Hip Muscles Maintain Leg Alignment

One very important job of your hip muscles is to maintain the alignment of your leg when
you move. One of the primary hip muscles, the gluteus medius, plays an especially
important stabilizing role when you walk, run, or squat. The gluteus medius attaches
your thigh bone to the crest of your hip. When you lift your left leg, your right gluteus
medius must contract in order to keep your body from tipping toward the left. And when
you are standing on a bent leg, your gluteus medius prevents that knee from diving into
a “knock knee” or “valgus” position.
Weakness of the gluteus medius allows your pelvis to drop and your knee to dive inward
when you walk or run. This places tremendous strain on your hip and knee and may
cause other problems too. When your knee dives inward, your kneecap is forced
outward, causing it to rub harder against your thigh bone- creating a painful irritation and
eventually arthritis. Walking and running with a relative “knock knee” position places
tremendous stress on the ligaments around your knee and is a known cause of
“sprains”. Downstream, a “knock knee” position puts additional stress on the arch of your
foot, leading to other painful problems, like plantar fasciitis. Upstream, weak hips allow
your pelvis to roll forward which forces your spine into a “sway back” posture. This is a
known cause of lower back pain. Hip muscle weakness seems to be more common in
females, especially athletes.
You should avoid activities that cause prolonged stretching of the hip abductors, like
“hanging on one hip” while standing, sitting crossed legged, and sleeping in a side-lying
position with your top knee flexed and touching the bed. Patients with fallen arches may
benefit from arch supports or orthotics. Obesity causes more stress to the hip muscles,
so overweight patients may benefit from a diet and exercise program. The most
important treatment for hip abductor weakness is strength training. Hip strengthening is
directly linked to symptom improvement. Moreover, people with stronger hip muscles are
less likely to become injured in the first place. The exercises listed below are critical for
your recovery.
Here is a brief description of the tools we can use to help correct Hip Abductor
Myofascial Release
Overworked muscles often become tight and develop knots or “trigger points”. Chronic
tightness produces inflammation and swelling that ultimately leads to the formation of
“adhesions” between tissues. Your chiropractor will apply pressure with their hands, or
with specialized tools, in order to release muscle tightness and soft-tissue adhesions.
This will help to improve your circulation, relieve pain and restore flexibility.
Therapeutic Exercise
Muscle tightness or weakness causes discomfort and alters normal joint function,
leading to additional problems. Your chiropractor will target tight or weak muscles with
specific therapeutic stretching and strengthening to help increase tissue flexibility, build
strength, and ease pain. Healthy, strong, and flexible muscles may help prevent reinjury.
If you or someone you know suffers from back, hip, knee or leg problems, call our office
today to see if your problem could be related to hip abductor weakness.