Shake Those Hips

...But don't shake them too hard!

Informational Media by Meha Srivastav

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A Vital Joint!

If you can walk, run, jump, bear the weight of your body, and your leg muscles, you know that your hip is functioning. It's one of the most important joints in your body, as it allows a broad range of motion and so, it's even more important for those of you sports! But how does this strong, firm bone get injured?

Structure of the Hip

The hip, a synovial or highly movable joint, is formed by a ball and socket structure- which lets you rotate your waist by 360 degrees.

The hip attaches the axial region to the appendicular body parts. The region consists of the hip bones and its joints with the sacrum and femur.

There are three parts of the hip bone itself- the ilium, pubis, and ischium, which are fused together by a cup-shaped socket called the acetabulum. The acetabulum connects with the head of the femur to form the actual hip joint.

Parts of the Hip Bone

How is the Hip Bone Injured in Sports?

The Types of Sports Hip Injuries

Although it is just one bone, the hip can be injured in many ways while playing sports because of its many constituent bone structures. It is one of the most difficult regions for sports specialists to fix when injured, and so the type of injury must be identified immediately, and of course, avoided, when possible. The types include-

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

This is a more unheard of sports injury, but occurs when an athlete has an extra growth of bone tissue around the edge of the hip socket. With repetitive rotational movement, the tissue area is aggravated, and soon large amounts of cartilage are removed from the femur, causing extra pain. So, the injury is caused by the continual rubbing of the femur and acetabulum.

10-20% of the population has suffered from or has FAI, but it is not a ruining injury for your sports career. In fact, 93% of sports players return to their sport after suffering from this injury.

If you know you have such a case of tissue growth, you can still avoid an injury by practicing the following exercises-

  • Forward lunge elbow to instep
  • Handwalks
  • Walking quad stretch
  • Leg cradle
These exercises enhance the strength of the muscles at the hip joint and the flexibility of the joint itself.

Sports players who have suffered from this injury include Greg Norman and Kurt Warmer

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Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis is a condition in which the bursae, small sacs of lubricating fluid which absorb shock and protect the bones and surrounding soft tissue, become irritated or inflamed.

The two bursae in the hip are injured if an athlete-

  • Gets hit and falls down
  • Undergoes too much exertion, like in running
  • Has poor posture while playing sports
Due to friction, pain originates in the bursae beneath the iliotibial muscle, or the muscle in the hip.

In order to avoid getting this injury, you can-

  • Practice the hip flexor stretch
  • Practice the leg cradle exercise
  • Practice the forward lunge elbow to instep
  • Wear protective padding around your hips
  • Do not run on banked pavements/surfaces
  • Wear cushioned shoes to give support and prevent falling

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Hip Flexor Strain

A hip flexor strain varies in its severity- you could have just been kicking for that long shot into the goalpost and either partially torn your hip flexor muscle, or, -riiiip- completely severed it. The degree of the injury measures its severity, with a third degree injury being the worst kind. A third degree sprain is also called an avulsion fracture, because it results in the complete detachment of the tendon from the bone.

The reason this occurs is because of the forceful contraction of the iliopsoas while kicking. Too much tension can cause a strain.

If you want to keep at the field, here is what you should do-

  • Keep exercise durations steady- do not increase it by more than 10% each week.
  • Exercises to practice-
-Rotational lunge stretch

-Quadruped posterior rocking

-Leg cradle

-Half Kneeling

-Lateral lunges

- T hip rotation

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Hip Pointer <------

A hip pointer occurs when the top part of the pelvis, or the iliac crest, becomes bruised. This is common in athletes such as skiiers or skaters, as they are prone to falling hard to the ground, which rams into their sides, causing the injury. Football players are especially susceptible to this injury.

The injury is so simple it can be identified by the injured athlete- however, this common casualty can have costs to the player if it is ignored.

In order to avoid the injury, protective gear like hip padding can be worn. Also, exercises like the following can be practiced-

  • Lateral squats
  • Forward bound with mini band
  • Lateral bound
  • Drop step skip
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So take care of your hips, while running, kicking, biking, or skating- and remember, hip injuries don't lie!


"Buttock Groin & Hip." Hip Pain. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <>.

"Hip Joint." InnerBody. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.

"Everything You Need to Know About Hip Injuries." Core Performance Core Daily. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <>.

"The Hip Bone." - TeachMeAnatomy. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <>.