Hip muscles and postural control related to ankle function.

Hip exercises boost postural control in individuals with ankle instability

-“Four weeks of hip external rotator and abductor strengthening significantly improves postural control in patients with functional ankle instability (FAI) and may be useful for preventing recurrent instability, according to research from Indiana University in Bloom­ington.”

Nothing new here, at least not here on The Gait Guys blog. We have been talking about these kinds of issues for a long time. We  have long discussed the necessary control of the glutes (and their anchoring abdominals) to eccentrically control the loading response during the stance phase of gait, we especially like to discuss the control of the rate of internal rotation (read: eccentric ability of external rotators as a component) of the leg with the glutes. It is why we think it is so important to eccentrically test the glutes and the core stabilizers (all of them !) when the client is table assessed because it is a huge window for us as to what is happening when there is ground interface. Sure one is open chain and the other is closed, but function is necessary in both. 
What this article is again, like others, telling us is that the ability to stack the joints (knee over foot, hip over knee, level stable pelvis over hip) improves postural control, especially when there is a risky environment of ankle functional or anatomical instability. 
And yes, we are talking Cross over gait and frontal plane challenges and faulty patterns here.  Failure to stack the joints usually leads to cross over gait challenges (type in “cross over or cross over gait into our blog SEARCH box). Remember though, you must selectively strengthen the weak muscles and weak motor patterns, if you are not specific you can easily strengthen the neuro-protective tight muscles and their patterns because they have been the only available patterns to your client. If you are not careful, you will help them strategize and compensate deeper, which in itself can lead to injury.  This is a paramount rehab principle, merely activating what appears weak does not mean you are carrying them over to a functional pattern. Just because you can show a change on the table doesn’t mean it carries over to the ground and sport or training. 
Shawn and Ivo, the gait guys

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