Hip misalignment is a common problem but the pain and discomfort it causes can go far beyond the hips and affect other parts of the body, including the upper and lower back, legs, and ankles. The hips are responsible for facilitating a wide range of movements and they also carry much of the load of our body weight, so when they become unbalanced this puts strain on the parts of the body that need to be drawn in to compensate. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive and conservative treatment option for misaligned hips that can restore proper balance, improve mobility, and reduce pain both in the hips and in the rest of the affected body parts.
What are misaligned hips?
When hips are properly aligned, they are parallel to the shoulders, not tilted forwards or backward, and one is not higher than the other horizontally. Any change from this can be classed as a hip misalignment.
What causes misaligned hips?
The causes of misaligned hips can broadly be placed into two categories: structural problems and functional problems. Structural problems can sometimes be dealt with by a chiropractor but may require the input of other medical professionals and treatments. Functional problems, on the other hand, can usually be dealt with by a chiropractor.
Structural problems that can cause misaligned hips
There are two main structural issues that can cause misaligned hips: scoliosis and a difference in leg size (one leg shorter than the other). Chiropractic care can help patients to manage these issues, and especially reduce pain and improve function, but liaising with a medical team to help treat them is often needed.
Functional problems that can cause misaligned hips
Our hips move all day, every day. And if we get into bad habits with the way we hold ourselves or the way we move, then this has the potential to push our hips into misalignment, which can lead to pain and loss of function. These can include:
* Poor posture, including when sitting for long periods
* Overuse when taking part in exercise or sports
* Wearing unsupportive shoes
* Carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder
* Not stretching after exercise
* Sitting with legs crossed for long periods
* Uneven weight distribution when standing, including leaning and hip popping
Symptoms of misaligned hips
Symptoms can be broad and can include:
* hip pain
* lower and upper back pain
* knee, foot, and ankle pain
* tense muscles in the legs and/or buttocks
* hamstring strain
* IT band problems
* runner's knee
* Achilles tendinitis
How can chiropractic care help with misaligned hips?
A chiropractor will first be able to investigate and discover the root cause of hip misalignment. This can include running tests such as X-rays, taking a medical and lifestyle history, and observations of posture and gait.
The treatments offered will vary depending on the cause of the hip misalignment, but the most common treatments will include:
* chiropractic adjustments to move the hips back into alignment
* massage therapy to relax muscles
* physical therapy to improve mobility
* lifestyle advice, including posture, exercise, and nutrition
* pain management advice
Hip misalignment can be painful and can limit people's lives. Chiropractic care can help to realign the hips, reducing pain both in the hips and elsewhere in the body, and restoring mobility and function. This can help to avoid the need for invasive surgical interventions.