Do you every experience nagging hip pain? Maybe it feels achy along the outside of your hip and maybe even moves toward your tailbone, or into your low back? This can sometimes be related to pelvic floor muscles, believe it or not!
The pelvic floor is made of a sling of muscles that travels from the pubic bone to the tailbone. They work to help support pelvic organs, and play a role in things like continence, sexual function, and stability. Some of these deep pelvic floor muscles act on the hip to help rotate it in and out; think of the motion you might do when performing a fire hydrant exercise or kicking a hacky sack (do kids still play with those?).
Because of the relationship with the pelvic floor, hip pain that we believe to be related to the hip joint, may in fact be related to these pelvic floor muscles that double as hip rotators.
If you’ve been following along in this blog or on social media, you’ve heard me describe some of the tension or guarding that can be seen in the pelvic floor muscles. This can sometimes contribute to pain and dysfunction, and it may manifest as hip pain with or without the symptoms we typically relate to pelvic floor dysfunction.
So, how can we address this?
Just like any other muscle, the muscles of the pelvic floor need to be exercised through their available range and placed under the appropriate stress to meet the demands of life and activities. These hip rotators that we’re highlighting today are not always trained into this rotation movement, so may not have the opportunity to move through this range as often as we’d like. They play a huge role in singe leg stability, pelvic control, and low back support! Therefore, giving them a little TLC can help not only improve function of the pelvic floor, but in turn, support the hips, pelvis, and low back more effectively!
Here are some of my go-to movements for improving mobility here and progressing toward strength!
Give these a go, see how they treat you, and reach out with questions!
Elle Carlson, PT, DPT
P.S. This will be the last blog for a few weeks as we jet of to Croatia this weekend! See you soon!