Nic and Neil’s blog explains general hip pain in day to day life from a physio’s perspective. The hips have a hugely complex job because they have to be very mobile, but also strong enough to cope with multiples of body weight being transferred to them, generally at one time. Where this becomes relevant to many people is that if the hip is not coping then the load will be shared elsewhere, such as the knee or ankle, or even shock absorbing which can have a damaging effect on the back.
When we are standing still, both legs share the load evenly (in most people) and the hip joint is being held in position by gravity. When we walk, we not only transfer all of our bodyweight onto one hip but we cantilever the whole pelvis from it. Running is a multiplier of load as both feet leave the ground at the same time, this creates propulsion, as well as impact load which is much greater than body weight.
Some people may notice a small amount of pain or a change in range of motion (most don’t or try to ignore it). A very human response to a problem is to practice our strengths, rather than looking at and developing our weaknesses. This means that the problem often becomes masked even further, leading to problems in other joints. Everyone could benefit from some very simple hip mobility and strengthening, when patients come to see us we will asses their issue and work out a plan specific to them.