Some time ago I remember highlighting my right hip to someone who was giving me a check over for general health and I didn’t get the answer I was looking for. The reason for highlighting it was that it felt different to my left hip!
Different in that there seemed to be more stiffness and less range of movement. The only way I can easily describe, it was ‘stuck’. Whichever direction I wanted to move it I couldn’t quite achieve the same effect as on the left ‘freer’ hip.
Earlier this year I completed a course which involved a much deep understanding of the body and how it moves as a whole. An entire unit of connectivity. Not a unit of different parts which do different things but one that achieves movement as a combination of multiple parts working together. Enter – Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers. This way of thinking wasn’t completely foreign to me but it did add another layer of interpretation of movement or more precisely a newer lens to view the body through.
The premise is that the body has layers of connective tissue (fascia) which surround our joints, muscles and organs helping to keep them all in place. In areas that we use a lot, additional connective tissue will grow to assist with the forces being put through these parts of the body. In areas where less force is used there will be less connective tissue. The body adapts to the stimulus we give it.
It takes time for this repetition to kick in and have a longer lasting effect. We can reverse the effects of poor posture or repeated actions that change our body shape or condition but we need to be consistent.
BACK TO MY HIP!!
So it wasn’t until this course that I worked out what had been going on with my hip for so long that didn’t seem to respond to any other therapy out there. I could run, squat, lunge do all the things I wanted to but my hip wasn’t very happy regardless of what I did.
I am right side dominant. This was the first issue. My brain had learnt to over rely on my right side for activities I was doing. This lead to a laying down of extra tissue in the right hip region of my body. I was therefore reinforcing those incorrect patterns of my movement without even realising what I was doing!
The Deep Front Line (this is the aspect of my body that needed attention) was jammed. I couldn’t move my hips into an extended position much at all. Hip extension would be similar to a hip bridge, lying on your back and pushing your hips into the air. Now imagine the same thing on your front. Kneeling and walking your hands out in front of you and letting your hips sink towards the ground – mine wouldn’t!!!
Once I figured out the best way to free up my hips, they became more able to move this way I slowly managed to free them up and over time gain much more freedom in that right hip. All the manual therapies, massage that had gone before were short term fixes but the mobility work I did on that right hip has it back to where it was probably about 5-6 years ago! FREEDOM…..! I can do all the activities I have always done, but without the pain and restriction that often came afterwards, as the joint used to lock up and pin down the head of my femur into the hip joint.
If you have a joint that isn’t happy or find you are getting restricted in your range of movement somewhere. There is hope. You can free it up and regain that range again. I work with lots of clients who want to move and move well but need to do this work first. Once the freedom and control along with the range of movement has been returned, the world is your oyster….