When this client came to see me, his hip pain had been worsening over the course of four years. He’d given up running and even walking was very painful at times.
He’d seen specialist doctors, but found no relief. He had begun to think that the pain was something he would just have to accept.
When I examined his posture I was surprised by the sheer number of postural misalignments!
What do you notice?
From the front view, his feet were in very different positions, a sign that his hips were working differently left to right.
His body was leaning to the right, which was compressing that side of his body and putting uneven pressure through into the pelvis and hips.
These imbalances alone could have caused his pain, but the misalignments from the side view were even more pronounced!
Can you see how far forward his hip was from his ankle?
This is a sign of weakness in the muscles around the pelvis.
Furthermore, his upper back was very rounded, causing his shoulders and head to come forward remarkably.
After showing him his photos, I explained that we should focus on two key areas: 1) getting the pelvis more balanced, and 2) improving his upper back, shoulders and head position, even though he felt no pain there.
As a posture specialist, I repeat the mantra ‘the site of your pain is rarely the source of your pain’.
(You can read more about my posture correction approach here)
In this case, I thought the bigger problem was his upper body, and improving this would lessen compensation below.
It might seem odd to give someone with hip pain exercises for the upper back, but in my experience, it is important to address how the body is working as a whole.
We started off with three posture correction exercises that he could do comfortably. He even looked a little taller by the end of the session, which is always a good sign.
I asked him to do them everyday until the next week’s session.
When he returned, he reported already feeling better. I checked that he was doing the exercises correctly, and then added a few more to challenge his body further.
I took the photos below after only 2 months. Look closely from the feet all the way to the head and you can see improvements in every position.
As the months went on, his pain disappeared and he went back to running. It took 11 sessions spread over 9 months.
This case is an excellent example that things can improve– even if your pain is getting worse, has lasted several years, is sometimes unbearable, and affects your everyday life. Even if you think you’ve tried everything, there is still hope!
If you’d like to get 3 posture corrections exercises similar to the ones I initially gave to my client above, then you can sign up to my free newsletter by clicking here.
Ameet Bhakta BSc, DipHE – I’m a posture specialist certified by the Egoscue Institute, and founder of Health Through Posture based in London.