What is hip pain?
The hip is one of the most complicated joints in the body due to its range of motion and its frequent usage. The hip has many strong muscles that cross it, that must remain strong to maintain its stability. Due to its range of motion, an in-depth exam must be conducted to determine the source of the pain, but the exam results are often vague, since pain is difficult to isolate. While one particular structure may be causing the pain, it will cause strain on all the other muscles in the region and cause them to ache as well. It is often difficult to assess what is causing pain in a hip joint without some kind of advanced imaging (Radiograph / X-ray or MRI).
How does the hip become damaged with so much muscle protecting it?
Due to the type of joint of the hip, and its inherent mobility, the muscles surrounding the hip must stay flexible, yet strong. In the general activities of an adult in the USA, many of the movements of the hip are routinely ignored. Adults typically don’t forcefully move sideways, nor do they properly squat frequently. Any healthy growing baby who is learning to stand and walk can demonstrate, squatting should be instinctual, but as we get larger and older, the ability to do so gets harder (squatting wrong for example). This causes the muscles of the hip, pelvis and legs to become might tighter and resistant to moving. As these muscles tighten, they also increase in likelihood to strain and become injured. As the muscles strain, the joints they protect start to become worn and this may result in arthrosis of the joint, over time. As the joint slowly arthrosis, the joint will deform, which will cause the ligaments and tendons of the joint to become damaged and become sore.
What kinds of treatments are available for hip pain?
This is the point when many patients either start to seek care, or continue to ignore their pain. Ignoring the pain will cause the injury to continually get worse while seeking care is the most prudent solution. Cases with severe or long standing damage are typically administered by orthopedic specialists, as the joint can become so restricted and inflamed due to arthritis that chiropractic therapy may not improve the case. If the pain is mild to moderate, chiropractic care is an excellent choice for resolving the pain. It is very typical that there are substantial muscular imbalances that need to be addressed, as well as joint restrictions far beyond the hip joint. The hip is such a linchpin to proper movement of the body that many other joints rely on it for their own proper function. Treatment of the hip without addressing the proper movement of the knee, pelvis and spine is likely to reoccur. Chiropractic adjustments to the lower spine and pelvis with muscular rehabilitation of the abdominals, gluteals, hip and knee are necessary to resolve hip pain.