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View Full Version : Increasing hip injuries from excess leg strength?


Emily Mattes
06-01-2009, 09:07 PM
NY Times article here. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/sports/01hips.html?em)

It notes an (admittedly anecdotal) rise in hip injuries among athletes of all ages, and offers a few theories on the cause:

- Excess leg strength
- Kids participating in serious sports/conditioning work younger and younger ages, before their bones have properly developed
- Steroid usage (though this seemed to be the least likely culprit)

Anyone have any thoughts about this? My gut reaction is the "excess leg strength" argument is pretty specious, but I don't know enough about S&C to say one way or the other.

Steven Low
06-01-2009, 09:24 PM
More like...... if you have stronger hips you're probably moving faster or lifting heavier weights or hitting harder (football, etc) which means there's OBVIOUSLY a bigger potential for bigger injuries.

Steve Liberati
06-02-2009, 05:08 AM
Gambetta commented on this article on his blog and makes a valid point, "I believe the following quote from the article explains the increase of hip injuries in athletes today. Chris Powers nails it: “It’s not like workouts have changed all of a sudden; it doesn’t explain it,” said Christopher Powers, an associate professor of biokinesiology at the University of Southern California. “People and doctors are just more aware of it diagnostically. We’ve always had hip problems; now we are just finding it better.” I might add finding it better because we ate looking for it.

Darryl Shaw
06-02-2009, 05:54 AM
I don't know anything about baseball but I do know that in cricket bowlers have incredibly high rates of osteoarthritis in their knees and hips due to the high impact force and torque that occurs when they plant their foot at the end of the run up and release the ball. Athletes are getting bigger and stronger so they're putting more stress on their joints leading to more damage.

It could also be that these days kids with a talent for a sport are doing too much sports specific training instead of the more natural movements ie. running, jumping, climbing etc that kids did in the past which may have had some protective effect through increased kinesthetic awareness and of course the earlier they start to specialize in their sport the earlier any damage is going to show up.

Garrett Smith
06-02-2009, 06:53 AM
I'd guess higher levels of imbalanced strength across the joint, combined with poor flexibility and even worse mobility (something the hip joint needs in spades). That and magnesium, vit. D, and other nutrient deficiencies.

Too much sports specialization is a huge culprit, what Darryl said, not enough natural movements when people are younger OR older. Most young athletes these days have trouble getting their hams to their butts in a squat with their heels on the floor. This spells disaster later.

I don't think it is just better diagnostics...have you seen how poorly people move in general these days? It is frightening, and only getting worse.

Craig Brown
06-02-2009, 08:38 AM
Garrett-

Absolutely! My gal & I have a Sunday ritual where we make tea and walk down to the bike/walk/jogging path and play various people watching games. The strangest thing if you do this for awhile is how STRANGE it is when someone comes jogging/walking/running by looking well & happy & fluid- folks shoulders are foreward, elbows locked to their sides, no arm movement to speak of...very sad. Plus they all look like they are suffering. Doc told them to exercise, when what they needed to do was play & relearn how to use their bodies...

Chris Forbis
06-02-2009, 01:43 PM
What does crappy S&C focus on to "prevent" ACL injuries? If it is machine-based quad extensions and hamstring curls, maybe they have a point.

Otherwise, I'm in agreement with Gambetta.

Matthias Becker
06-02-2009, 10:43 PM
Cressey talks about this article in his newsletter (http://ericcressey.com/newsletter157.html).

Allen Yeh
06-03-2009, 04:53 PM
Great article by Eric as usual.

Dave Lemanczyk
09-12-2009, 04:42 AM
The more powerful a body becomes, the greater the potential for incredible physical output and also injury. Sometimes the statistics, studies, and other variables relating the information collection process get in the way of common sense.

Garrett Smith
09-12-2009, 08:15 PM
Oh yeah, don't forget to figure in the abysmal posture of kids these days (and adults too). Working out for hours in a week is nothing compared to crappy alignment the rest of the hours of their lives.

Posture is huge, I'm learning. Very, very few take it seriously enough. It's not something that training muscles with exercises fixes, it's a long term, constantly-correcting type of thing.