Monday, June 13, 2011

It's All in the Hips

A common foe of the athlete and ATC is patellofemoral pain (PFP) syndrome, or runner's knee.  This nagging issue can be difficult to successfully treat.  Often times, we can treat the immediate area with ice, massage or a combination of electrical modalities and obtain favorable results.  Sometimes, we find ourselves at a crossroads; the athlete is doing everything right in terms of appropriate rest and treatments, but their symptoms persist. A new study suggests that perhaps implementing a twice weekly hip strengthening program can reduce PFP symptoms.  While it is a relatively small sample size, I think it still has merit; remember to treat the condition, but evaluate the body.  The cause may not be where pain is located.  The article goes on to speak of some classic findings with PFP, including the abnormal contact between the femur and the patella, and the classic valgus lean upon squatting which is commonly seen those suffering from this malady.   This article really speaks to the benefits of overall strength/conditioning.

The video here is not related to the article directly, but I think it has some great examples of rehabilitative exercises that can be utilized when working with an athlete whom you feel needs "core" (and I use that term loosely) strengthening. Not all exercises may be appropriate, but it can give you a good idea of really using a combination of both verbal and visual cues to guide your athlete through the process.  I wanted to add a video of Happy Gilmore and Chubs saying "It's all in the hips", but this should do just as nicely, I suppose.

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