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How Is Hip Pain Treated by a Chiropractor?

Learn how a chiropractor treats hip pain with a chiropractic adjustment from Dr. Karen Erickson in this Howcast video.


There are many causes of hip pain, and your chiropractor will do a careful evaluation and case history and examine your entire musculo-skeletal system to understand what's causing the hip pain. The hip is unique in that it's a weight-bearing joint that is transferring weight from the spine through the spinal cord, then into the pelvis, and then out into each hip socket into the legs. And so there can be an imbalance of the way the weight is transferred at several different joints that can create hip pain.

Your chiropractor will examine you to determine exactly where your hip pain is and what's causing it. It's important to evaluate the lumbar spine, the pelvic bones and joints, as well as the hip socket itself to understand what is affected and what needs to be corrected in order to resolve the symptoms. The chiropractor will pay particular attention to the alignment of the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joints, which are the major weight-bearing joints in the body. In fact, many people think they have hip pain, but it's actually sacroiliac strain that's in the back area by your sacrum causing pain that feels like hip pain.

But you can also have pain in the ball-and-socket joint itself in your hip, and that is a very common problem. And it can actually be caused by arthritis or other kinds of injuries that have degraded the cartilage in the joint space and allowed the bones to touch each other, which could be very painful. At the end stage of that kind of hip degeneration, patients often require a hip replacement. But I love to work with patients way before they get to that phase. In fact, the name of the game with hip replacement is to prolong or avoid hip replacement as long as possible, because you can only have so many hip replacements in your lifetime.

Chiropractic is a perfect technique for helping people get out of pain and also preventing the degeneration of the condition so that they can perhaps even avoid surgery together. Traditional chiropractic adjusting involves a very specific thrust applies to either the vertebral spine in the lumbar area or the pelvis or the hip itself to restore normal range of motion and reduce nerve interference. There are also very effective non-force techniques in this area that use the weight of the body to restore normal alignment of the pelvis and hips.

You chiropractor may also choose to use other therapies like trigger-point therapy, massage therapy, or myofascial release. There are many exercises your chiropractor may recommend to stretch or strengthen the area surrounding your hip to allow your body to heal more completely. It's important to treat hip pain as early as possible, because it really affects your lifestyle. It affects your ability to sit, sleep, and walk comfortably. And when you can't do those things, you're life becomes limited very quickly. So get yourself checked out. Get evaluated and treated. You'll be glad you did.

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