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It’s all in the hips…

By Liana McMorrow


I am sure you have heard of pelvic floor exercises, kegels, the knack .. but what about the other important muscles. In this case, we are specifically referring to the Obturator Internus muscle, a deep muscle of the hip and the pelvis.


The Obturator Internus (OI) attaches at the pubic ramus surface of the pelvis, and goes to the greater trochanter of the femur. The OI plays a role in hip external rotation, extension, abduction and hip stabilization. The great thing about this muscle is that it also shares fascial connections with the pelvic floor muscles … meaning that the OI can influence the pelvic floor and vice versa! As the muscles correlate with each other, the both can play a role in pelvic pain, incontinence and bowel dysfunction.

 

Physiotherapists can assess hip muscles, particularly the OI, within the clinic as the OI can be both assessed with an external  or internal exam. Research suggests that strengthening hip external rotators and deep stabilizers, can improve pelvic floor muscle strength too.  Treatment of symptoms should never be just isolated to one muscle group, so next time your physiotherapists assesses your hip range, or gets you to do a hip strengthening exercise to help with your pelvic floor - hopefully you have a bit more understanding of why. 



Tuttle, Lori J.; DeLozier, Elizabeth R.; Harter, Kimberly A.; Johnson, Stephanie A.; Plotts, Christine N.; Swartz, Jessica L. (2016). The Role of the Obturator Internus Muscle in Pelvic Floor Function. Journal of Womenʼs Health Physical Therapy, 40(1), 15–19. doi:10.1097/jwh.0000000000000043

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