This article will focus on what hip alignment is and why it is so important for people to function properly.
First of all let’s define what we’re looking at when we talk about the hip and hip alignment. The hip consists of the pelvis primarily and your two femurs (thigh bones).
Factors of Hip Alignment
Aligned hips are when both sides of your hip are at the same level and are rotated to the correct degree under your spine.
There are a few things that can affect hip alignment:
- Leg Length: Most people’s legs are not the exact same length, and in most cases it’s so small of a difference that it doesn’t matter.
- Muscle Imbalances: Your body consists of a series of opposing muscles that allow you to move. However, if one side of the muscles gets stronger than the other it can overpower the opposing muscles and cause your body structure to change. For example your quadriceps can overpower your hamstrings and cause your pelvis to rotate forward.
- Posture: We typically spend a lot of time in one position, which is different for everybody. When we don’t have good posture, say we lean to one side most of the time we start to stretch the muscles and tendons on one side of the body while the other side will slowly tighten.
Hip Out of Alignment
So now we know what kinds of things can affect hip alignment let’s look at how your hip can become out of alignment.
Think about your hip for a moment and all the different ways it can move. Essentially, your hip can move in any direction, which means there are a lot of ways your hips can become misaligned.
There are two main ways they can be out of alignment, which is either slanted, where one hip is higher than the other side, or rotated, where it is stuck rotated forward (usually) or backward (rare).
Treatment for Hips Out of Alignment
If there is any substantial pain or tightness go see a doctor. You can get an x-ray to see clearly exactly what’s wrong. Other than that you can go see a chiropractor and they might be able to temporarily help you, but you need to address the root cause or you’ll just end back up on the table.
To fix a hip out of alignment you should start stretching and strengthening regularly. Stretch as much of your body as you can, as you never know what is causing or has been affected by your misalignment.