Saturday, January 11, 2014

The secret to running success or the cause of running injuries: hip structure?

I found a wonderful post on the differences and variety in hip structures that helps you visualize the unseen workings or at least the set up of how our femurs insert in the pelvis. Because we only see the outside of a person, we sometimes think that running is merely a muscular activity. If somethings is sore or tight, what do we do? We stretch. We forget that each person is created with their own skeleton and that not everyone's anatomy, joints, and bones look exactly the same. There is a tremendous amount of variety. I never liked that saying that running is 90% mental and 10% physical, or however it goes. Not everyone is created equally. No matter how hard we try, we all can't run like a world class runner. I realize that the hips aren't the only bones and joints that help determine how well we can run, but they sure are an important one! I have been fighting my left hip since long before I became a runner and that was 40 years ago. No stretching or other therapy have ever balanced out my hips. One works differently than the other and I have said all along that I think my hips are not symmetrical as I can feel the way the work. I have been told many things about my left hip: femoral anteversion, mild dysplasis, and of course I eventually had a torn labrum in that hip. I just picture the femur fitting differently in the socket than my right one and so it works diffently.

Check out this web page: THE BEST KEPT SECRET: WHY PEOPLE HAVE TO SQUAT DIFFERENTLY. It shows side-by-side comparisons of different hip structures. We are all not made the same. The page is written for showing how these different hip structures relate to different ways that people squat, but having seen tremendous differences in the strides of many runners, I think you can see how this applies to our sport as well. The comments are worth reading too!

Here are the latest images of my hip taken in the spring of 2013. I was standing straight for the images.

my problem left hip
my hips tilt for some reason


Anonymous said...

So that last picture is not tilted at all? Your pelvis looks like that when you stand normally?

Jim Hansen said...

As far as I understand, I have seen this a couple of times from the x-rays.

Ski Coach said...

looks to me like your problem is further down - like the left leg is significantly shorter.

Jim Hansen said...

I just found that I never published your comment. I have been using a heel lift in the right shoe since about when you wrote this. I use the Clearly Adjustable full length lifts. I am not sure if it is really because a leg is shorter, I think it helps the differences in both of my hips. I feel a lot better with it in.