It’s All in the Hips!
Hip Mobility is an important component of many functional activities and can often be a culprit with poor movement patterns.
The hip joint is an inherently very stable joint despite being a ball and socket joint. This means that the hip can move in multiple different planes of motion such as flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, and internal and external rotation. The joint itself is also very deep and the socket covers a large portion of the head of the femur, the long bone of your thigh. This makes it very stable and able to absorb a lot of force through it without being disrupted. However for many people the joint is almost too stable such that mobility can become decreased and affect their ability to perform motions such as squatting or lunges.
Many people will complain about some pinch in the hip when going into a deep squat or sitting in a low chair. It can also become apparent when trying to do any motions to the side such as a lateral lunge or with more explosive motions like a cut. To help prevent this, exercises should be performed that promote increased mobility within the joint itself, which will help the head of the femur move better in the socket without any type of resistance or restriction, this will allow the hip to be taken through its ranges of motion without pain.
Due to the multiple planes of motion tha hip can perform as already mentioned it is important that rehab exercises being performed take into account all the different ranges of motion, and not just one, to promote overall global joint mobility.
If you have been having pinching with squats or feel like your hip mobility is preventing you from performing certain motion we can help deep dive into your specific problem and provide guided solutions to perform your best.
Check out these videos on education and mobility exercises for the Hip Joint:
Banded Posterior-Lateral Capsule Mobilization
Manual Therapy for Opening Hip Position for Squat Depth
These exercises and manual intervention are designed to improve the joint range of motion and depth for bottom positions in squats/lunges/split squats/ etc. We can’t eliminate injury, but staying balanced with movement as athletes can help lower the risk of injury.
Many people will complain of some pinching in their hip when they are going into a deep squat, when cutting, or even when sitting in a low chair or in the car for a long period of time. There are a couple reasons that this could be occurring but one of them could actually be structural and related to the overgrowth of certain regions of bone.
When there is bone overgrowth and it’s causing pain in your hip this is referred to as Femoral Acetabular Impingement, or FAI. There are two main types of FAI called either a “Cam Lesion” or a “Pincer Lesion”. A “Cam Lesion” is when the head of the femur is not perfectly round and there is overgrowth of bone on the neck of the femur. This increased bone will come into contact with the hip socket and create a pinch.
A “Pincer Lesion” on the other hand is when there is overgrowth of the hip socket itself, or the acetabulum. This overgrowth will then also contact the neck of the femur early leading to a similar pinching component. In both of these cases the labrum that exists inside the joint can be pinched between the bones and cause a tear. These two pathologies often come hand in hand because of their causal relationship.
These bony components can be fixed with surgery but increasing overall hip mobility and proper dynamic joint stabilization can be a first line of defense and also help alleviate pain and increase function to help with motions involving deep hip flexion. If you have been having pinching pain in the hip give the above exercises a try and also consider incorporating the mobility exercises listed above.
If you have been having trouble with hip pain or hip mobility give the above exercises a try and see how it helps. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat specific medical issues, just informative purposes only. If you are still having trouble with mobility give us a shout and we can figure where you are having the mobility issue and target it more directly!
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