Updated: Jul 5, 2020
The hip joint is one of the largest, and most mobile, weight-bearing joints in the body, with dozens of soft tissue elements like muscle, tendons, ligaments, and bursae (a small fluid-filled sac similar to that of a raw egg white), to keep it stable and supported. These can easily become irritated or inflamed through overuse, or injured through strenuous activity. Because the hips are responsible for so many functional activities such as walking, running, sitting, standing, and climbing stairs, we must focus on keeping hips strong and mobile, so pain or injury can be prevented, or quickly be eliminated, so you can return to normal activity.
The most common cause of chronic hip pain in women is arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis,
the wear-and-tear kind that affects many people as they age. The “ball-and-socket joint (SI joint - sacroiliac)” starts to wear out. But also, hip pain can have causes that aren’t due to underlying disease. Examples include trauma, lying on a side for a prolonged period, overuse, muscle stiffness, sitting in an awkward position, sprains and strains.
Not using your muscles, makes them brittle, creating a stiffness, and then affects the healthy movement of your joints.
Females can experience hip pain from an underlying issue like endometriosis, which can create an inflammatory reaction in the pelvic and hip area. Ultimately, this is a spine issue, so if this sounds like you, please seek the help from a professional who will save you a lot of time and pain.
Hip Fractures are big with senior women and men. When we age, and develop conditions like osteoporosis, which indicates a decrease in overall bone density, and can cause bones to be brittle, prone to fractures and breaks. The loss of estrogen, which can lead to bone loss, is one big reason why women are more likely to experience hip issues. But aging men suffer too, with loss of muscle mass and inactivity. Most seniors simply do not get the nutrition or the daily exercise needed. Everything suffers.
Runners for example, can experience tendinitis at the hip joint because of a tight IT (iliotibial) band, a thick span of tissue on the outside of the thigh. Overuse, especially during running when the heel strikes the ground. Rest, ice, compression and elevation
(RICE), is usually all that is needed to resolve this issue, with possibly help from anti-inflammatory supplements or even medications.
HIP FLEXORS are another major area of common hip pain. You will know something might be off with your hip flexors if you have.....
1. Tightness or an ache in your lower back, especially when standing.
2. Poor posture and difficulty standing up straight,
3. Neck tightness and pain.
4. Pain in the glutes.
Tight hip flexors create an anterior pull on the pelvis known as an anterior pelvic tilt, and can set up the entire body for injury.
Prolonged sitting is a serious problem for hips and hip flexors. When we sit, our hip flexors tighten and shorten, which causes a whole lot of trouble for our body – lower back pain, knee joint discomfort, imbalance of muscle strength, posture problems and even a difference in leg length.
Here are five major ways you can be proactive about hip health:
1. Keep your weight in the healthy range.
2. Eat a balanced diet.
3. Avoid injury from excessive, repetitive motion.
4. Exercise regularly, and smartly, and warm up your muscles with a gentle walk prior to intense exercise or stretching.
5. Listen to your body.
If we strengthen muscles in our hips, they may not feel as tight after exercise. Sometimes our muscles aren’t strong enough to meet the demands of what we are doing. If it seems constantly stretching your hip flexors is not working, trying strengthening them. Here are easy hip stretches that should become apart of everyone’s daily routine:
Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
Yoga Pigeon Stretch
Wall Hip Flexor Stretch
If we start to think of all muscles and joints in our bodies as parts that need daily conditioning, movement, and healthy nutritional support, we would suffer less in the long run. Fractured and achy bones do not have to accompany aging. We seem to understand that an automobile needs regular, routine maintenance and servicing, but have the luxury of replacing automobiles at any time. Don’t you think our bodies, which we can’t be replaced, are a much more valuable investment? Something to think about🌿