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PostHeaderIcon Much a do About the Hips

The Kinetic chain

The human body and mind is an amazing machine that can move in many directions and achieve amazing tasks. It can climb, run, walk, crawl, swing bats, perform complex martial arts and dance moves, lift heavy loads and perform acrobatic feats. In order to move in this way, our body is like a machine, linked with complex joints, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and fascia. It is moved by bones and muscles and a complex network of nerves. The many tissues have to support, counter, contract and extend in order to perform these tasks successfully and without injury or strain. We call this beautiful harmony of movement that includes all the tissues responsible for it, the kinetic chain. Like a chain in a machine that requires spokes, wheels, breaks, pulleys, belts, wires and energy; our body requires a cooperative link of many types of fibers.

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Most people hold their pain and tension either in their shoulders or hips. I addressed the shoulders in my neck and shoulder release blog which you can click here:

RELEASE NECK AND SHOULDER TENSION
Today, I would like to address the hips because dysfunction in this area can create pain and tension in the lower back and knees. The many muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia and joint tissues in the hips also connect to bones in the spine and legs. When these muscles are out of balance, they can create tension in the knees, back and even the shoulders, neck and feet. Not to mention hip pain. In this blog, I will address some of the more common hip dysfunctions. Many people suffer from these issues without even knowing it.

 

Hip Flexors

4239R-8517At some point in history, someone invented the chair and this has been the cause of many muscle imbalances. It stopped people from squatting and using the floor. Our sedentary lifestyle based on mostly chair sitting has put us in a posture that compresses our spine and keeps our hip flexors in a constantly flexed position. Because the hip flexors attach the lower back to the upper thigh bone, a tight network of hip flexors (the illiopsoas group) can compress the lower back and limit movement responsible for walking properly. If it hurts to lie on your back with your legs straight, you mostly likely have tight hip flexors. Stretches where you have one foot behind you such as lunging or warrior I can help lengthen tight hip flexors.

Sciatica

The sciatica nerve is the HUGEST nerve in the body. It travels from the spine and through the back of the leg. When the deep muscles in the hips, particularly the piriformis muscle (a deep muscle under the gluteus group) is tight, this nerve can become compressed. The pain can run through the lower back and down the back of the leg. Massage or myofascial release with a massage ball or roller can plus, outer hip stretches such as pigeon pose or any variation of lotus can help release sciatica pain that stems from tight hips.

 

IT band

The StabilizerMuscles3Illiotibial tract or “IT band” is attached to a muscle that sounds like a favorite barista’s drink, Tensor Fasciae Latae. This attaches to tendon and fascae that runs down the side of the leg, from the hip to the knee which is responsible for stabilizing the hip. It gets tight from overuse and causes a pulling in the knee. This pulling can cause the knee to track incorrectly which can wear the cartilage in the knee the wrong way, causing arthritis. Relieving, massaging, resting and releasing the IT band helps release knee pain and imbalances. This imbalance is common in athletes who over exert themselves.

 

Internal rectus obliquiest

This thin muscle runs from the hip to the knee on the inner side. This muscle stabilizes the knee. If it is weak, it can cause the knees to track incorrectly creating degeneration and arthritis. Lack of strength in this area also stems from our sedentary lifestyle and too much chair sitting. It can be strengthened by performing deep squats or squeezing a ball between the thighs while extending the knee

The mind body connection

Adept yoga practitioners would say that our problems are not physical but spiritual and mental. The energy and impulses that run through our body can be blocked by karma. A real world example of this is to look at what happens when a dog is afraid. It tucks its tail between its legs. We do the same thing. When we sense fear or stress, we tense our hips.

Sigmund Freud coined the term “anal retention” when he described people who’s parent’s were too controlling. My yoga teacher has told me that the tighter a person’s butt, the more they try to control their life.

The hip area represents the first and second chakras. The first chakra represents where we hold our fear, stress and issues regarding survival. The second chakra deals with creativity, sex, shame and guilt. These are the darker areas of our life, the parts of us we hide away. When we finally release blockages in our hips, we are sometimes filled with great emotional waves. As I went deeper into my yoga practice, I started to experience this but it took me a while to finally let go of what I was holding in my hips. Often, we hold our own mental stress in our body and learning to relax the mind can also alleviate and heal pain in the body. This is why yoga and meditation has become so popular.

For more information about the chakras, click this link:

DEMYSTIFYING THE CHAKRAS

Hip Balancing Workshop

I will be holding a hip balancing workshop in Chatsworth CA, if you are interested, click here:

SPECIAL EVENTS

2 Responses to “Much a do About the Hips”

  • J o h n F i n n says:

    Keep up the good fight, my friend. Very informative article. In the process of recovering from back to back hip replacements at 50, I find the first two chakras seem to cover alot of my emotional luggage. Does double osteonecrosis of the femeral heads sound like hip tension?! Ugh!
    Thanks to Re, I can’t help but keep up with my basic yoga and muscle rebuilding workouts. Her enthusiasm and extensive knowledge helps me to keep on track during some heavy mid life trials.
    NAMASTE’ Sensei

  • J o h n F i n n says:

    Keep up the good fight, my friend. Very informative article. In the process of recovering from back to back hip surgeries, I find the first two chakras seem to cover alot of my emotional luggage. Does double osteonecrosis of the femeral heads sound like hip tension?! Ugh!
    Thanks to Re, I can’t help but keep up with my basic yoga and muscle rebuilding workouts. Her enthusiasm and extensive knowledge helps me to keep on track during some heavy mid life trials.
    NAMASTE’ Sensei

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