Humans are unique in the animal kingdom. We are designed to explore the world upright, moving about on just two limbs instead of four.
The hip is the epicenter of our unique movement and is the second most mobile joint in our body – it can flex and extend, it can abduct and adduct, and it can internally and externally rotate. In addition to powering the movement of our lower body, the hip also provides a basis of support for our upper body.
Generating the force required to move while simultaneously stabilizing the weight of our body is no small feat, but our musculoskeletal system is perfectly designed for the task.
The hip is surrounded by the largest and most powerful muscles in the body. This includes the hip flexors (perhaps you have heard it called the iliopsoas muscle, pronounced ill-ee-oh-so-as). This muscle is the only muscle in the body that crosses directly between the upper body and the lower body. Its unique position and power make it one of the most influential and pivotal muscles for proper and pain-free movement.
The hip is the kingpin of both our movement and stability. If the hip isn’t functioning properly, that dysfunction can set off a domino effect of compensation throughout the body.
As the hip loses its range-of-motion and full function, the joint and its surrounding muscles and ligaments become subject to more wear and tear, increasing the likelihood of pain and common maladies such as bone spurs, arthritis, and bursitis (just to name a few). But because of the hip’s essential and central role, decreased function has ripple effects that quickly impact other parts of the body. A whole myriad of symptoms including knee pain, lower back pain, neck pain, and even migraine headaches can be triggered by limited function and movement at the hip joint.
At Egoscue, our therapy helps return full range-of-motion to the hip joint and restore proper function to the surrounding muscles. Doing so increases the support for the upper body, allowing the spine to stack up as designed and seating our shoulders in the correct position. Just like the joints above the hip, the joints of the lower body follow suit. As hip function improves, the entire body becomes more aligned and functional, decreasing unnecessary wear and tear limitation.
Whether you are dealing with hip pain, or your pain is located somewhere else in your body, when you get the hip joint functioning properly, your body will thank you! You will have less pain, better range of motion, and improved overall function.