Hip Stiffness or Congenital Defect

I realize to some this may be a little elementary,  but I was feeling a bit bored. All in all I think this is still important and relevant to consider.

When assessing hip mobility, it is important to consider all anatomical structures. In the realm of fitness, muscles are commonly assessed as being either stiff or short.

“Stiff muscles respond quickly to PNF stretching techniques whereas short muscles tend to respond better to low amplitude and longer time frames, in regards stretching.”

However, when assessing ROM such as medial and lateral rotation, it is important to not only consider the soft tissues but the actual skeletal architecture as well.When defining structural variations in the hip-joint, we may commonly see two categories.

  1. Hip Antetorsion
  2. Hip Retrotorsion

Hip Antetorsion is congenital and is defined by the angle of the head of the femur. As the name states, the head of the femur is rotated anteriorly. The by-product of this anterior rotation is

  1. Increased Medial Hip Rotation
  2. Decreased Lateral Hip Rotation

The best test to determine this insufficiency is Craig’s test. The hip may be considered anteverted when there is more than 15° of anterior rotation relative to the plane of the femoral condyle. Clinically, pain usually is reduced by flexing and medially rotating the hips.

Hip retroversion is a congenital process that is defined by a posteriorly rotated head of the femur. It is also more common in men than it is in women. In this condition, the opposite of hip anteversion is noted.

  1. Medial Hip Rotation is limited
  2. Lateral Hip Rotation is increased

If the hip is placed into medial rotation for a sustained period, pain will usually result.

Because of habits and anatomical differences, men usually do not experience pain during sitting and sleeping, whereas women will.

Again, the best test to determine is Craig’s test (aside from advanced imaging).

In summary, hip mobility may not always be due to short or stiff muscles (or a tight capsule). Anatomical changes must be considered when assessing a patient / clients ROM of the hip.

Hopefully you found this of use. Or at least a brush up on the basics.


About doctoranthony
As a spinal rehabilitation specialist with over 7 years clinical experience in the areas of - Spinal Manipulative Therapy, Active & Passive Spinal Rehabilitation, Functional Movement and Orthopedic Assessment, Strength and Conditioning Coaching, Fitness Programming, Business Development, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Consultancy - you can feel safe knowing that I understand the worry and concern surrounding spinal pain. This is why self-efficacy lies at the heart of my practice. For more info: nz.linkedin.com/in/anthonyclose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: