There are several potential causes of pelvic alignment issues:
- Strength imbalances (or asymmetries): This can cause a runner to favor one side over the other, which ultimately pulls the hip out of alignment.
- Injury history: This can be a source of the asymmetries driving form hitches that cause misalignment to develop.
- Cambered roads: This causes one of our legs to have to reach down a little farther than our other, since roads have a slight camber to help water drain off.
- There are also non-running contributors to hip misalignment:
- Poor posture: This is a “low intensity, high frequency” contributor that can build over time. It can happen as we sit cocked slightly to one side, when we tend to lean against a counter or table while standing, and while driving-the very nature of having to use one foot can be a factor in misalignment.
- Habits of imbalance: Many of us have a tendency to carry our purses or laptop bags on the same sides, or to use our phones with the same ears (and hold it in place with our shoulders because we are, after all, busy).
Prevention of hip alignment issues or recurrences involves avoiding some of the behaviors mentioned above, through such steps as:
- Strength training: Single-leg exercises such as pistol squats are particularly helpful for working through muscular imbalances
- Regular massage: Prevent muscular tightness from affecting your form by regularly working out adhesions
- Run on flat surfaces: This can be tricky, but you should run in the middle of the road when possible. When it’s not possible, try to alternate sides of the road when possible.
- Watch your posture: Maintaining good posture is one of the things we can do during our work day (or everyday lives) that helps with our running.
- Be conscious of your pattern: If you instinctively carry heavy loads on the same side all the time (purses or other bags), get in the habit of alternating sides.
- Regular Chiropractic Check-Ups: Chiropractors help identify and correct hip and spinal misalignments. Your body and running will then work more efficiently with less or no discomfort.