Got Snow Hip?
Often at this time of year, I see many patients who complain of hip and low back pain. These patients often present with painful tissue restriction in the hip flexors, iliopsoas, erector spinae, and calf musculature. Many of these patients are runners who have been recently running in the snow, without any traction device on their running shoes. When running in the snow without a traction device on the shoe (e.g., wire coils held on by rubber straps) upon foot strike, the foot often slips slightly forward, requiring the hip to eccentrically stabilize the extremity and torso. The foot also may slip sideways stressing the adductors or groin and upon push-off, the foot also has the possibility of slipping backward or to the side, further stressing the hip and back musculature.
Many runners believe running without a traction device will provide them with a better or more intense workout, but what I have found is that it decreases overall efficiency and often overloads the hip and back musculature, sometimes also stressing the calves. Therefore, if you are planning on running in the snow and want to prevent “Snow Hip”, consider giving yourself some additional traction on those rubber soles. If we do it for our cars in the snow season, why not our bodies?