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Functional Hip and Groin Movement [Inc. Case Study]

Title: Functional Hip and Groin Movement
Hip or groin pain for patients is often caused by local structures within or around the hip or groin. Sudden onset hip & groin pain often occurs in athletes involved in fast-moving change-of-direction, kicking sports such as AFL, rugby, and soccer.

In the general population, these injuries often occur with awkward landing, lifting, or twisting forces. They are common amongst football code athletes and can result in significant time lost from sporting participation. The hip and groin area is an often overlooked site of inhibition for other areas of the body causing pain and dysfunction, such as the shoulder.

This case study of a top-level bodybuilder may change the course of your training and lead to enhanced performance outcomes.

Case study

A top-level bodybuilder presented with right shoulder pain that was becoming progressively worse. The pain was most prominent with bench pressing and overhead movements.

Once we had cleared the nerves – neurodynamic testing (NDT), we performed a full head-to-toe clinical assessment of the client – The Effortless Superhuman (ES) Method.

The most prominent findings were:

  • Lack of hip mobility into flexion
  • Significantly shortened hamstring length
  • Thoracic rotation and extension 50% of normal range
  • Shoulder internal and external range, 25% of normal range

Through extensive dry needling techniques, we were able to resolve his shoulder pain. We explained that although the pain had resolved, he still had significant dysfunctions including lack of range of movement in the hip and shoulder joints.

In our opinion, there was no point providing mobility/flexibility or stability exercises until these dysfunctions were cleared up. We strongly advised that he correct these movement dysfunctions with treatment before returning to training.

Unfortunately, he jumped ahead to heavy lifting and returned to Effortless Superhuman less than three months later with right shoulder pain. An MRI scan showed complete rupture of his rotator cuff tendon (supraspinatus) that required surgery.



If we follow this case example through and compare it to the Performance Pyramid, we can clearly see that our bodybuilder continually returned to “Strength,” “Power,” and “Performance” training despite failing to satisfy the Pain & Dysfunction, Mobility & Flexibility, and Stability levels.

In the end, jumping ahead too quickly and moving up the ladder indiscriminately resulted in a significant shoulder injury that required surgery. Had this bodybuilder restored full function to all the major joints in his body (Pain & Dysfunction, Mobility/Flexibility) before returning to strength-based training, he most likely would have avoided this significant injury.

A thorough examination by a Pain and Dysfunction practitioner can provide proper diagnosis of dysfunction, after which treatment and corrective exercise, as outlined by the performance pyramid, can help to return the athlete to full participation in a safe and timely manner.

At the Effortless Superhuman, our practitioners continually remind themselves of the importance of satisfying each level of the pyramid before moving on to higher levels. The team has solved many challenging cases simply by starting at the base level (Health) and working our way upward. For example:

  • Core and hip instabilities resolve when gastrointestinal inflammation is resolved
  • Tight hamstrings’ (Flexibility & Mobility) resolve in minutes when the contributing factors are released (Pain & Dysfunction). This may include restoring hip mobility, repositioning joints in the thoracic spine, releasing tight jaw muscles, or releasing tight pectoral muscles.
  • Strength gains are made when clients improve their flexibility and mobility

If left untreated, hip and groin pain usually gets worse. Players often have to modify their training protocols while on-field performances decline with loss of speed and agility. When the pain and injury progresses, treatment and rehabilitation times often increase significantly. And in some cases, surgery may be required.

When pain and reduced range occurs at a given joint, the first step is always relative rest and modified training protocols. Consulting with a skilled ‘Pain & Dysfunction’ practitioner will help to identify the underlying causative factors and allow for successful treatment and corrective exercise. This type of expert advice will provide the fastest road to recovery and the least amount of time away from sport and training.

To gain a further understanding of the Performance Pyramid, download our free Performance Pyramid e-book from our website.

If this case study resonates with you, then book an Initial consultation with a Effortless Superhuman ‘Pain & Dysfunction’ practitioner today. It will ensure your safe return to sport or activity and peak performance.

Book online or give us a call on (08) 9388 2768 today.

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