Your hips serve innumerable functions for our body. They keep us upright, allow us to bear weight, walk smoothly, run, jump, kick, and play. Since the hips are engaged in nearly every way we move, pain in this area can have debilitating consequences for patients. Although hip pain is frequently the result of osteoarthritis or injury, it can also be a sign of other health conditions. A doctor of chiropractic can help you identify the source of your hip pain and develop a tailored treatment plan for your symptoms.
Among older adults, osteoarthritis and hip labral tears, are the most common causes of hip pain. It involves a cycle of progressive cartilage loss and joint degeneration. Although this degenerative disease has no real “cure”, there are ways to slow its progression and prevent symptoms from worsening. Other inflammatory diseases, aside from hip arthritis, can also cause hip pain like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, or inflammation of the spine (ankylosing spondylitis).
The Hip or Not the Hip?
Often what patients describe as “hip pain” may actually derive from a different part of the body. Some patients that experience pain in the lower back and hips may actually be suffering from dysfunction of the sacroiliac joints, or the joints that connect the sacrum to the iliac bones. Pain in the groin and hip can also be a result of a hernia, when the abdominal wall is torn or weakened. One of the more common types of referred pain is sciatica, or inflammation or irritation of the sciatic nerve. This can result from conditions like disc herniation, spinal degeneration, narrowing of the spine due to osteoarthritis, or Piriformis syndrome. Irritation of the nerve root can cause pain the in low back, buttocks, hips, as well as radiating leg pain.
Attitude Adjustments for the Hips
Some patients with hip arthritis (HOA) have also benefited from chiropractic care. In one study, 83% of the patients improved within nine visits to a chiropractor. Treatment included axial manipulation of the hip, stretching, and full kinetic chain treatment (manipulative therapy to the spine, knee, ankle, or foot when appropriate).1
After performing a careful physical examination and evaluating your familial and personal history, a doctor of chiropractic medicine can work to determine the source of your hip pain. The team at San Diego Orthopedic Surgey, will create a personalized treatment plan that could include chiropractic adjustments, exercise therapy, posture advice, stretching, massage, coordination with other health practitioners, and more. Treatments will aim to reduce inflammation, relax any existing muscle spasms, strengthen weakened muscles, and improve the mobility of the joint. Depending on the cause of your hip pain, chiropractic adjustments could help.
- Brantingham JW, Globe GA, Cassa TK, et al. A single-group pretest posttest design using full kinetic chain manipulative therapy with rehabilitation in the treatment of 18 patients with hip osteoarthritis. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy 2012; 33(6): 445-57.