In this section, we will explore the hip as the pivot point for walking, sitting, standing, dancing, running, climbing and
everything else we do during the day. What does the hip do for us? Keep reading to learn more!
Are You Pigeon-Toed or Duck Footed?
Have you ever noticed or had someone tell you that you turn one or both feet out like a "duck" or you turn in as if you are "pigeon toed"? If you answered yes to either of these try changing to the opposite foot position and see how it feels. Did you know that the direction of your foot is controlled by your hip muscles? Try the following exercises and see if you can stretch your hips to put your feet in a straight position. Note: never do an exercises beyond your level of comfort or with pain.
Jennifer Weber PT, Senior Physical Therapist
What Makes the Hip So Special?
The hip joint is made of a ball at the top of the leg bone or femur and a socket on the pelvis. A ball and socket joint allows us to move in all directions only limited by the flexibility of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint. The muscles that control the hips also support and move the spine and legs. The hips work with the core muscles in three planes with a high degree of motion and stability. They are responsible for handing line large forces and repetitive loads required for walking, running, climbing, standing and changing positions. If the hip becomes limited in motions and/or strength, it has a negative impact on the other joints above and below with over word or less control.
Tami Ruffner PT, DPT, ATC
Test Your Hip Strength!
Stand on one leg and balance. Can you stay balanced? If so, is your pelvis staying level? If your hip drops on the non-standing leg, it may indicate weakness on the standing hip. To strengthen these muscles, you can practice balancing on one leg and reach the opposite arm repetitively across your body to increase the strength of your hip in weight bearing.
The Total Story About Total Hips
A total hip replacement (THR) or total hip arthroplasty (THA) is the final intervention for a severely arthritic, damaged
or painful hip that is limiting functional tolerance to daily activities. During the surgery, the diseased portion of the hip is removed and replaced with the artificial joint components. These include a ball with a shaft in the femur, which is made of metal or ceramic and a socket in the pelvic portion, which has a liner made of plastic, ceramic or metal. While a THR is 90% successful, complications can arise including blood clots, infection, fracture, dislocation, loosening, component failure, leg length difference, wear and tear over time and joint stiffness. Performance of physical therapy and continuation of a home program to achieve and maintain normal hip motion and strength is critical to minimize complications and secure the longest life of the hip. New breakthroughs in types of THR are being implemented for some cases including resurfacing, size and type of prosthesis components and replacement approach from the front instead of the back of the hip.
How Can They Do That?
Dancers accomplish amazing feats of flexibility, coordination, and strength on a regular basis. The hip joint is a central part of many dance movements including grande battement (a high kick with a straight leg), arabesque (a standing pose with one leg lifted behind the body), and grande jete (a leap in which a dancer achieves a full split position).Hip function requires a delicate balance of stability and mobility. Small muscles close to the joint help the ball of the femur stay seated deep in the socket, while larger muscles produce torque to move the leg visibly. When hip muscle control and strength combine with good dynamic core control and tremendous flexibility, dancers can move effortlessly and safel through a dance, making audience members say "How can they do that?!"Melissa Reh PT, Senior Physical Therapist, The Dancer Answer
Hip, Hip Hop, Hipster, Hiptastic!