Who needs a doctor’s diagnosis when all your friends are artists? I trust their knowledge of human anatomy more than any MD. Plus it’s a lot easier to get an appointment 🙂
During my short poses at Spring Studio last night, a nagging pain in my right hip started to act up. It’s been bothering me for a couple of weeks now. I never feel it when I’m walking, bicycling, running, or standing. It only hurts during yoga and art modeling, two physical activities which bear many similarities of course. Since I do a lot of forward bending and pelvic twists when I model, it’s become a bit of a problem. Now I’m a pretty tough babe when it comes to pain. I can live with it. But when my art modeling performance is compromised, and my flexibility is hindered, I get upset. It prevents me from posing with the ease and flow I’ve worked so hard to perfect.
Luckily, my friend Dan was at Spring last night and I talked with him on my break about my sore hip. He reminded me that the hip joint has many ligaments which can be pulled just like any other ligament in the body. And what a fascinating little example of engineering the hip joint is. Our long femur bone has a rounded head at the top which articulates into a cup shape on the side of the pelvis. Layers of cartilage cover all surfaces of the joint, along with the all-important ligaments – the tissue that connects bone to other bone – without which the human body would literally be unable to move. When seniors or those afflicted with arthritis have to undergo hip replacement surgery, it is the joint that is being replaced. A prosthetic implant is used as a substitute for the degenerated hip.
What I’m experiencing is not an issue of weight or pressure. I can stand still just fine for prolonged periods. My pain occurs with rotation. And it totally sucks, since that kind of movement is essential for dramatic, expressive art modeling. Last night, when I tried to take an open-hipped pose with my thigh turned out, I actually let out an audible moan of discomfort 😥
I can almost pinpoint my pain in the exact area I discussed with Dan. If the strain was in the hip flexors the pain would be more an all-over sensation, felt down through the thigh and even down to the knee. But mine is felt in one specific spot, at the heart of the joint, whenever I try to rotate and then bend.
The bone structure of the human hip:
It’s ironic that the most therapeutic poses for a given anatomical area are difficult to do when that area is sore. I tried to do hip stretches/openers the other day and they really hurt! So it’s a conundrum. Or is it a catch-22?
The pigeon pose in yoga is one of the best hip moves, great for anybody. It provides hip flexibility along with a wonderful backbend. If you’re able to settle into the pigeon comfortably, you’ll find it quite relaxing and soft, even meditative.
This is not me in the photo, but a fantastic yoga practitioner doing an advanced version of the pigeon. Raising the back leg to the head isn’t necessary but certainly impressive! It’s perfectly fine to extend the back leg straight along the ground and do your backbend freely to whatever degree you find comfortable. Look at this phenomenal hip opener: