Given the architecture and functional importance of the hip joint, full mobility is essential.
If the mobility in the hip is limited, that limitation in range of motion has to be compensated for elsewhere. In one recent study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, “Passive hip range of motion is reduced in active subjects with chronic low back pain compared to controls,” loss of hip extension was shown to correlate with the presence of chronic low-back pain.
What the hips cannot do, the low back will try to make up for, leading to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. While the low back may be hypertonic and tender to touch, the larger question is why. Range-of-motion testing of the hip may reveal that the low back is doing too much. In that case, treatment focused only on the low back is not likely to be successful, no matter what the intervention.
Compensation for restricted hip mobility can also spread down the kinetic chain, as exemplified by a study published in Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, “Restriction in hip internal rotation is associated with an increased risk of ACL injury,” which showed loss of internal rotation of the hip was correlated with knee injuries, specifically to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Decreased strength or lowered hip mobility around the hip is bound to disturb normal gait patterns, likely leading to altered biomechanics and thus possible dysfunction throughout the kinetic chain—and complaints from head to toe.
Your Massage Therapist will put you through a Range of Motion tests, to find the exact issue!
Find out today if it’s a lower back issue or a hip issue!