Gaelic sports usually cause athletes to work their hips mainly in an externally rotated position due to the demands of the sports. This can cause a significant decrease in hip internal rotation as the body will compensate due to the increasing demand on the hips to open in one direction over the other.
Why does this matter?
This matters because having such imbalances will cause your body to create more compensatory patterns which can eventually lead to decreased performance or injury.
If you have limited hip internal rotation, then eventually the way you walk and move might be changed.
For example, you could start walking with your feet and toes pointing out more as your hips will not have the full movement to allow your foot to go back to a neutral position. The foot and ankle will then no longer be functioning in their optimal patterns and might start overpronating to allow you to keep walking undisturbed. The knee may also start picking up the slack for both the hip and ankle which could put more stress on the knees and the body as a whole. With every step, you are reinforcing these patterns which can eventually lead to pain or injuries.
So to make it simple, the most common injuries related to poor hip mobility are:
Low back pain
Hamstring and Groin strain
But this is not to say that your upper back may not be affected by this as well. It all depends on how you move. Take a squat for example, if your hip mobility is limited your body is going to find other ways to move through the position you are putting it through. We already went through the changes in the lower extremity when talking about walking. Now let’s talk about your back: if your hips can’t sit through the motion needed, your lower back might start rounding to allow you to go lower, and then your upper back might overextend to allow you to keep looking forward while squatting down.
Those are just examples, you understand by now it’s all about your own body patterns and whether your compensations are putting you more at risk for injury.
One good exercise to work on hip mobility is the 5 months hip & pelvis separation from Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS). This exercise helps your body work on hip and pelvic movements. Giving you more motion but also more control in those areas. It is important to work on both mobility and stability so that all increases in range of motions and overall movements still allow you proper control to avoid risk injuries.
During this exercise, make sure to keep pressure through the downward knee and foot, as well as the downward elbow throughout.
If you want more information or have any aches or pain, contact the clinic on 057-8678904 to see how we can help.
There has been a worrying trend over the last decade, we have seen a increase in the number kids attending the clinic for injuries including Back Pain, Knee Pain, Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries.
These injuries are usually reserved for adults but with the training regimes that some of these children are undertaking is comparable with professional athletes.
Our top tips for keeping your kids injury free:
Recovery & Off Season: Sleep, Recovery and a 8 week off season is key to injury prevention. This allows the body to rebuild after long sporting sessions and the toll of a lengthy season.
Late Specialisation: All the latest research has indicated that kids should wait into their teens to specialise in one sport. By playing a number of sports it ensures that your child develops a number of movement based skill sets.
Good Balance of Training & Game Schedule: Parents and coaches should keep track of their youth athletes training schedules ensuring that they are getting at least 2 days off each week. The majority of injuries seen in children are from chronic over use injuries which is preventable if a kid has a sensible training and schedule. Do not over train you athletes!
Functional Movement Screening (FMS): The FMS is one of the simple ways to see if your child is at risk of injury. The screening is scored out of 21, any score under 14 indicates an increased injury risk. At the clinic we use the FMS with all our clients and athletes to help them identify areas of potential injury risk.
If you child is suffering from a sports related injury or you would like more information on injury prevention please contact us.