The Running Doctor: Hip pain
Hip pain problems may affect as much as 75-80 percent of the population, resulting in pain in the lower back, pelvis or hip. Pain may radiate down the thigh (sciatica nerve). There are a number of possible reasons which may cause hip pain:
--Position of the hips in the normal gait cycle
--Limb length discrepancy
--Worn out shoes, or athletic shoes with too many whistles and bells that try to change the body position or over-pronation (inward rotation)
In the case of hip position, the male athlete hip position is in a more frontal (straight) plane position, whereas the female athlete is in a more external or outward position. In other words, males have a narrower anatomy, whereas females tend to have wider hips.
We have been witnessing more female complaints due to the hip position. In all actual fact, when the woman's foot hits the ground, it hits in an outward way which causes the hip to rotate more significantly in order to straighten out the foot to push off. This sends retrograde forces up the leg, knee and hip. The end result is rolling in of the foot to push off in a normal position. In other words, females pronate the foot in order to gain stability and balance -- this causes pain in the hip.
Therefore, it is very important to have proper biomechanical foot balance to realign the leg, knee and hip. Proper leveling of the pelvis will certainly alleviate much of one's hip pain. Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery. He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons and has a practice in Darien: The Foot & Ankle Institute of Darien. For more information, visit www.therunning doctor.net.