliding motion, and ligaments connect the bones together. Several muscles support the hip joint motion. This joint allows for lots of motion and mobility when it is working properly.
The following are examples of hip joint motions:
- Flexion/Extension: Bringing the thigh up to the chest, moving the thigh behind the torso, or moving the thigh away from the chest.
- Rotating: In and out rotation of the thigh and leg.
- Adduction/Abduction: Bringing the thigh in and out to the sides.
- Circumduction: Circular motion of the thigh or leg.
Healthy Hip Tips
Having a limited or improperly functioning hip joint can severely limit your ability to move effectively and feel your best. Hips become weaker when their flexibility deteriorates. However, there are several things you can do to keep your hips in good shape.
Flexibility – Stretching your hips daily is a key part of keeping your body in top shape, mobile, and pain-free. You could spend hours daily stretching the hips because there are many muscles involved, but this is not so realistic. However, stretching the iliopsoas (one main hip flexor) and external rotators is a great start.
Strength – Muscles that are always tight become weak. Doing simple workouts that engage and use the hip muscles are essential for joint health. The clam shell exercise helps to keep the hip joint healthy by engaging the glutes. The glute bridge is also a good exercise to strengthen the glute muscles which benefits hip health.
Chiropractic – Chiropractors can adjust the hip joint to correct any fixations and ensure that it moves as freely as possible. It is in your best interest to arrange a chiropractic exam if you are experiencing any hip pain. If you get regular chiropractic adjustments, have your doctor look at your hip mobility and adjust it if necessary.
At Dr. Michael St. Louis’s clinic in Winter Garden, Florida, we offer atlas orthogonal chiropractic treatments to restore spine function. If you have been suffering from pain or discomfort, make an appointment today for an assessment. At Atlas Injury to Health, we work with you to create a custom treatment plan to meet your needs. Call 407-656-0390 or email [email protected] for more information.