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When Should I See a Chiropractor About Hip Pain?

By Paul Rothbart

Hip Pain

Life comes with its share of pain. There’s no avoiding that. Headaches, toothaches, and stomach aches are common occurrences. Joint pain is also experienced frequently. One of the areas of the body where pain is both common and debilitating is the hip joint.

The hips are involved in nearly every position, sitting, standing, and can even ache while lying down. The hips are the connection between the legs and the pelvis. They work hard while walking or running, bear some of the weight of carrying heavy loads, and absorb some of the shock of your feet hitting the pavement with each step.

In addition to the discomfort felt in the various types of hip pain, you may have trouble while performing your daily activities. Chronic pain of any kind should not be ignored and this certainly applies to the hips.

What’s the Risk of Having Hip Pain That Goes Unattended?

If your hips hurt, you may be tempted to just tough it out. This is a mistake and at some point, you should see a medical professional to treat hip pain. Pain relief may be your immediate goal but there are other reasons not to let hip pain go unattended.

Hip pain could be the result of an underlying problem that could worsen over time. This could reduce the range of motion in your hip joints, perhaps permanently in a worst-case scenario. Your mobility may be affected for life, making it difficult or impossible to climb stairs, jump, run, or even just walk. As many of the common causes of hip pain are related to other parts of the body, avoiding diagnosis and treatment can escalate problems in other areas that can be even more debilitating.

What’s the Cause of Hip Pain?

There are several problems that can be the source of hip pain. Most of these can be treated to relieve pain and, in some cases, the treatment plan may be able to fix the source of the problem to eliminate the pain altogether. Some of the common causes of hip pain include:

  • Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis - Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes joint pain when the cartilage that surrounds and cushions the joints breaks down. Arthritis frequently occurs in the hips. Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing down of cartilage through years of use and is more common in older adults. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which cartilage tissue is attacked by the immune system. There is no cure for either type, but pain and inflammation may be reduced with treatment.
  • Inflammation - There are other common types of inflammation such as fluid build-up in the hips or swelling caused by an injury. This can sometimes be related to a spinal injury.
  • Sciatica - The sciatic nerves run from the pelvis down through the legs all the way to the feet. A bulging disc or other spinal problem can inflame the nerve, causing sciatica. This ailment can cause pain anywhere along its length, including the hips.
  • Trauma to the hips - Breaks, dislocations, or other types of injuries and trauma to the hips will also cause pain. Treatment and healing of these injuries is the key to pain relief.

There is more than one cause of hip pain, and treatments may vary depending on what you are experiencing. Seeing physical therapists or a doctor of chiropractic are two possible methods.

When Should I See a Doctor for Hip Pain?

Like any other kind of pain, achy hips can respond well to ice, heat, over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory meds, and rest. Unless your pain was caused by an injury, you could try these home remedies. If they relieve the pain, you should be fine going forward. However, when self-treatment fails to reduce pain and inflammation and restore mobility, it’s time to see a doctor. If your pain is due to a fracture or serious injury, you will need to see a doctor who will recommend surgery or other treatment options. Rheumatoid arthritis also requires a doctor’s care. If you’ve ever visited a chiropractor, you know that they can treat many kinds of joint pain.

What Do Chiropractors Do to Correct Hip Pain?

There are several causes of hip pain that may respond well to chiropractic adjustments. When a subluxation or compression in the spine lies at the root of the problem, chiropractic care is very well suited to treatment. Chiropractors treat spinal problems with adjustments that get the vertebrae back in line. This can relieve back pain as well as associated pain in other areas, such as the hips. These adjustments may also take pressure off the spinal column, which can also create hip pain. Joints such as the hips can also be subluxated and these problems can also be adjusted by a chiropractor, relieving pain and fixing the problem to help prevent recurrences.

Is It Dangerous to Adjust the Hips

Chiropractors receive extensive training and must be licensed in the state in which they practice. They are skilled in making manual adjustments to the back, neck, hips, and other joints. Rarely does chiropractic treatment result in injury and it is accepted as a safe practice in the medical community. Some patients may occasionally experience a little soreness for about 24 hours after treatment but it is usually not severe. Most say it feels like the soreness felt after a hard workout.

Aching hips are one of the most common types of joint pain there is. Home treatment may be tried at first but if the pain remains, it’s time for professional healthcare. Provided your hip pain was not caused by trauma or disease, consider seeing a chiropractor first. Your treatment may be very effective in fixing the underlying problem and removing the potential for pain compared to masking the pain artificially through medication.

It is largely assumed that chiropractors only deal with patients who are experiencing back pain, but chiropractic care envelopes the whole body. You should never feel afraid to approach your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic and ask a health question; they often help relieve pain in limbs that don’t seem to have any connection to the spine. But the hips do have a connection, so it’s natural to ask away if your hips are bothering you. If you need to be referred, the chiropractor will do that. But pain relief might be just an adjustment away.

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