August 16th 2015 - Get Hip about your Hip Joints
Now that hip joint replacements have become commonplace, falling and breaking a hip is no longer the “the beginning of the end” that it once was. Many former runners, dancers and athletes whose hips or knees have been diagnosed as “bone on bone” find salvation in that ubiquitous hip or knee replacement. Working as a Feldenkrais Movement Therapist for the past 30 years in the Laguna Woods area, I have encountered many clients who have had successful joint replacements.
The curious fact is that even after a series of joint replacements they still do not move well.
Why is that? They went through physical therapy to strengthen the joint after surgery and the joint was pronounced rehabilitated. Sometimes after one knee was replaced, the other knee needed it a few years later, and then the hip and so on. The fault is not in the structure of the knee or hip, but in the movement patterns that have developed over time.
The muscles have reorganized themselves to create patterns of compensation for a painful knee or hip, even if a limp is no longer visible. Simply strengthening the joint does not change those patterns and often makes them even more strongly engrained in the muscular system. We all have a marvelous computer inside our skull which organizes our muscles through the intermediary of the nervous system.
What is the solution to this dilemma? Reprogram your brain. Learn to manage your joints more effectively. Avoid wearing them out with improper use so that you can stay active. Here are a few tips:
1. Align your knees and feet with your actual hip joints, not with the bump on the outside of the leg above the abhorrent “saddlebag.” The joint is set in by the neck of the femur which slants upward to connect to the socket of the pelvis. Touch the top middle of your thigh, just under the crease of a pressed pair of pants, rotate your leg and feel your hip joint move.
2. Learn to bend from your hip joints, not your lumbar spine or low back area. Use your hip joints to get yourself out of a chair without using your arms to push yourself up.
3. Soften your knees in standing and moving. Stiff, straightened knees put undue stress on the back by pitching your pelvis forward, locking your hips and causing your belly to protrude.
4. Do not stand with your feet shoulder width apart while exercising. Many class instructors don't have a clue of where their hip joints are located any more that you do.
5. Avoid tucking the pelvis under too tightly as it locks the hip joints. Let your pelvis move like Elvis when you walk. Be proud of your buttocks. Beyonce, Nikki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez have made millions with their rounded derrieres and have set a new fashion trend. Remember it is all about that base -- your pelvis and hip joints!
You are invited to come learn how to keep your spine, pelvis and joints flexible and well aligned.
Weekly Feldenkrais Movement Class every Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the Redwood Rm.
Laguna Woods Community Center, 24351 El Toro Rd., Laguna Woods, CA 92637
$60 for 6 classes, $15 drop-in. Please bring a mat and a bath towel.
Sponsored by the Wellness Club. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Taught by Suze Angel, M.A., Certified Feldenkrais Movement Teacher
For more information contact Suze at (949) 677-3434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Suze Angel, M.A., Certified Feldenkrais Teacher
Laguna Woods and Laguna Beach CA
Laguna Beach, CA 92651