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The hip joint, from the back, showing the articular cartilage of the hip femur, acetabulum, and sacroiliac joint (blue); the Y-shaped iliofemoral and pubofemoral ligaments, and their outer fascial capsule (transparent orange); and the acetabular labrum (violet). Image courtesy Primal Pictures, used by permission. When healthy, the hip joint's articular cartilage (Image 2) has extremely slick surfaces, said to be more slippery than ice sliding on ice. 6 This nearly complete lack of friction arises from large, water-binding molecules in the cartilage's surface. In addition to making the articular tissue exceptionally slippery, this synovial hydration causes the cartilage to swell slightly, much like a sponge would, giving it excellent shock-absorbing and compression-handling properties. The joint's crucial hydration is sealed in by the labrum, the fibrocartilage lip around the acetabular socket, and the joints' inner synovial membrane (Image 3), which attaches to and blends with the fibers of the labrum. This suction-cup arrangement creates a small amount of negative pressure within the joint, which both adds stability and helps maintain the synovial fluid in the joint space. Although named for the largest ligament of the hip joint, the Iliofemoral Ligament Technique (Image 4) affects much more than just this single structure. This technique's aim is to improve the comfort, mobility, and hydration of the hip joint by gently distracting (lifting) the femur away from the acetabulum. (Incidentally, this same technique can also be used to distract the innominate/hip bone away from the sacrum, and so is also helpful for working with hypermobile, inflamed, or uncomfortable sacroiliac joints.) C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 107 2 The Iliofemoral Ligament Technique. Use the client's knee against your leg as the fulcrum to gently distract (lift) the femur away from the acetabulum (and the innominate away from the sacrum). Vary the angle of your distraction to hydrate and gently mobilize these joints. Image courtesy Greater trochanter Spine of ischium Lesser trochanter The suction cup formed by the inner synovial membrane of the hip joint, which arises from the acetabular labrum and seals the joint's articular space. Artist: Henry Vandyke Carter, from Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body (1918). Public domain. 3 4

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