The hip socket knows when you get new glasses, when you had a tooth removed, and when you don't sense gravity well.

The pelvic bones have a huge influence on how we walk, and how AND sense our body in space. Many of you have heard of proprioception but do you know when you are losing it? Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location through mechanosensory neurons located within muscles, tendons, AND JOINTS. Most of my time in class is trying to get people to sense whether they are moving or not within their body, then improve that quality, not just create various ways of compensating or cheating. “There are a million different ways to get movement, but most of those ways are not good choice” one of my instructors used to say. You need to move around your hip socket and the rest of the body orientates itself around that placement, or how you use pelvis.

The hip socket, where the leg bone nestles into, is a ball and socket joint (more respectfully we should say it is a socket and ball joint, but that doesn’t roll of the tongue as nicely). The acetabulum is generally never talked about unless yours is destroyed. I want you to know how important this piece is!! Whether you are working on better balance, or co-ordinating movement – your body is receiving signals from the acetabulum, the place where the leg bone meets the hip socket. Those signals never stop! If you are a living and breathing human being, you can improve how you use the hip socket and absorb all the rich benefits that come from that.

The hip bones are amazing, living creatures. You have 2 of them: the right and the left. They are alive and give you more out of your life. Seriously. The pelvis likes to move you side to side when you walk, it helps you breathe better, it can put you in places that give you power OR even take power away when needed. The body must decelerate or stop at times and that is done through the pelvis position to move you faster or slow you down. Many of us are unable to absorb this fact. If you have ever taken a class with me, HOW you use your legs in the hip sockets is a paramount focus in ALL exercises, even the arm movements because the rest of your body NEEDS those signals from the acetabulum. The hip socket needs to compress and decompress during certain phases of the gait cycle.

The hip socket, or acetabulum, senses your two sides and send those signals to your brain. So if are unable to center your leg in the socket well, imagine the signals being sent up to the brain! You have two hemispheres of the brain and you have 2 separate hip sockets. You know already the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. How much is stimulated when you stand on the right leg all the time or can’t control how you move your leg in the socket especially when you exercise? Can you now start to understand why I stress this in class so much? The hip socket is a beautiful, completely functional creature that influences how we walk and breathe by how the hip capsule moves over the leg bone, the femur.

All the muscles around the hip socket should be able to shorten and lengthen on both sides. They should be able to change when you shift your weight or act differently between walking and running. Sometimes you want the pelvis to stay still but sometimes you want more movement depending on what you are doing. The most powerful actions in your body start through the pelvis and hip socket. If you want to create change in your system, even if it is rehab for your arm, new glasses, mouth surgery; it all has an influence from this special area.

Hip Socket and Ligament Highway
The ligaments feel weight of your body and gravitational forces.

Notice these pictures to see the wondrous attachment of the femur into the acetabulum nest. That entire casing and the hole inside that nest is a powerful source of signals so you should care about it. And just in case you find this fascinating: the back of the hip socket has way more cartilage compared to the front so it can absorb pressure. The back of the socket also has a bit more restriction so the leg will find the path of least resistance and slide forward in the socket. If your leg bone is constantly sitting in the front of the hip socket it puts prolonged pressure on the labrum potentially causing irritation and wear and tear arthritis.

The acetabulum and its signals is a gift we are given because it opens up our ability to sense who and where we are on this planet and can adjust to the demands put on us. Most of people who come to classes have poor awareness of this area or how to control it. Even more shocking is how we sense at a very deep level of our being that something is ‘off’. It helps us connect to ourselves better; not just our physical selves. The more people resist this area and ‘push’ through exercises just to feel like they are doing something good for themselves, the more ‘lost’ they feel later.

I encourage you to keep doing all the active things you are doing and celebrate that. But don’t forget where it all starts and where we move through. Don’t rush the process of reconnecting, reestablishing and re-strengthening. This knowledge has been around for centuries but was buried under the ‘calories burned’ and Fit Bit goals. This knowledge is in you and talks to you, and talks back to you.  

Check out the video on gaining sense with feet and hip socket: