What Are the Hip Abductors?
The hip abductors refer to the group of muscles on the side of your hips that are important in providing stability when walking, climbing stairs, or running. They are located at the side of your pelvis down to different sections of the side of your leg. They are comprised of large and small muscles, with the main muscles being the Gluteus Medius and Minimus, as well as the Tensor Fascia Lata. An example of the movement they help produce is bringing your leg away from midline – like when doing a snow angel!
When these muscles weaken, basic mobility as well as higher function performance like in sport can be significantly impacted. The gluteus medius in particular is an often researched muscle and, when weak or dysfunctional, has been linked to ACL injuries, IT band syndrome, ankle sprains, and knee pain. Interestingly, a study comparing gluteus medius function in those with and without back pain also found decreased strength in those suffering from low back pain. Lastly, falls, hip osteoarthritis (OA) and replacement surgeries are more prevalent in seniors where this muscle group is shown to be weaker. The importance of restoring the strength in weak hip abductors, or even building additional strength to help performance and prevent injury should always be considered.
Can Physiotherapy Help My Hip Abductor Weakness?
A physiotherapist can help assess the strength of you hip abductors for your specific situation. For example, if you are a senior who needs to climb stairs safely, or a high performance athlete who wants to reduce the risk of injury, it may be helpful to understand your current functional strength. Additionally, our physiotherapists can build an effective strength program for you to assist in achieving your goals. Contact us today to learn more.