The Hip Joint

The Hip Joint


This week in the training program we have talked about the hip joint in both practical classes and in our introductory anatomy course.

Mapping (accurately locating) the joint in your body-sense will help you to cooperate with the movements required for almost everything we do, including leg actions and the balance of your body over your legs. Many people have the hip-joint mapped too high (confusing it with the crest of the ileum or the ‘hips”, and others may find their sense of the joint too deep (narrow pelvis) or low, the idea that the legs somehow attach to the bottom of the torso, rather than coming in at the sides.

Freedom of action in the hip-joints is often strongly related to release of tension in the lower back and reduction in lower back discomfort. This is because if the leg is held too tightly to the pelvis, the body will compensate with more movement in the lower back, and also because the powerful hip-flexor muscle, the psoas major, connects the top of the leg (femur) to the lumber vertebrae. When sitting you often see people pulling the lower back against the legs in a bracing myself up pattern, which involves holding the hip-flexors tight.

Here are a couple of videos. The first describing hip range of motion. The range of movement of the hip joint is significant, particularly forwards (flexion), and if externally rotated to the side (abduction). Notice the difference between lifting the leg to the side with the leg facing forwards (as in a martial arts style kick) – limited range of motion, and lifting to the side with the leg rotated outwards (as in a ballet style kick), much larger range of motion.

The second video is an overview of hip anatomy. Of particular interest is the passage of the nerves through the pelvis as seen towards the end. Enjoy.

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