Did you know that the hip is the largest joint in the body? Its ball and socket design allows it to move freely in all planes of motion – front to back, right to left and rotate right to left. Because of the deep socket, it can also integrate these pure motions into combinations like figure 8’s or circles.
Causes of hip pain
With age and use:
- The cartilage that cushions the bones can wear down, leading to arthritic pain.
- Inactivity or long periods of sitting can limit muscle mobility causing weak and tightness.
- Overuse or general wear and tear may lead to inflammation, known as tendonitis and bursitis.
- Problems elsewhere in the body, such as sciatica, can also refer pain down the back of the leg.
What does the ankle have to do with hip pain?
Regular movement of the hip itself is important for healthy hip function. However, have you ever tried ankle exercises to help with hip pain? My previous blog, 5 Best Exercises for Knee Pain, explains the relationship that the ankle and hip have on the knee.
The ankle and hip also share an important relationship directly with one another. If the foot and ankle lack tri-planar capabilities, it directly limits the motion available to the hip.
Try this: Stiffen your leg, lift your toes and take a step forward without letting your ankle flex. Notice how your hip cannot move sideways (right to left). Now soften your legs, and take a stroll sinking into each step. Feel how your hips sway side to side? This right to left motion of the hip is clearly influenced by ankle mobility.
Therefore, in order for the hip to move at it’s best, ankle mobility and stability is a must!
Try this ankle mobility and stability routine to help reduce hip pain
- Ankle Roll: Feet shoulder width apart, shift the weight front to back, rolling from toe to heel. Try this with the right foot forward and then the left for a deeper stretch. Repeat 10x.
- Ankle Circles: Shift your body weight in a circular direction. Move clockwise and counterclockwise. Repeat each direction 10x.
- Bounce with Leg Rotation: Feet wide. Using a gentle impact, bounce in chest deep water turning the toes out and in.
- Wide Jumping Jack: Legs stay wide moving at end range.
- Wide Shuffle: Feet wide. Shuffle the legs front to back.
Soften the knees and hips as you go through each exercise. As you become more comfortable with the moves, try going slow or fast for speed variations. Always move in a range that feels good for best results.
For a visual demonstration, check out this video on my YouTube channel.
Move & Feel Better
WECOACH Workouts was created to help you move and feel better. By implementing moves that are natural for the body, I have found that better results can occur. Whatever your goals may be, reducing knee pain, hip pain, arthritis or losing weight, water exercise can help you achieve them.
Water exercise can help with mobility, with reducing joint and muscle pain, improving heart health and building better balance just to name a few. WECOACH is effective and proven.