It’s a hip hip hurrah

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The hip joint, or pelvic girdle is made up of:

  • the sacrum (the 5 fused vertebra of the spine)
  • The coccyx (the bottom of the spine)
  • 2 hip (coxal) bones

Like the sacrum, the hip bones are also formed of 3 fused bones: the illium, ischium and pubis. These large flattened bones can be easily felt and we can tilt them in all directions at will.  They  attach to to each side of the spine at the sacroilliac joint.  Joints are named usually by the 2 bones that come together, in this case the sacrum and illium.

Anterior Hip Joint
Front view of the hip joint

The female pelvis is wider than that of the male.  This is because of the specific function of pregnancy and child birth.  The iliac crest (top of the illium) is wider, the pelvic bowl is larger and the distance between the ischial tuberosities (your sitting bones) is greater.

The hip is involved in so many functions of the body, providing stability and providing the link between the upper and lower body, quite literally joining them together. This means that it is connected to problems and pain in both these regions – back, shoulder, knee, foot and of course the hip itself.

Tilting the Pelvis

The hips normal position is neutral.  From the side the front bones of the pelvis should be in a straight line.  Technically this means that the anterosuperior-iliac spines are in the same transverse plane (the top of the illium is called the illiac spine).