PT Corner: Strong Outer Hips (Aka Abductors)
[Source: Starfish Therapies]
One of the muscles we focus on when we are working with kids, or young adult (or even ourselves if we’re being honest) is the hip abductor, or the outer hip muscle. This muscle may be on the smaller side but it is mighty!
When this muscle is strong it helps to stabilize your hips for every day activities like walking, standing, running, climbing stairs, crawling, and on and on and on. If you have a strong hip abductor and you pick up your foot to take a step it will hold your hips level so that you have a nice smooth walking pattern. If your hip abductor is weak, it will not be able to keep your hips level and when you take a step a few things could happen. Two of the most common things are:
- when you pick your foot up, your hip on that side will drop down as compared to the hip on the other side, or
- when you pick your foot up, you will lean your head and trunk away from that foot so that you are creating a counter balance to help keep you stable.
So why is this a problem? Here are a few reasons:
- For a little one first learning to walk, if they don’t have the stability at their hips it makes it harder to take those independent steps and they will want to hold on to support surfaces longer
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