It’s a common alignment problem: ROTATION. Rotation issues can cause dysfunction such as hip pain, back pain, and knee pain. Where does it come from?
Who knows exactly. Maybe you crossed your legs the same way every day for years on end. Or your dominant hand/leg has taken over your non-dominant side, creating a natural rotation in the body. A shorter leg can cause these issues, as well as something simple like sleeping on the same side for years on end.
It’s important to figure out what is causing the rotation. However, even more important, is to learn exercises that will bring you back to balance.
When I’m working with a client who has rotation, I address it one of two ways, and a visual assessment helps me to determine which approach would be the best solution.
Some clients present their rotational imbalance in their thoracic spine (the midback area). A strong dominant hand, or consistent purse carrying or backpack carrying on one side, can exacerbate this problem. For exercises to address this problem, you can try this stretch:
Often times the rotation actually presents heavily in the hips. This is sometimes causes by leg length discrepancies, excessive leg crossing, or by sports such as golf or baseball.
For hip imbalances, I introduce a new exercise based on an old yoga posture. I call it Wall Triangle, and it can be a powerful exercise when done correctly.
1. Stand against a wall with the right heel against the wall. Externally rotate the left leg and place it 2 to 3 feet out to the side with the left foot parallel to the wall. (check it out: my foot is NOT parallel in this picture. My left foot needs to be turned out more. Shame on me!)
2. Make sure both glutes are against the wall. Bring the arms out to a T position, placing the head, both shoulders and hands against the wall.
3. Lean the upper body down to the left as far as you can, keeping the hands, shoulders and glutes up against the wall.
4. Use your abdominals to stabilize and hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute .
Now, I must CAUTION YOU! This exercise can be very challenging to hold and can create some powerful change in the body. If you are feeling any discomfort, back out of the exercise and try holding a shorter period of time, or don’t lower your upper body down too far. The most important piece of this exercise is the glute alignment on the wall, and the feet and leg positions.
You can watch a quick video description here:
Give it a try and please comment below on how it felt. I read every comment and respond to every email I receive!
What side should I stretch and lean on the yoga pose for left hip/shoulder/leg pain and right functional shortlegsyndrom?
HI Jeremy thanks for your comment! It entirely depends on your alignment. However in the case of this exercise above, I would focus on doing BOTH sides. The goal is to build symmetry. If needed, you could consider doing the harder/tighter side twice.