Hip pain: Lots of people have it, but it’s hard to determine where the problem is coming from. That’s because the pain from areas around the hip, and even inside the abdomen, can show up as pain in the hip. So can problems with the spine or knees. When pain from one area shows up in another, that’s called “referred pain,” and a lot of hip pain is referred.
What’s Causing My Hip Pain?
Whether it’s coming from the hip itself or somewhere else, hip pain can be caused by:
- Inflammation of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons around the hip area.
- Arthritis and the loss of cushioning in the hip joint, which leads to bone rubbing on bone.
- A pinched nerve, Vertebral Subluxation, or a narrowed/ruptured disk in your spine.
- Hernia (a weakness in the abdominal wall that lets the intestine bulge out) or gynecological problems like endometriosis, where the pain is “referred” to the hip.
- Infection, disease, or cancer in the bone.
- Fracture or other bone injuries.
- Deformity you were born with.
Figuring out the root cause starts with the location of the pain.
Where’s the Pain?
Pay attention to exactly where the pain seems to be.
- Pain outside of the hip, in the upper thigh or butt, is more likely a sign of problems outside of the joint, in the muscles and soft tissues.
- If the pain is inside your hip or groin, chances are the problem is in the hip joint.
What Should I Do About It?
If the pain is not sudden or severe, try these steps:
- Rest and keep weight off your hip for a while. Avoid direct pressure on the hip, such as bending, sitting, or lying on that side.
- Apply cold packs to the hip (15-30 minutes several times a day) to reduce swelling and pain.
- Gentle exercise with low impact exercises like walking or swimming, stretching, and resistance training can help with chronic hip pain stemming from arthritis.
- When you exercise, try a warm bath or shower to help the muscles stretch.
- Lose those extra pounds — losing even 5 to 10 pounds can significantly reduce hip stress and pain.
Should I See a Doctor?
If none of the self-care treatments gives you relief, see a health care professional.
You should see a doctor right away if you fell or your hip gave way suddenly, and it hurts to move or stand on your leg — it might be a hip fracture, and that should be ruled out first.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
Chiropractic doctors deal with the alignment of the spine, sacrum, and hips. Alignment issues, commonly known as Vertebral Subluxations, can cause the lower back, tailbone, and hips to biomechanically malfunction. This can lead to arthritis and pain in the hip joint. A thorough evaluation for Subluxation in this region can determine the cause of the hip pain. In fact, if the spine has shifted and is distributing your weight unevenly, the side with the increased weight can also affect how the hip functions and feels. Because referred pain is common, many chiropractic doctors will assess the entire spine, sacrum, and hips, as well as the area of pain.
Contact us to learn more about relieving your hip pain through chiropractic care.