Non-Surgical Treatment for Hip Pain

Our hips serve many functions by holding us upright, allowing us to bear weight, and helping us jump, run, walk, and kick. Because the hips are used in almost every way in which we move, hip pain can be debilitating. Hip pain can be chronic and severe, making it difficult to walk and twist and reducing your quality of life. Pain in the hip may come from the hip joint or it may be experienced in the hip as referred pain from an issue somewhere else in the body. While hip pain is often caused by an injury or osteoarthritis, it can also be a sign of other health problems. A chiropractor can help identify the source of your pain and develop a personalized treatment plan for non-surgical relief.

What Causes Hip Pain?

Hip pain can come from many sources. Pinpointing the cause of the pain is vital to successfully treating the root of the pain rather than the symptom. The following are the most common causes of pain of the hip.

Wear and tear on the cartilage surrounding the hip joint can lead to painful inflammation and arthritis. Everyday activities place stress on the hip and this may lead to inflammation of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Hip pain due to overuse usually develops gradually.

A dislocation or fracture of the hip joint can certainly cause pain. Direct trauma can usually be detected on an X-ray. While anyone can suffer a hip fracture or dislocation, fractures are most common among seniors who may have poor balance and aging bones. Sometimes there is no fracture, but an injury causes the muscles and ligaments of the hip to be bruises, strained, or sprained.

Osteoarthritis or Inflammatory Disease
Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of hip pain among older adults. Osteoarthritis causes a cycle of progressive cartilage loss as well as joint degeneration. This painful and degenerative condition has no cure, but the progression of the disease can be slowed to prevent symptoms from getting worse. Patients with hip osteoarthritis (HOA) may benefit from chiropractic care. One study found that 83% of patients improved within 9 visits to a chiropractor. Treatment for HOA may include axial manipulation of the hip, full kinetic chain treatment (or manipulative therapy), and stretching.

Other inflammatory disease may also be responsible for pain in the hip, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the spine, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Hip pain may come from the hip joint itself or the ligaments surrounding the joint. The joint has space inside for the femoral head to move in the socket. If an illness or injury triggers inflammation of the joint, this space will become filled with blood or fluid and cause sharp pain, especially when you move. Bursitis, or inflammation of the sac outside the hip joint, is also a common source of hip pain. Bursitis is usually related to overuse or a minor injury.

Referred Pain
Pain in the hip may not be caused by any problem with the hip; instead, this pain may be referred from another area of the body. For example, pain in the hips and lower back may be a problem with the sacroiliac joints that connect the iliac bones to the sacrum. Sciatica is one of the most common forms of referred pain. This irritation of the sciatic nerve can cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs.

Pelvic Misalignment
Pelvic misalignment can have very broad symptoms that may take months or years to show up, but the first symptom is usually a difference in leg length. A discrepancy in leg length may be mistaken as a biomechanical issue when it may be a temporary problem caused by poor pelvic alignment. Unfortunately, doctors may be quick to turn to orthotics, but corrective exercises may be the most appropriate course of action to address the problem.

Pelvic misalignment is a serious problem as it can cause many potential injuries. The raised side of the hip will experience greater impact and torsional forces which will increase the risk of hip injuries and soreness. This discrepancy can also lead to hamstring strains, IT band syndrome, and runner’s knee, a painful condition in which the knee joint sustains injury from excessive force.

Pelvic misalignment, once correctly identified, can be treated effectively through non-surgical sports massage from a chiropractor. Myofascial release techniques and therapeutic massage can loosen up the hip abductors, quadratus lumborum, and iliopoas muscles that are usually responsible for pelvic misalignment. Preventative and corrective exercises can also help the hips get back into the correct alignment.

Chiropractic Treatment for Hip Pain

A chiropractor will conduct a thorough physical exam and medical history to determine the source of your hip pain and create a customized treatment plan that may include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Exercise therapy
  • Sports massage
  • Stretching
  • Posture advice

Multiple studies have found that chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy are effective in relieving many of the common causes of hip pain, including sciatica, arthritis, pelvic misalignment, and inflammation.

Schedule an Appointment
Your hip pain may have many potential causes. Identifying the root of the problem and developing a customized treatment plan is a safe and non-surgical means of relieving your pain and correcting the problem. Your chiropractor will examine you to determine the exact cause of your pain, paying extra attention to the alignment of the sacroiliac joints and lumbar spine, which are the major weight-bearing joints of the body. Your chiropractor may recommend a range of therapies like chiropractic adjusting, massage therapy, and myofascial release to align and strengthen the area around your hips, reduce inflammation, and ease your pain.

It’s important to treat hip pain as early as possible to help your body heal and recover. Contact Chiropractic Fit today to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor and get to the bottom of your hip pain.