Anterior hip or groin pain is a common complaint for which people are referred for physical therapy. We have observed that people with anterior hip pain often walk in greater hip extension than people without anterior hip pain, and that the pain is reduced when they walk in less hip extension. Therefore, we investigated anterior hip joint forces which may contribute to anterior hip pain and examined the effect of end range hip extension on the anterior hip joint force during gait. To do this, we used a 6 degree of freedom, three-dimensional musculoskeletal model to estimate hip joint forces during gait. Within subjects, the maximum anterior hip joint force for gait trials with the most hip extension was compared to the anterior hip joint force for gait trials with the least hip extension. The musculoskeletal model indicated that increasing the maximum end range hip extension when walking results in an increase in the anterior hip joint force when compared to walking in less hip extension. Walking in greater hip extension may result in an increase in the anterior hip joint force, and thereby contribute to anterior hip pain. The findings of this study provide some evidence supporting the use of gait modification to reduce anterior hip force when treating people with anterior hip pain.
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