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The Hip Joint

August 23, 2018

The hip joint is strong, moveable and has a large range of motion. It generates a lot of force to move us forward for walking and running. It also supports the upper body including the spine.




The hip joint is the where the head of the femur meets the pelvis in a cup shaped cavity (called the acetabulum).

On the surface of the acetabulum is a piece of cartilage called the labrum which helps with the connection of the two bones. It is similar to the meniscus of the knee but less likely to be damaged.




  • Iliofemoral ligament – at the front of the hip

  • Pubofemoral ligament – at the front of the hip

  • Ischiofemoral ligament – at the back of the hip

These ligaments are strong, dense and restrict the movement of the hip to some extent. It is therefore difficult to dislocate the hip.





The hip is multi-axial and has a large range of motion:

  • Flexion –forward movement

  • Extension – backward movement

  • Abduction –  sideways movement, away from the body

  • Adduction - sideways movement, into the body

  • Medial rotation – internal rotation

  • Lateral rotation – external rotation

Movement limitations due to Bone shape and angles:

People have different shaped bones and when two bones hit this causes compression and you cannot go further into the pose. Compression is not painful so it is difficult to know if this is the real restriction.


Movement limitations due to Muscles of the hip Joint:

Tight muscles will restrict certain movements.

The following muscle groups are located around the hip joint and more detail on these muscle groups can be found in separate articles:

  1. The Quadriceps

  2. The Hamstrings

  3. The Adductors

  4. The Gluteals

  5. The Deep Six Lateral Rotators

  6. The Psoas





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