Injuries are the harsh truth to an active lifestyle. Whether you are a practicing athlete or someone that works out at home, you have probably dealt with minor aches and pains and maybe even a more serious injury. You may have even noticed that during your recovery from that injury, other parts of your body have begun to give you problems. This phenomenon doesn’t mean you injured two areas in the same occurrence. Rather, your body is compensating for the injury and putting more strain on a certain area of your body. The most prominent place this occurrence happens is with leg injuries. You may have heard the saying “your hips are hostage to your knees” and vice versa. In this article we will analyze how an injury in your knee could affect your hips and what you can do to prevent one injury turning into two.
Most of us at some point will have knee and hip pain eventually just from wear and tear. Your knee and hip joints are large joints and constantly need maintenance. They bear the full weight of your body and at the same time need to have a full range of motion. Genetics, past injuries, and normal wear and tear may all be attributed to your knee and hip pain.
To first understand the problems you are having with your knees and your hips, you need to understand some basic anatomy. The joint your hip inserts into is called a ball and socket joint and is responsible for bearing most of the weight from your body. There are also an array of ligaments and muscles around your hip needed for stability and range of motion. Hip weakness could begin to occur without proper guidance and training but could also be a result of a weakened gluteus medius. The weakening of the gluteus medius eventually leads to your thigh rotating and pulling inward. This is the start to what we call the “collapsing kinetic chain.” This position of the thigh, caused by weakness in your hips, then puts strain on the knee. Thus, lamenting the saying ““your knees are hostage to your hips.” A collapsing kinetic chain has been listed as the indirect cause to most ACL tears.
Common Knee Injuries Caused by Weak Hips
Here are common knee injuries that could be the cause of bad hips:
1)Patellofemoral stress syndrome
2)Iliotibial band friction syndrome
4)Pes anserine bursitis
Attention: If you are experiencing knee pain, you should visit your doctor or physical therapist. He or she can evaluate your condition to determine the cause of your pain.
What Can I Do to Prevent Weak Hips and Knee Injuries?
The first thing you need to do is get a full assessment
on your lower body strength, flexibility, and range of motion by a physical therapist so they can diagnose the problem and set up a treatment plan. This will also be useful information down the road if you decide to continue your strength training with a personal trainer. Second, if your physical therapist does identify you have weak hips, strengthening those hips is your next focus. This can be done with simple hip strengthening exercises, but you may also need more advanced hip strengthening exercises depending on your diagnosis. Since we now know that weak hips can lead to knee injuries by the turning of the thigh, balancing exercises could help restore the positioning of the thigh. Also, the use of a BAPS board could help strengthen your total lower extremity and position your leg in the optimal location to relieve your knee pain.
What We Have Learned
The saying “your knees are hostage to your hips” is the real deal. If you are experiencing minor knee pain or an athlete with a major knee injury, you need to get your hips evaluated to see if that is the indirect relation to the injury. If your hips are the problem, consulting a physical therapist for a plan to strengthen those hips is the next step.
If you are having trouble obtaining the right mentality after an injury or trouble strengthening those hips on your own, you may want to consider working with a personal trainer!
Come in to Iron Orr Fitness Center today to receive a FREE Complimentary Consultation. We will give you a medical grade body composition test, a 20min workout/evaluation with one of our certified personal trainers and develop a plan to help you reach your fitness goals.
Iron Orr Fitness was voted Top 5 Best Personal Trainers in La Jolla. Call (858) 255-0367