The hip joint is one of the most important joints in the human body. It is designed to withstand repeated forces and a large amount of "wear and tear". Despites its robustness, the hip joint isn't indestructible. Hip pain and joint injuries are common for all age groups in both men and women.
How Does the Hip Function?
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket synovial joint formed between the hip bone and the femur. A round, cup-shaped structure on the pelvis, known as the acetabulum, forms the socket for the joint. The rounded head of the femur forms the ball of the joint. The weight-bearing bones in our body are protected with articular cartilage, which is a thin, tough and flexible surface. Additional stability is provided by the large ligaments, tendons and muscles around the hip joint which hold the bones in place. Functionally, the hip joint is very stable, while enjoying a high range of motion.
What Causes Hip Pain?
Your hips are strong and stable when healthy, however forceful injury and certain conditions, like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis may affect the health of the hips. Joints may also be comprised by congenital deformities which can leave the hip vulnerable to injury upon repetitive trauma.
The Importance of Exercise Therapy
The hip joint and its integration with your pelvis, Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) and lumbar spine make it a complex region to correctly analyse and assess for dysfunction. Hip function can also be affected by lower limb biomechanics involving your knee, foot and ankle. Building strength and increasing flexibility are two important ways to reduce hip pain by reducing the amount of stress placed on the hip joint. Correcting the biomechanics through a holistic approach to injury is pivotal in the rehabilitation process, ultimately preventing the return of hip injuries in the future.