Do you have hip pain? Found nothing is helping it? Does it feel like it’s part of who you are and will never go away?
“Pelvic floor muscles can directly affect the function of your hip motion unit.”
The hip motion unit is a complex of muscles that work amazingly together to keep your hip moving with ease. It doesn’t take much though for them to not work like a team anymore.
A very important group of muscles called your pelvic floor have an important job helping to stabilise the hip motion unit. We tend to forget about this area or pigeon whole it into the incontinence basket. But you don’t need to be incontinent to have a pelvic floor problem. Pelvic floor problems could present themselves in many ways, and one being hip dysfunction.
You could almost think of the pelvic floor as the core area of your pelvis and hip. The pelvic muscle group sit behind your pubic bones and in front of your tail bone. It holds everything together. Losing support to these areas results in a lack of support and can result in many problems right throughout the hip, pelvis and back area.
But for now, we want to look at its specific effect on your pubic bone. The pubic bone is stabilised by the pelvic floor. Losing pelvic floor function, or just being weak, will cause an instability around the pubic bone. Attached to the pubic bone is a ligament call the inguinal ligament. This ligament runs from the pubic bone the top of your hip and underneath it run a whole bunch of important nerves and arteries.
If the pubic bone has become unstable, we often see changes in the inguinal ligament.
In some people this can potentially irritate nerve that run right underneath. The nerve that runs underneath the ligament is called your femoral nerve and it allows your hip flexor to communicate with the brain. If this communication is obstructed or just irritated, then the hip flexor wont fire properly.
How can this lead to hip changes?
If a major stabiliser on a joint stops working, then all the other muscles that continue to work are forced to work harder to try and maintain function. This causes dysfunction in the joint which will then lead to aches and pains! Depending on how your hip joint compensates for this will potentially determine your specific pain pattern. The problem however remains the same.
Loads of things can cause the pelvic floor to be dysfunctional. These can range from strength issues all the way to changes to your brain and nervous system!
So if you want to know if this is you, then I’m going to list my top tis for you below.
Here are my top 3 tips to work out if you have a pelvic floor issue:
- Tenderness through pubic bone – apply mild pressure over the pubic bone and feel if it is sensitive or tender to touch.
- March on the spot – place your hands in front of you and march on the spot with your eyes closed. If you rotate to one side, this can be a sign of short stepping, a common issue with hip flexor dysfunction.
- Coughing – place your own fingers on your pelvic floor and cough. You can find this spot on either side of your perineum. Feel if the coughing creates a muscular bulge into you fingers. Compare each side of the pelvic floor as they might pressure differently. If you feel weakness or an imbalance, then this is a sign of imbalance.
Those are my top 3 home checks to see if there may be an underlying issue with your pelvic floor contributing to your hip problem. If any of these tests are positive, then there’s a chance your pelvic floor might be contributing to your problem.
There’s no doubt in my mind that pelvic floor function is essential for good pelvic and hip function. If you are finding that you have ongoing hip pain and not getting help from other forms of treatment, then this is something that could make a massive difference for you.
If you need some help or want some advice, just send me a message and let’s have a chat to see how we might be able to help you get your life back.