What is the Hip Joint?
The hip joint, also known as the coxa femoral joint, is where the head of the femur meets the socket at the front of the hip bone.
There are five main ligaments of the hip that help to reinforce the translation of weight throughout the joint.
The motions of the hip include:
Flexion: bending your hip up to your chest
Extension: bringing your hip backwards
Abduction: bringing your hip out to the side
Adduction: bringing your hip across your body
Lateral Rotation: turning your hip outwards
Medial Rotation: turning your hip inwards
What is the S.I. Joint?
The S.I. joint, or the sacroiliac joint, is where the back of the hip bones meet the sacrum at the base of the spine. There is minimal movement at this joint that is restricted to a backwards/forwards motion as the two bones slide on each other during walking.
What is a Stuck S.I.?
A common source of hip pain is when one S.I. joint gets stuck in this backwards/forwards motion. When this happens, the opposite S.I. joint moves excessively to compensate for the side that is stuck. In this instance pain is felt on the side with excessive motion, as oppose to the side that is inhibited.
A pelvic tilt is when muscles on one side of the hip pull the joint out of alignment. The most common is an anterior pelvic tilt, where the muscles at the front (quads and iliopsoas) pull the hip forward, jamming the low back and causing the gluteal muscles to stick out.
Posterior pelvic tilts also occur although those are less common. A lateral pelvic tilt happens when tight or weak muscles of the low back and hips allow for one side to hike up or one side to drop down.
Osteoarthritis occurs when there are degenerative changes in the tissues between the layers of a joint, leading to bone on bone. It is most common in larger, weight-bearing joints such as the hip and the knee. The most common causes include: aging, injury, obesity, disease and repetitive stresses.
Snapping Hip Syndrome:
A muscular condition whereby tendons or ligaments of the hip snap over osseous ridges of the hip or femur.
The sciatic nerve exits the lower spine and travels all the way to the foot. As it moves down the back of the leg, it splits into segments that supply sensory and motor functions to different parts of the leg, knee, foot and toes.
People often throw the term “sciatica” around based on pain in the back of the thigh. Hopefully this can provide some clarification.
What is True Sciatica?
True sciatica has a very specific definition. In true sciatica there is compression of the sciatic nerve at the level of the root, or the part of the nerve that is leaving the spinal chord. It is most commonly causes by a herniated disc.
This can cause a range of symptoms including pain in the gluteal muscles, shooting pain/burning down the back of the leg to the foot, weakness in the leg or foot, numbness or tingling in the foot or toes.
Bursae are synovial fluid filled sacs that are located around joints. They serve to reduce friction between tendons, ligaments and bones. They can only be felt when inflamed, otherwise bursae are undetectable. They often become inflamed with repetitive use and when that happens, it is known as bursitis.
Catherine Taman is a Registered Massage Therapist practicing in Toronto, Canada. She has a special interest in treating chronic pain, headaches, sports injuries and pregnancy related pain. To book an appointment with Catherine, visit rmtmassagetherapytoronto