Your Hip Pain Won’t Get Better Unless…

Hip Pain

Many people experience painful hip conditions. For some people it is an acute pain that develops suddenly from some type of physical exertion. For others the pain is chronic. It has developed over a long period of time, perhaps from repetitive activity. Regardless of the cause or amount of time the discomfort has been present there may be a secondary condition to be considered. This article will, comprehensively, discuss hip pain, it’s causes and its treatment.

The hip is one of the largest joints in the human body. It is made up of two bones; the thigh bone which is called the femur and a pelvic bone which is called the Ilium. The two bones make up a ball and socket-type joint. The top end of the femur is shaped like a ball. The outside portion of the Ilium is shaped like a socket. This ball and socket joint allows the hip to move in all directions. It is only one of three joints in the body, including the shoulder and the thumb, that moves in all ranges of motion.

The hip is also a weight-bearing joint which means it is subjected to stress any time we are up and about standing and walking.

As with other areas of the human body it is susceptible to stress and injury. When the hip is injured the pain is typically felt on the outside of the upper thigh area. It may also cause a deep pain in the inner thigh and groin area.

However, it may not be the only area of the body involved. There are two other areas that must be evaluated if hip pain and injury is present. Those two areas are the sacroiliac joints and the lower spine.

The sacroiliac joint is a joint on either side of the pelvis that is in the area where our hip pockets are located on a pair of blue jeans. They are considered pelvic joints and they glide back and forth when we walk. Sometimes the sacroiliac joints can become injured, misaligned, imbalanced or move improperly. If there is a disorder of the sacroiliac joints it can put added stress on the hip joint. It is imperative that when an examination of the hip joint is performed that the sacroiliac joint also be scrutinized.

The lower part of the spine consisting of the lowest vertebrae or bones of the spine and the large tailbone called the sacrum can also be related to hip pain. Like the sacroiliac joint the lower vertebrae of the spine and the sacrum may become misaligned, injured, imbalanced or move improperly. These areas of the body must also be evaluated when one is considering hip problems.

Fortunately doctors of chiropractic can effectively evaluate and treat lower back, sacroiliac joint and hip joint conditions. Chiropractors are educated as to the anatomy, structure and biomechanics of these areas. Chiropractic doctors are also experts at determining and diagnosing physical abnormalities that can occur in these body locations. There may be an imbalance, or possibly improper movement of the bones and joints Sometimes there are injuries to the surrounding soft tissues including bursas, tendons, ligaments muscles and fascia. All these areas must be checked during a proper examination to determine what is wrong and what the proper course of treatment may be.

Chiropractors are also trained to perform what is considered their specialty, called manipulation or adjustments. This is a procedure that the chiropractor utilizes to correct joint and skeletal structural problems. It is a very safe, conservative and effective method of treatment. It does not involve the use of medication or surgery.

Often a person will initially go to a healthcare practitioner or specialist for their hip pain and they are given oral medications or an injection of medication into the hip. If these measures help and the pain is permanently gone there is no need for further care. However, if the pain persists or reoccurs it is important that the patient visit a doctor of chiropractic to have a comprehensive evaluation of the other areas that may be involved and to obtain the proper care of the hip condition.

The hip pain may not get better unless… other areas are checked and treated!

To learn more about hip pain visit this site. Dr James Schofield treats many people with hip pain at his North Hills Pittsburgh office.


The Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care

UPMC Health Plan Includes Chiropractic Coverage


Many who are contemplating visiting a chiropractor are unsure of what it will cost. There is good news concerning the cost of chiropractic care. Charges in a chiropractic office are generally very affordable. This article will review the topic.

Your first visit and follow-up visits

On your first visit to a chiropractor, the doctor will want to talk with you about the specific condition you are concerned with and your health generally. He will check you physically by feeling (called palpation) over the sore area for muscle spasm and tenderness, observing if you have normal movements of the affected area, and perform other physical tests. He may require x-rays of the site of your complaint. While a visit to a hospital emergency room might entail many x-rays, a chiropractor may need to take only a couple to adequately assess the condition. The first visit to a chiropractor will be much less than going to the emergency room and will be more like a typical visit to a family practice doctor.

Once the chiropractor has determined what is causing the health problem, he will generally perform “manipulations” or “adjustments”. Physical therapy such as electrical muscle stimulation, and stretching and strengthening exercises may also be given to assist in faster healing and long-term improvement and stability. These follow-up visits are typically less expensive than the first visit and are usually found to be very affordable.

Insurance coverage of chiropractic treatment

Most mainstream, responsible health insurance policies have approved coverage of chiropractic treatment for many years. The plans vary in degree of coverage per insurance company. When you go to the chiropractor for your initial visit, be certain to take your insurance card with you and your chiropractor and his staff can check with your insurance plan to verify exactly what your coverage is.
Also those who are injured in an automobile accident have coverage for chiropractic care in their policies in most states, including Pennsylvania.

Research studies show chiropractic to be cost-effective, and high in patient satisfaction

A research study in Oregon showed chiropractic treatment helped people who are unable to work due to low back injury to get back to work in a third of the time of medical treatment (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics).

A study in Utah showed medical treatment cost 10 times the amount of chiropractic care for lower back pain (Journal of Occupational Medicine).

Another study in 2005 showed that chiropractic care for low back and neck pain resulted in a reduction in the rates of surgery, advanced imaging, in-patient care and x-rays (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics).

Another study showed patients utilizing a chiropractor as a healthcare provider required 50% fewer drugs and pharmaceuticals and had a 50% fewer days spent in the hospital (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics).

Finally, chiropractic patients found more satisfaction with their treatment than patients who received medical care or physical therapy (American Journal of Public Health).

An ounce of prevention…

If you are experiencing neck pain, lower back pain, headaches, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, hip pain or shoulder pain early intervention is the best way to recover quickly, and will always be more cost effective than waiting. Most problems worsen over time and necessitate more treatment. Remember, procrastination is the thief of good health.

UPMC Health Plan  provides chiropractic insurance coverage for patients in the Pittsburgh area. To learn more about James Schofield DC visit his website.

Nurses Can Be Helped with Chiropractic Care

Nurses Can Be Helped with Chiropractic Care

The nursing profession can be very demanding. There are significant physical and emotional stresses that nurses can experience. This article will discuss the physical problems that can arise with the occupation of nursing and how care from a chiropractor can be of help.

Nurses who work in a hospital setting can experience physical exertions that can cause harmful effects to their health. A nurse is required to be on his or her feet for long hours. It is not unusual for a nurse to work 10 to 12 hour shifts several days in a row. The occupation also may require lifting, sliding, pushing and pulling heavy patients while they are in bed, in a wheelchair or on an operating table.

This can lead to stresses and strains to the lower back, neck and upper back, shoulders and hips. Injury can occur suddenly from one trauma or can accumulate over time from micro-traumas. Many nurses try to ignore their pain and work through it. Psychologically, nurses have a desire to help others while ignoring their own health.

Whatever the cause of the injury and complaint a physical solution and care from a chiropractor can generally be of help to a physical problem. Chiropractors focus on helping patients who have lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder and hip pain and headaches.

Usually these conditions are caused by misalignments and improper motion of the bones of the spine. A chiropractor will initially meet with the nurse to discuss information about the problem. A doctor of chiropractic can gain valuable details about the specific type of work performed. This can help determine exactly what caused the condition in the first place.

Next a chiropractor will perform a physical examination. He will gently feel or palpate the injured area to assess muscle spasm, swelling and spinal alignment. If there is a loss of range of motion of the spine or extremity joint that will be noted. Neurologically, the exam will show if there is a loss of strength or feeling in an area. Orthopedic tests can reveal if there is a spinal disc problem such as a protrusion or bulge.

Many times, imaging such as x-rays or MRIs are already available or can be performed to give further insight as to the exact nature of the condition.

Once the chiropractor has determined where the problem is and what is causing it he can develop a plan to help treat the problem. Chiropractors are experts at treating injuries to the spine and to the extremities.

Many nurses who have developed physical ailments due to their line of work have been helped by chiropractors. In addition, many nurses see chiropractors on an ongoing basis for maintenance care to avoid experiencing an injury and to enjoy a long healthy career.

UPMC Health Plan has coverage for chiropractic care in Pittsburgh. Dr James Schofield has helped many nurses with neck and back pain.


Should I Use Ice Or Heat?

Ice Reduces Inflamation

Many times people wonder whether to use ice or heat for a condition like neck pain or lower back pain. This can be a controversial topic. Often patients will be told by their family and friends to use the opposite of what I recommend to my patients.

In general, when pain is present there is inflammation so we should use ice or cold to reduce swelling and pain.

If heat is inappropriately utilized during this inflammatory phase of healing, an increase in blood supply to the already swollen, injured area often results in an increase of pain.

As long as pain is present, ice is usually safer and more effective.

When we use ice or cold in our office we use gel-filled packs. We put them in the freezer and they get quite cold. However, they are too cold to put directly on the skin, so we use at least one layer of cloth cover between the ice pack and the skin. Flannel is a great material to use between the ice pack and skin, but any comparable cloth cover will do. Never put the ice pack directly on the skin.

Where your pain is located will determine how long the ice or cold pack should be applied.

For instance, we would put it on the neck for neck pain for 10 minutes, on the mid back for mid back pain for 15 minutes, and on the lower back for lower back pain for 20 minutes.

It’s also important to apply the ice or cold pack with enough frequency. Three applications of ice per day will typically bring desired results.

Keeping a couple ice packs ready and available in your freezer will make it easy and convenient to use should an unfortunate mishap arise.

I tell my patients: “Ice is nice” and “Make friends with your ice pack”.

To view a short video about how to properly use a cold pack watch this. To learn more about Dr James Schofield visit this site.

Our Patients Speak–Joe Brandt


Joe Brandt & Dr James Schofield

I had constant shooting neck pain, including stiffness in my neck muscles. Dr. Schofield began a schedule of adjustments in conjunction with a home stretching program. I have followed up with periodic adjustments to ensure previous symptoms do not return. The biggest compliment I can give to Dr. Schofield is that I can live my life without having to be aware of neck pain or stiffness. Additionally, my improved posture and back strength have given me a more healthy and professional appearance. The many benefits of chiropractic far outweigh the minimal time and effort needed for treatments.

To find how chiropractic can help you with neck pain visit this site. See more success stories of patients who have benefited from chiropractic care.