When working with a client with a hip replacement the most common functional deficit that we see is a weakness in the gluteus medius, which functionally leads to balance issues. The problem we see in my facility is that once you get this client off the mat table, it is difficult to translate the strength from a supine/side lying/prone position to one of standing. We often see the remnants of a trendelenburg gate for quite some time. What I have started to do to eliminate this issue is to use the Core Stix as a balance tool that starts out with a lot of assistance and gradually decreases the assistance.

Start with the client standing close to the Stix, feet together at foot position 1.  With the X-Heavy rods in B4, have the client grab the Stix and stand on one foot (We will use the left for example). Cueing is vitally important, making sure they are pushing down through the board with the one foot and pulling the hip in.  Have them maintain good posture and use the Stix to assist them. Once they get comfortable in this position, have them reach outward and touchdown with the lifted foot (Right) to 12, 3, 4, and 6 o’clock. As they reach out they will be bending their left leg slightly and then have to recover into perfect posture again.

Once they are able to accomplish this easily, begin to decrease the amount of assistance they are using by stepping down the Stix (Blue-Yellow-White-and ultimately Purple) By the time they get to the Purple Stix they are only getting a few pounds of assistance but they still feel as though they are getting help from them.  Ultimately you can take the stix away and they will be able to do the clock touchdown without any assistance and recover from each rep perfectly.