If you have ever suffered from hip pain, you know that your hip pain is not like a surface injury. It isn’t like bumping into a table and getting a scratch or a scrape and it isn’t like the soreness that comes from tight muscles or a cramp. No, hip pain is a deeper pain, and it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what you are feeling.
|The hip bone's connected to the back bone... really the hip, pelvic floor, and back are all interconnected. A pelvic floor physical therapist can make sure these structures are coordinated, working together, and strong. If you are dealing with hip pain, low back pain, or pelvic floor dysfunction, and your physical therapist isn't looking at these structures as a unit, you are missing out on the care you deserve.|
Where is Hip Pain Located?
This is because your hips are attached to a set of deep internal muscles known as your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor muscles are responsible for a range of bodily functions, but one core role they play is in movements such as walking, running, and jumping. None of these is possible without the coordination of your hip and your pelvic floor muscles.
Your hip is one of the largest joints in your body and has a wide degree of motion. In fact, it is sometimes called the rotator cuff of your pelvis. And your pelvic floor muscles help maintain your hip’s ball and socket joint together.
Unfortunately, not all physical therapists think about the muscles of your pelvic floor; many orthopedic physical therapists are going to focus solely on the muscles, bones, and ligaments that make up the hip joint, without giving any consideration to your pelvic floor muscles. This is unfortunate because the muscles of your pelvic floor are integral for hip stability. When it comes to people who use a wide range of motion with their hips your pelvic floor muscles are especially important, which is why dance, gymnastic, and cheerleading injuries of the hips are best treated by a pelvic floor physical therapist.
What Does a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Do?
A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist has all the orthopedic knowledge that any general physical therapist has, but a Pelvic Floor PT has specialized in the muscles and joints of the lower core including the back, abdomen, hips, and pelvis.
When it comes to hip pain, most people will consider the feet, ankles, and knees, but your hips need the support of your core and the pelvic floor is the foundation of your core. For proper activation of the deep rotators of your hip, it is a must that you activate your pelvic floor and abdominal (especially your transverse abdominus) muscles, while you coordinate proper breathing technique. If you’ve ever tried to perform a complex dance routine, you know that you have to breathe, but breathing properly will allow you to utilize your healthy muscles. And healthy muscles must be strong and flexible.
Unfortunately, not all of our muscles are always strong, healthy muscles. When this is the case, we put ourselves at greater risk for strain and injury. One such injury is hip pain, but it is common that with hip pain people experience low back pain as well.
Hip Pain and Low Back Pain… Connected by the Pelvis
If you have ever heard the song, Dem Bones, then you might have learned that “The hip bone's connected to the back bone,” but this isn’t the whole story. Your hip is actually a joint made up in part of your femur and in part of your pelvis; your pelvis and your back are connected.
When your hips are not as strong as they need to be or they aren’t as flexible as they need to be to complete a dance step, you have to use a recruitment strategy. One common recruitment strategy is using other connected muscles and structures, but this puts extra strain on these structures. If you can’t extend your leg to 180* then you might tilt your pelvis to help the appearance, but this pulls on your low back and you end up with back pain.
What if you aren’t a dancer, cheerleader, or gymnast? The same thing can work across a variety of injury types. Runners commonly have hip and low back issues that stem from a weakened pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor muscles are like a sling or a hammock, but constant pounding like from jumping or running, without working to maintain their strength can leave you with a weakened pelvic floor. Again, when one set of muscles are weak it is going to force you to recruit other muscles, in the case of runners that may leave you with poor form and pain to both you back and your hips.
Why See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist for Hip Pain?
When it comes to hip pain, your pelvic floor physical therapist is going to provide you the most accurate and complete information. If your back, pelvic floor, and hips are not working together you have a higher likelihood of hip impingement, labral tears, and hip pain; everything needs to work properly, together. You will be better treated when you have a pelvic floor physical therapist who can link all of these pieces together. Seeing anyone else is like asking someone to hide a piece of your puzzle, it just doesn’t make sense.
|Questions About Pelvic Floor PT? Just Ask.|