Hips Don’t Lie

Hey friends!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! Ours was good and quiet with lots of outside time – just the way I like it! And of course a little backyard yoga, too. What? Doesn’t everyone pop out Wheel Pose next to a slide?

Wheel pose - happyfitmama.com

On Friday I mentioned that I finally got started with physical therapy on my foot. In reality, even though my foot has been the pain, it all stems from my hips. More specifically my weak right hip. I’ve been doing my exercises like it’s my job, determined to get stronger and back in my running shoes ASAP. I’m linking up today with Katie for Marvelous in My Monday since I’m feeling so optimistic about my return.

You may be wondering how having a weak hip can cause foot pain? The hip muscles are what control the whole movement of the leg whether it be in running, walking, cycling, etc. It throws off your gait/biomechanics of a running stride. Weak hips can cause pain such as IT Band syndrome, Patellofemoral Syndrome and Achilles tendinitis.

Game Ready Cold Therapy - happyfitmama.comGame Ready Cold Therapy is awesome! I want one for home.

The exercises that I’ve been given to do have been really basic. So basic that I’m kicking myself for not doing them all along. Of course, I do various versions of squats, lunges and other leg strengthening moves when I strength train. But I’ve been negligent on doing clamshells, side lying hip abduction and single leg balance moves. Given my history of patellofemoral syndrome, you would think I’d be on top of it. Interesting point however, is that my patellofemoral syndrome from last year was on my left side, not the right. Kind of weird.

In addition to my hip, my right lower abdominal is weaker. My PT had me do a very interesting test to determine this. She had me lay down on a foam roller with my head and back supported on it. Knees were bent with feet flat on the floor. Arms are crossed at your chest. Pulling your abs in tight, slowly lift one foot 1-2 inches off the ground. Hold for at least 10 seconds before switching.

Core strength test - happyfitmama.com

Sounds, easy? Not so much for me. I had difficulty even getting my right foot off the ground initially. Holding it was even more difficult. While my left side was easier, it still was quite difficult to hold.

I’ve been working on the prescribed exercises since Wednesday. I’ve been a good patient and have not run at all. I promised that I wouldn’t for at least another week. My PT seems to think I should be back to running by then. I don’t know if it’s psychological or what but I’m feeling stronger and my foot feels 100% better. It never really hurt when I wasn’t running but it would just have a different feeling than the left. That feeling is completely gone. Fingers crossed that I’m on my way!

**Everyone’s pain/injury issues are different. If you are experiencing any type of pain, I suggest you see a specialist to give you a proper diagnosis. My injury and treatment plan may be different than yours.**

Below are a few links to articles that I found interesting regarding hip strength in runners.

Runner’s World – Hip Strengthening Exercises

Runner’s Connect – How and Why You Should Strengthen Your Hip Abductors

And one for the Mamas:

New York Times Well – How Pregnancy Changes a Runner’s Body

Runner’s – Do you do hip strength exercises daily?

35 comments on “Hips Don’t Lie

  1. I had the same issue. I had knee pain for months and when I finally went to PT I was told that it was due to my right hip. I did prescribed stretches for a about a month and a half and have been pain free since (apart from an occasional twinge). I’m going to check out the links you posted; more stretching can’t hurt!
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  2. I’m a big believer that the site of pain is usually the “end of the whip,” meaning that it is the symptom of an issue further up the kinetic chain. But I also don’t know that it’s always an issue of strength so much as an issue of muscles that don’t fire properly. I had an ITB injury years ago and it turned out that one of my glutes wasn’t doing it’s job. Once I found the right practitioner to “turn it on” via acupressure, it took the burden off the ITB and I was fine.

    Anyhow! I hope you are up and running asap!
    misszippy1 recently posted..MAF test day bluesMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the links – I am just getting over a foot injury, sesamoiditis, and a knee injury/pain, too.
    Good luck!

  4. I just got through doing about 6 weeks of PT for knee pain due to – yep! – weak hips! And some other weaknesses/imbalances. The most frustrating part for me right now is that now bad side is SO much better, but I am getting tightness in my “good” side! I’m hoping it all evens out soon, and hoping for a good recovery for you as well!
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  5. I’m glad that you have figured out the problem and have a plan to correct it!! I hope that really soon you are back on the roads!!!
    I try to add in moves to strengthen my hips every week – I’ve had enough injuries through-out the past few years to realize that the basics are necessary for me!
    Kim recently posted..Is it about the Journey or the end Destination?My Profile

  6. Hehe I tried lying on the foam roller at Pilates last week and fell off! It was my first time though and I soon got the hang of turning on the right muscles. My physio gave me several glute exercises for my ITB problem as well as quad/hip flexor stretches, and I can actually feel that I am more stable in the pelvis when I run now – feels good!
    Best of luck for a speedy recovery.
    Sherry recently posted..Race Report – Unitec Run Series #1My Profile

  7. I’m wishing you a speedy recovery. I do know all about the foot/hip thing. Okay, that was an exaggeration – not ALL about it. But I have experienced foot pain and been told by my chiro that it stems from my hip. Apparently my hips are not even and one is too forward or something which also leads that one of my legs is a bit shorter than the other. I already forgot what it was more specifically but yeah, it was apparently due to the car accident I was in on my 21st bday (and no I was not even driving, sigh). Hope it gets better! Best of luck with PT!
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  8. Ah, clamshells. I’ve helped many a client post therapy do them (and by help I mean being paid so that they will stick to their program). But never have done them myself. Probably should. I know my right foot wants to angle out when I run. I wish you a speedy recovery!
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  9. I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling some improvement already AND that you’re doing your exercises like it’s your job. They can be tedious but they only help when we do them (says the one who is slacking on her PT exercises). Now I’m totally curious and going to try that test on the foam roller. Actually, I’m not sure I want to know!!
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  10. This was the exact same diagnosis I got when I went to PT post baby. Weak right hip. All those little exercises seem so…little and unimportant, but they are so, so important. Great post!
    Sarah @runfargirl recently posted..Why I RunMy Profile

  11. It is soooo trippy when the PT asks you to do something that sounds soooo easy and when you go to try it it’s like your brain and body are totally NOT communicating! I’m glad you working with someone who is truly helping you :)
    MILF Runner recently posted..PEDsMy Profile

  12. Oh yes, weak hips. BTDT. SO common in runners! Glad you’re on the mend. And yes, daily hip strengtheners here. Live and learn!

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