When people have hip pain, they generally look, specifically, to the hip area to gain relief. They may have an injection into the hip joint or receive physical therapy for the hip, which may or may not work. However, recent evidence shows there is a correlation between imbalances in the pelvis and poor trunk and core muscle stability and flexibility and injury and pain of the hips. This article will discuss common causes of hip pain and a safe, gentle approach for his pain relief.
Certainly, hip pain can be caused by intrinsic abnormalities like degeneration, bursitis, tendinitis, etc. But many times, there are other complicating factors. One significant factor that I have seen countless times in my 35 years of chiropractic practice, is an association between hip pain and mechanical problems of the pelvis. To understand this fully let’s discuss the anatomy and structure of the pelvis.
The pelvis is made of three bones. The tail bone in the middle is called the sacrum. The wing bones on either side of the sacrum are called the iliac bones. There are joints between the sacrum and the two iliac bones called the sacroiliac joints (sometimes called the SI joints). The sacroiliac joints are gliding joints. When we walk, for instance, the SI joints glide back-and-forth.
Sometimes the pelvis can become misaligned, rotated into a malposition, or develop improper movements of the sacroiliac joints. When any of these happen, it may cause one to carry more weight on one lower extremity than another. When this weight imbalance this occurs, it puts abnormal stress on one of the hip joints which can eventually result in hip pain. Mechanically, this may also cause wear and tear degenerative changes of the hip. It will also tend to place stress on structures like bursas and tendons which results in bursitis and tendinitis.
As a chiropractor, I am trained to evaluate and analyze mechanical problems of the pelvis and associated hip problems. I always look for misalignments of the pelvic bones and improperly moving sacroiliac joints. Additionally, it is prudent to look at the muscular function of the trunk muscles, the buttock/gluteal muscles and the muscles of the thighs and hamstrings.
In March 2018, Belgian researchers reviewed information from nine previously published studies, noting the importance of core stability and relationship to hip/lower extremity injuries. The investigators reported that core strength, core balance and coordination, are directly linked to the likelihood of lower extremity/hip injuries.
I direct my treatment towards realigning and restoring proper motion to the pelvis and the sacroiliac joints with gentle, safe chiropractic adjustments. I also utilize deep pressure trigger point therapy to muscles that are tight and in spasm. Finally, education and training for my patients, involving stretching exercises of the hamstrings, thighs and buttocks muscles, along with strengthening of the core muscles is introduced and encouraged.
Chiropractors are healthcare practitioners who are trained to mechanically evaluate the patient’s entire body from the feet to the head. We find that if this method of diagnostic analysis is utilized, instead of a limited, specific focus, it typically brings about favorable results. This is especially true for patients seeking hip pain relief through safe, gentle chiropractic adjustments and muscle strengthening and stretching.