Your hips and legs support your entire body. They provide stability, strength, mobility, and flexibility. Misalignment or subluxation of the spine can cause both hip and leg pain by irritating the nerves and creating muscle spasms. As these areas of the body receive nearly continuous usage, they can suffer a great deal of stress. In fact, hip pain may be mistaken for backpain, due to the connections between the pelvis and the spine. A chiropractor is likely to be able to treat your hip pain if it is the result of a misalignment in your spine.
The thighbone (or femur) connects with the hipbone (pelvis) in a ball and socket joint. There is a cushion of cartilage between the bones that helps prevent wear. However, eventually the cartilage itself wears down, which can lead to swelling and pain. Arthritis is the typical result. Pain can also occur due to sprains or fractures, which usually only happen to older people who have osteoporosis. Sprains and fractures result in limited mobility, stiffness and swelling.
Another common cause of hip pain is sitting for long periods of time, as well as poor posture. Sitting and posture problems can lead to a slipped intervertebral disc or leakage of the contents of the disc through small cracks, resulting in pressure on the tissues. This usually leads to pain in the hips and legs. Sciatica can occur when the disc presses against the spinal nerve, and can lead to weakness and numbness in the legs. In severe cases, surgery is required to remove the leaked disc material and relieve the pressure.
Chiropractors can treat some kinds of hip pain without surgery or medications. They cannot reverse age-related arthritis, but they can help slow the progress of the disease and delay possible surgeries. The first thing your chiropractor will do is determine the reasons for your hip pain, because some conditions, such as fractures or metastatic disease, will need to be referred to another kind of health care professional. Most other kinds of hip pain can be treated through manipulations and spinal adjustments. In addition to adjustments, your chiropractor will recommend appropriate exercises to help rehabilitate the hip joint and stabilize the misaligned components. He or she will also work with you on posture, work habits (such as sitting posture and ergonomic office furniture), and perhaps even diet to resolve the root causes of your hip pain.
Dr. Matt Ramirez is a Chiropractor in Salt Lake City.