Yesterday I posted how important it is to keep your hips aligned and unrestricted, especially as we age.
Below are 7 things we can focus on to maintain hip health.
- We each have a more dominant side.This is the stronger side. The go to side. Over time it becomes over used. This means the other hip simply is not allowed to work as an equal. A gradual breakdown will occur and symptoms might take years to show up and become an issue.
- Alignment. It is almost impossible to have 2 hips in perfect alignment. Depending on what sports or other activities we do we can create imbalances in our alignment. If you play one sided sports like tennis, golf, baseball, etc., and do not make sure to work the other side too, you are basically forming your body into how you use it during the sport. This means the hips take on the one-sided sport creating a misalignment. Overtime, this misalignment will restrict your performance.
- Posture. Many people find it comfortable standing more on one side of their bodies. They weight bear into one hip, the ribs drop down into the hip. Over time, this creates a permanent imbalance between the 2 hips. The hip with the greatest weight bearing down might be slightly rotated backward, causing the other hip to rotate forward.
- Injuries. Any injury that impacts the hip(s) or forces the body to twist alter the alignment of the hips and spine. If injuries are not worked out of the body and corrected shortly after they occur they can play a big role in hip problems later on in life. Very often after an injury when the initial shock and inflammation is healed people simply get on with their lives. Taking time to fully heal and realign the hips as soon as possible after an incident is crucial for the health and the integrity of the hips later in life.
- Pregnancies, deliveries, and postpartum.Though pregnancy is a naturally occurring process in a woman's body, it is not something a woman does regularly. The hormonal changes and how they affect the joints and the alignment of the hips during and postpartum, can greatly effect a woman's hips, lower back, pelvic floor, and sacroiliac joints during pregnancy and for many years after. There is simply not enough information and education available to women so they can work to stabilize and align their hips prior to pregnancy, maintain the hips during, and then quickly stabilize them after. What people do not realize is that when a woman pushes out her child and the bones of the pelvis open they do not necessarily know how to realign and correct themselves afterwards. The pelvis’ need to be aligned to the sacrum and the femurs as quickly as possible after delivery to avoid any chronic hip and lower back problems.
- Weak, dropped and misaligned upper bodies. The weight of the upper body weighing down into the hips can be a huge problem. How you use your upper body at work or in sports can weigh heavily down on the hips. Correcting how you use your upper body can prevent many hip problems. Weak abdominal muscles can also cause the upper body to drop down into the hips and restrict healthy hip movement.
- Age. As the body ages, the pelvis and femurs narrow in and begin to lose space in the joints. During this time the tendons, ligaments and muscles pull in towards the bone and range of motion becomes restricted.