Part 2 of this article series we discussed the ways the foot can have a big impact on all the joints above and cause various forms of running injuries.
In part 3 below, we will discuss the critical role of the hips and pelvis, and their importance to running without pain and injury.
The hip, or coxofemoral joint, is a classic ball-and-socket joint that attaches to your pelvis. It is inherently a very stable joint due to the depth that it possesses, but hip muscle weakness is incredibly common problem among runners. One of the distinct signs we look for as bio-mechanical experts is a hip drop or, “Trendelenburg sign”, during stance phase (when the foot is on the ground).
What that means is that when you are on one leg while running we are looking if that opposite hip drops (see image below). If it drops significantly compared to the other side we know that hip weakness is present. Hip weakness can be attributed to back, hip, knee, and foot pain. That’s how important it is!
So how can you tell if you have this type of hip weakness and what can you do about it?
At Manual Medicine Spine & Sports Physical Therapy, we perform “Running Analysis” to evaluate our runners’ strides to get to the root cause of their pain and provide corrective exercises to not only eliminate your pain but also prevent it from coming back. We video tape and perform a gait analysis to look at every aspect of your running.
Another key area we look at here at Manual Medicine Spine & Sports Physical Therapy is the connection of the hip which is at the pelvis. Making sure your pelvis is level and balanced is critical to keeping you pain free and running well. We do this in a variety of ways such as soft tissue mobilization & massage, joint mobilization, corrective exercises, muscle energy techniques, clinical kinesiology, and even trigger point needling.
We are experts at balancing the pelvis to make sure that your hip muscles are firing well. As we are balancing your pelvis, we will prescribe exercises to help address those specific issues that we found. These corrective exercises will help you hold the work we have done and allow you to build strength on a more solid foundation.
If you’re having any pain on your runs, contact us to see if your hips/pelvis could be the root cause of the problem so you can get back on the trail and start running without pain again. 202-670-8874.