A good posture goes a long way in promoting health. If you have a good posture, your spine is neutral. Because of this, there is equal pressure on all body parts. Bad posture, however, can cause problems like cervical spasms and back and hip pain.
Here we’ll take a closer look at how bad posture can cause hip pain and what you can do about it. Read on to find out more!
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What Is The Link Between Hip Pain And Posture?
It doesn’t matter if you’re walking or sitting; your posture might put extra pressure on your hip and require the muscles to work harder. This strain can cause hip pain, especially in the long term. This pain can occur in the hip joint or surrounding muscles, ligaments and nerves.
Anterior Vs. Posterior Pelvic Tilt
The pelvis is an essential lower body part that supports the spine and abdominal organs. When you have a pelvic tilt, it means the pelvis is titled about the rest of your body. Both anterior and posterior pelvic tilt are examples of bad body posture. However, posterior tilt is less common.
In an anterior tilt, the pelvis is tilted forwards, which causes an extension of the lumbar spine. Symptoms include tight muscles, inflexibility and a prominent curving of the spine. It is commonly observed in people with a sedentary lifestyle and pregnant women.
In a posterior tilt, the pelvis is tilted backwards. The front of the pelvis rises concerning your body, and the back of the pelvis drops. Common symptoms include tight hamstrings and glutes and poor strength. People who sleep on their stomachs or have an inactive lifestyle are vulnerable to this problem.
How Bad Posture Affects Hips?
Whether you’re sitting, standing or exercising, a bad posture can impact the health of your spine and the lower back. The hip joint has a ball connecting to the thigh bone (femur). It fits inside a socket located on the pelvis. Both the ball and the socket are protected with cartilage.
For the hip to remain stable, the ball must be centred in the socket. The cartilage goes through wear and tear if there is any deviation due to poor posture. Plus, the orientation of the femoral head also changes.
If a pelvic tilt lasts for months or years, the body will attempt to compensate for movements that are not part of its normal functioning. The person may be able to move about and function, but such compensations can cause chronic hip pain in the long run. As a result, hip or joint misalignment occurs.
Common Posture Mistakes Causes Hip Pain?
It is pretty common to have poor posture without knowing it. Below, we go over some posture mistakes that might contribute to your hip pain.
Sitting hunched over – Sitting over your desk without proper support for your hips or back can cause pain in the hip area.
Leaning to one side – Walking with one shoulder above the other can lead to uneven pressure on your hips. This can result in mild to chronic discomfort in the hip joint.
Cross-legged – People who sit cross-legged may put more pressure on one side of their body. This can cause hip pain too.
Sitting on an uneven surface – If you sit on a cushion or rough surface, your body may tilt to one side. The increased pressure on one hip can throw the momentum out of balance.
Sitting for long periods – People with a sedentary lifestyle should get up after intervals to stretch their legs. Sitting for long periods can also cause a pinched nerve. This can result in pain in the thigh, hips and buttocks.
Sitting at obtuse and acute angles – When sitting at a desk, one should sit with their legs at a right angle and feet flat on the floor. Sitting with your legs stretched out or under your chair can decrease support for your back and increase the pressure on your hips.
Hips pushed forward or backwards while standing – Your shoulders should be in line with your hips and hips in line with the ankles. When the hips are pushed forwards or backwards, this is primarily due to a pelvic tilt. An anterior or posterior pelvic tilt is a postural problem that can lead to hip pain.
Treatments for Hip Pain
Doctors mainly advise the following treatment options for pain in the hip area.
Rest – Relaxing the hip joint by not engaging in the strenuous activity is often the first course of business.
OTC medicines – Over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen can reduce inflammation and hip pain, but NSAIDs are not recommended for long-term use.
Exercise – Exercise and stretches can mobilise your hip joint and increase muscle strength.
Ice or heat – Ice packs can reduce inflammation and hot showers can help people with joint pain.
Compression – A hip brace can help with pain as the reduction will aid recovery by increasing circulation.
Elevation – A recliner can elevate your hip and allow blood to flow more quickly to your hip area. This can help reduce swelling and pain.
Weight loss – People who are overweight have a higher risk of hip problems, so doctors often ask patients to lose weight.
Surgery – People who face hip pain for years without any relief through standard methods are advised to get hip replacement surgery. It is an invasive treatment option with a lengthy recovery period.
How Does Physical Therapy Help To Correct Posture?
The treatment options highlighted above help manage pain but cannot reduce the probability of it occurring again. That can only be done by correcting posture through physical therapy.
A physiotherapist can recommend exercises and stretches to strengthen muscles that have atrophied. By doing so, people can reduce misalignment in their posture and decrease pressure on the hip joint. Therapy also increases flexibility in your muscles.
How should I sit to relieve hip pain?
For hip pain, choose a chair that is not low or slouching. Recline the chair and keep your feet flat on the ground. Tilt your seat so your hips are higher than your knees.