There are many reasons for hip pain. However, the most common causes are misalignment and mobility issues due to poor posture and prolonged sitting along with osteoarthritis (OA). Hip OA alone affects almost 30 million Americans, mostly in the senior age group. Hip fracture is also a common cause of hip pain, particularly, among women. Hip problems can become severe and chronic if left uncorrected. It can even lead to surgery. Corrective chiropractic care can help address the root cause of your hip pain without reliance on drugs or surgery.
What Causes Hip Pain?
Hip pain refers to any pain concentrated in the hip area caused by conditions such as misalignments, arthritis, bursitis, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, muscle pain, sacroiliac joint inflammation, and referred pain from organs. Hip pain can also be caused by non-orthopedic conditions such as peripheral vascular disease.
Hip pain can cause referred pain to adjacent areas such as to the groin, thigh, buttocks, knee and foot. Based on the descriptive study conducted by the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the University of Washington, a symptomatic hip joint can typically refer pain to the buttocks. Referred pain to the groin, thigh and foot occur to a lesser a degree with no incidence of referred pain to the lower lumbar area.
How Does Chiropractic Care Treat Hip Pain?
Sufferers of hip pain often resort to chiropractic care for relief. A chiropractor can perform procedures that can help alleviate pain or eliminate it altogether.
Chiropractic care for hip pain starts with a thorough physical examination and obtainment of family and personal histories. This would help the chiropractor determine the source of the hip pain. In cases where muscle pain or an orthopedic condition causes the pain, chiropractic care intervention takes place.
Timeline for Care of Hip Pain
On an average, chiropractic treatment often continues between 4 and 12 weeks for musculoskeletal conditions. The patient is expected to feel 80% to 100% pain relief.
A typical chiropractic program has a frequency of three times per week for two to four weeks, after which, a re-evaluation is performed. If improvement is noted, the frequency is gradually decreased until only as needed visits are required.
The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) put up a comprehensive ICA Best Practices and Guidelines draft.
Examples of People Who’ve Gotten Better From Hip Pain Using Chiropractic Care
A case study conducted by Richard G. Strunk and Mark Hanses presented a 70-year old female with a chief complaint of left hip pain continuing for a year. The patient has a history of two falls within the past five years. The evaluation also showed decreased range of motion (ROM), degeneration of the left hip joint, One Leg Standing of 4 seconds, body mass index of 45 and a Timed Up and Go Test of 17 seconds.
The patient underwent chiropractic care for hip pain including; spinal manipulation, passive stretching and mobilization techniques. The chiropractic treatment extended to a total of 12 weeks with 16 sessions. After the treatment period, the patient’s range of motion, particularly, left hip internal rotation increased. Her Timed Up and Go test and One Leg Standing test increased significantly. According to the Patient Global Impression of Change scale, the patient was “very much better”.
In another case study, a 32-year-old male US Army veteran presented with low back pain and piriformis syndrome. His chief complaint is low back pain radiating towards the right buttock, posterior thigh and posterior calf due to injuries sustained in Airborne School.
MRI results showed decreased inter-spinal space, disk displacement, arthropathy, hyperlordotic curvature and a positive piriformis syndrome. Since the piriformis is located within the pelvic area, there is referred pain to the hip to a degree.
The patient underwent chiropractic care composed of spinal manipulation, soft tissue rehab to the associated areas and home exercises. Therapeutic exercises like acupressure stimulation, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretches, craniosacral therapy, sacro-occipital technique and pelvic blocking. Physical modalities such as electric muscle stimulation were also administered.
Patient experienced relief within one to three treatments of conservative hip pain chiropractic care. However, the underlying cause of his piriformis syndrome was not determined.
Chiropractic care is, without a doubt, effective in relieving hip pain. This, however, depends on the underlying cause. If it is muskuloskeletal in nature, then chiropractic manipulations and exercises coupled with the application of physical modalities, cryotherapy or heat can be effective in improving a patient’s condition. In cases where the pain is non-orthopedic in nature, only a referral to the right specialist can properly address a patient’s condition.