How does it happen?
In today’s blog we are going to talk about pain on the outside of the hip, commonly called hip bursitis. Where does it come from? Frequently we see what I like to call the “mom stance”. Think about a mom holding a small child on her hip. Commonly when a woman holds her child on her hip, the hip that the child is resting on is kicked out to the side. You can also think of Michaelangelo’s statue of David. Many times, what they are doing is stretching out the outside of the hip. When you kick your hip out, and are in that position for a long time, it can cause a lot of irritation and pain.
What can you do about the pain?
The good news is that just changing how you’re standing can help to decrease some of your irritation and pain. When you are holding your child, hold them a little bit closer to your torso, and don’t extend your hip out to the side. Instead, try and use your abdominal and hip muscles and align your body into an upright position. This doesn’t mean you have to be like a robot, but it does mean that you need to be more upright when you’re standing in the same position for an extended period of time. If you find that this doesn’t apply to you, then the next step is especially important.
The second thing that will help your hip pain is to strengthen the muscles around them. Get them strong and get them working, so that these muscles can help support your body when you’re standing, especially when holding your child. There are a few basic exercises that help to strengthen your hip muscles. The first exercise is a nice and easy one, think of the Jane Fonda days: a leg lift to the side. Lie on a table or mat on the floor on your side, bend your leg that is against the mat to a 90-degree bend for support. Then, lift your other leg straight up towards the ceiling and back down again, making your hip muscles work. This is getting your hip muscles working and strengthening them.
The second exercise you might have heard of also, a clamshell. While still on your side, bring both your knees together to a 90-degree bend, then lift the top knee towards the ceiling and back down again, keeping your feet touching. When you do this motion, you are engaging your hip muscles on the outside as well as the inside. This will start to strengthen your outside hip.
The final exercise is more of a stretch, a figure-4 stretch. While lying on your back with your knees bent, place one ankle over the opposite knee. This is just like crossing your leg while sitting in a chair, called a figure four formation. Then you will want to pull your lifted knee toward you to stretch your hip muscle.
Make sure you do these exercises two-three times a day. These exercises can help to decrease some of that outside hip pain and get you back to normal activity.
If you try these tips and exercises for a couple weeks and they help we would love to know about it. If you do them for a couple weeks and you’re still struggling to get over that annoying hip pain that you initially had, we would love to get you into the clinic to get working with you, and get you out of pain. We hope to hear from you soon.
– Dr. Jordan