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Can Chiropractic Help With Hip Pain?

March 6th, 2022 by
Category: Dr. Eden Donoghue Hip pain Pain Posture Pregnancy

woman holding hip in pain

Hip pain is a widely known type of pain that can be experienced across all age groups across the world and here in Australia. Hip pain may be felt in your lower back, into one or both of your buttocks, on the side of your hip and even into your groin. Hip pain may cause a mild, moderate or severe pain surrounding the hip, which may feel like a deep ache, stiffness, stabbing or sharp and shooting pain. In more severe cases of hip pain, people can feel the above symptoms going down into their legs and may also experience additional burning, numbness and needle-type pain.

Common causes of hip pain

Common causes of hip pain include:

Osteoarthritis

More often seen in the older population, Osteoarthritis involves the breakdown of the hip ball and socket joint – including the cartilage, bone and musculature surrounding the region.

Hip impingement

More often seen in younger people who are involved in high intensity sports, hip impingement involves a fusement of the hip bones causing abnormal structure and restricted movement. 

Pelvic floor issues/pregnancy

Hip pain may be seen throughout pregnancy as we get further along each trimester. Due to the increase in pressure and the growth of the baby, the hips need to re-adjust and move to adapt to the changing body which may cause pain and sensitivity.

Libral tears

The labrum is the ring of cartilage that surrounds the ball and socket and when torn (more often seen in athletes) it may create a sensation like the hip is locking or catching.

Tendinosis of the Hip Flexor Musculature

Repeated trauma or stress to the hip flexor muscles (actions that brings your knee to chest) located at the front in the groin may cause pain and discomfort. 

Bursitis

Bursitis pain is caused by inflammation of your bursa which is located on the side of your hip. It is mostly noticeable when you lay on the side of inflammation. Bursitis can be seen more commonly in the 60+ age group.

Why does hip pain happen and how may Chiropractic help?

Hip pain can happen for a number of reasons and seeking help from your local Chiropractor may help reduce inflammation and dysfunction, as well as addressing the problem at hand. 

Spinal/hip adjustments

Chiropractors use adjustments around the hip and lower back to help restore proper movement, which may help to reduce pain and improve function. The reason Chiropractors not only adjust the hip, but also the spine is because they influence each other due to them being joined at the joints. Chiropractors may also adjust the surrounding joints such as the knees and feet depending on the dysfunction the patient is presenting. 

Postural Assessment

Chiropractors complete an assessment of your posture because how you hold yourself up during the day and how you walk & sit can often determine why hip issues happen over time and start to cause pain. Should the Chiropractor identify a posture related issue (or issues), they will create a tailored plan to educate and instruct change.

Muscle release

Chiropractors may use muscle release techniques if necessary. The muscle release techniques used may go well with adjustments to the surrounding musculature and joints.

Multi-modal approach

After the Chiropractor completes a thorough history, physical examination (muscle, joint and neurological tests, as well as x-rays where clinically indicated) and postural assessment, they may deem it necessary to refer to another specialist to address specific issues while they address your joint and spinal dysfunction.

Home advice

Over the course of your care, your Chiropractor may recommend some activities you can do at home. These activities may help with pain management; such as applying ice to bursitis or specific stretches that help target tendinosis. Chiropractors may also help with strength building to create a stronger and more stable structure, such as pelvic floor exercises or simple hip flexor/extensor, gluteal, quadriceps or hamstring exercises.

Ways you may be able to help hip pain at home

Some general ways you may be able to help hip pain at home include:

  1. Applying ice to an inflamed hip joint that is sore and painful may reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Applying heat to a tight muscle that is stiff without pain may help with muscle relaxation and create more movement.
  3. Simple stretches such as hip, gluteal, quadricep or hamstring stretches may increase mobility and relax the surrounding muscles.
  4. Keeping a good upright posture and sitting on a hard chair (i.e. dining room chair) rather than a soft one you can sink into (i.e. soft couch), may help reduce the extra added stress through the hips and lower back. 
  5. Reaching out to an allied health practitioner (such as a Chiropractor) to start care for your pain and discomfort. 

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