Hip Hip Hooray!

“HIP HIP HOORAY! THERE IS JOY IN EVERY DAY!

Louise Hay

I absolutely love the above affirmation from Louise Hay. There IS joy when we are pain free and able to move with ease and freedom. That is why I consider the pelvis and its structure the “brain of the body”  (Pain Free by Pete Egoscue). Patrick Mummy, the founder of Symmetry, also believes this to be true and goes on to say “The pelvis should not be thought of as merely a conduit for chemical messages. It is also a conduit for mechanical messages emanating upward from the ground with each step and downwards with each step from the force of gravity. Therefore it must be equipped to meet and disperse large amounts of force.”

Hip and pelvic girdle imbalances are the first areas I measure in working with my clients.  This magical anchor needs to work optimally with as much stability as possible. The corrective exercises I give to bring the pelvis back to symmetrical well-being is my primary goal. Below is one of my favorite exercises for increased hip flexibility. I added little dimension to it by starting with a mobility movement pattern to warm the hips.

 

Let’s go over the structure of the pelvis.. The bony pelvis consists of the two hip bones (also known as the pelvic girdle), sacrum and coccyx.

The pelvic girdle consists of paired hipbones connected at the front by the pubis symphysis.   As stated above the pelvis actually consists of four bones: the right and left hip bones, the sacrum and the coccyx. I have so much respect for this magnificent structure. Each adult hip (coxal) bone is formed by 3 separate bones that fuse together during the late teenage years. They are the ilium, ischium and pubis. Without it and its powerful abilities we would not be upright beings. Without the pelvic girdle as a fulcrum, the spine would be horizontal. It gives the spine leverage as the upper body lifts and extends upward. Take a close look at the amazing design in the pictures showing the structure and deep musculature of the pelvis. It is so magical how all the many muscles work synergistically together.

As you can see the deep musculature of the pelvic girdle is very complex. It is the bowl-shaped anchor for the connection of our upper and lower bodies.

The legs and the pelvis are considered the “locomotor” of the body with the pelvis as the base of locomotor power. The upper body is the “passenger.” However, the pelvis is still considered part of the passenger unit along with the thorax, arms and head. Between 60% &  70% of our body weight is in the upper body. Now the good news is that when we are upright the pelvis does not lock and can hold that weight allowing for balance and freedom of movement. Thanks to this incredibly powerful structure the torso can turn almost 180 degrees.

The only muscle that completely connects the upper body to the lower is the psoas (major). All the other muscles from the upper body connect into the pelvis. Then the legs connect from below.

The three areas of each hip bone that I mentioned above converge centrally to form a deep, cup-shaped cavity call the acetabulum. This is located on the lateral side of the hip bone and is part of the hip joint. So when talking about hip replacement we are not talking about replacing the entire hip bone. We are talking about replacing a worn out or damaged hip joint. A prosthetic implant is placed between head of the the femur and the acetabulum. The goal of hip replacement surgery is to replace the parts of the hip joint that have been damaged and to relieve hip pain that can’t be controlled by other treatments.

Hip and back pain has become an epidemic. Misalignment can occur from too much sitting, accidents, repetitive stress and dominant sports activities. The left and right sides of the girdle move independently but have incredibly strong ligaments keeping it as stable as possible. When one side is stuck more forward that the other and/or when hip elevation occurs on one side versus the other compensations occur and that can lead to pain.

 

In my free guide with four easy movements to reduce pain, the focus is on the pelvic and shoulder girdles. The easy- to-do movements can begin a journey for you to begin feeling better even if you are not in pain. Optimal postural alignment is critical to your health. Click here for a free mini-consult to find our more about Symmetry’s postural alignment program. I am here for you.