Hip Pain Treatment: A Springfield, IL Chiropractor’s Perspective

Introduction to Hip Pain

The hip joint is one of the largest and strongest joints in the human body. Identified by its classic “ball and socket” joint type, it is the joint where the head of the femur (ball) meets the acetabulum of the pelvis (socket). Because the head of the femur sits within the cup-like acetabulum, the hip joint is extremely stable. The hip joint is also surrounded by a ring of cartilage known as the labrum, which further reinforces the joint and keeps the femur head safely within the acetabulum. Several different powerful muscles move the hip, such as the hip flexors and gluteal muscles, which account for much of the range of motion of this joint.

You will rarely hear about a hip joint completely dislocating – it would take an extraordinary trauma like a car accident to cause that. This is a stark contrast to the shoulder joint, which is much less stable and more commonly can be dislocated. However, the hip joint can still come out of its normal alignment, and this can affect the overall function of the joint. If the hip joint becomes misaligned, it can have a drastic effect on how our body bears weight and cause imbalances that can lead to issues in the hips, knees, and ankles. The hip joints bear a tremendous amount of weight, so it is vital that the weight is evenly distributed through both joints.

Pain in the hip joint is incredibly common, especially due to how much movement and weight-bearing the joint provides. If the pain is due to a misalignment or compression of the hip joint, then chiropractic is one of the best and safest ways to address this to provide fast relief. It is essential to identify the root cause of the hip pain in order to properly treat it. The Chiropractors at the Springfield Wellness Center treat hip pain every day, and they are ready to help you understand what is causing your pain, and what the best course of action is to fix it.

How We Treat Hip Pain in Springfield, IL

New Patient Consultation and Exam

At the Springfield Wellness Center, your first visit will always begin with a new patient consultation. Before any treatment or exams will be done, your doctor wants to sit down with you and discuss the problem in detail. They will ask you several questions about your pain, when it started, what it feels like, and how long you’ve been dealing with it. They will also ask you about the impact the pain has had on your life. Has it kept you from going to work? Has it disrupted your sleep? Are you not able to get on the ground and play with your grandkids? Our doctors want to know what is important to you, so they can get to know you better and understand what your goals are.

After the consultation, the doctor will take you through the new patient examination. They will perform several orthopedic, neurologic, and movement tests that will provide valuable information about the root cause of your hip pain. Is it a muscle problem? A joint problem? Some combination of both? The examination is all about taking many different puzzle pieces and seeing how they fit together. This is where the root cause of the problem lies. Once that is identified, it is the doctor’s job to explain these exam findings to you and provide you with their best recommendations for how to address the problem and meet your goals.

Specific Chiropractic Care in Springfield, IL

When it comes to hip pain, there are usually several different elements involved. It’s very important to look at the whole patient rather than just the area of the problem. This is why chiropractors are so effective at treating hip pain. Not only do they address the hip joint itself through chiropractic adjustments, but they also adjust the pelvis and lower back as well, which operate very closely with the hip joints to provide optimal function in this region.

Chiropractic adjustments are gentle and extremely effective. They correct the misalignment, which can improve mobility and decrease pain. Many times, a care plan is required for your body to fully adopt the changes that are being made through your care. Your doctor will outline your care plan in detail and make sure you understand why it is important to follow it as intended.

Massage Therapy and Soft Tissue Work

Many different muscles surround, support, and move the hip joints. These include the gluteal muscles, piriformis, and hip flexor muscles, in addition to many smaller and accessory muscles. Due to poor posture, poor movement mechanics, and/or poor lifestyle, it is common to see imbalances in these muscles which can further lead to issues in the hips, pelvis, and lower back. It is common for trigger points to develop, which can be deep and painful to touch.

At the Springfield Wellness Center, we have a range of services to address these painful muscle adhesions and improve function and quality of life. One of the primary ways we do this is through massage therapy. Our Licensed Massage Therapists are experts at identifying and removing these tender trigger points, providing deep relief and improved mobility in a quick fashion. If massage therapy isn’t for you, our chiropractors also utilize myofascial release techniques such as Active Release Technique (ART) or Graston Technique. These also allow for the release of muscle adhesions and help restore normal muscle mobility and function, which further assists in addressing hip pain problems.

Deep Tissue Laser

When pain is present in the hip joint, it is very common for inflammation to be playing a role. Whether it is arthritis, bursitis, or tendonitis, inflammation can cause joint dysfunction and increase pain tremendously. At the Springfield Wellness Center, one of the best ways we combat inflammation is by using Deep Tissue Laser at our office. This advanced technology uses light energy to penetrate deep into the tissue or joint down to the cellular level. The light energy stimulates the cells to produce energy, which is put towards accelerated tissue healing and inflammation reduction. This treatment, when combined with other treatments like chiropractic and massage, can help decrease the healing time and get you back to feeling your best even quicker than expected.

Therapeutic Exercise

When it comes to hip pain, in most cases there is some degree of muscle imbalance occurring in the muscles that surround the hips and pelvis. For example, if you have a desk job, there is almost certainly muscle weakness existing in the gluteal muscles because they are turned off when you sit – they are not needed for any type of work. Over time, they get weak and it causes dysfunction and imbalance throughout the pelvis and lower back. Conversely, sitting usually causes abnormally tight hip flexors because sitting requires the hip to always be in a flexed position.

Exercise is one of the most common therapies we utilize at the Springfield Wellness Center. Our patients work side by side with our trainer to strengthen what is weak and stretch what is tight in order to obtain optimal muscle balance. This helps to improve posture, decrease pain, and improve mobility and function. In this manner, the hip becomes more functional and less of a burden to the individual.

Get A $49 Complete Chiropractic Hip Pain Screening

Schedule Appointment

Common Causes of Hip Pain in Springfield, IL

Bursitis

The hip joint is surrounded by fluid-filled sacs called bursae (sing. bursa). Bursae act as “cushions” for the hip joints, offering support for the weight-bearing role these joints play. Over time, however, commonly due to increased pressure and repetitive stress, the bursae can become inflamed in a condition known as Bursitis. Bursitis can cause hip pain and limited mobility due to tenderness. Treatment for bursitis consists usually of mobility exercises, ice, and laser therapy. Deep tissue laser is especially effective as it reduces inflammation in the bursae and promotes faster healing. To prevent bursitis from occurring in the future, it is important to take protective measures. Regular exercise is one great way to avoid it, but you must remember to stretch adequately and use proper lifting techniques if working with weights. Improper lifting mechanics could unnecessarily load the hip joints to the point where the bursae are irritated and become inflamed.

Arthritis

Arthritis of the hip is one of the most common causes of chronic hip pain. Arthritis means that the joint space between the 2 bones has diminished in size, which leads to a decrease in range of motion and can cause an increase in pain. Two of the most common types of arthritis that affect the hip joint are degenerative arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Degenerative arthritis refers to everyday “wear and tear” that occurs and accumulates over time. It gradually leads to narrowing of the joint space and increased stiffness and soreness, usually on one side or the other. Risk factors for degenerative arthritis include age, weight, and repetitive stress or motions to the joints over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that attacks joints in the body such as the hip joint. It causes inflammation and deep discomfort in the joint. Risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include things like family history, age, weight, and environmental exposures. Arthritis of any kind can be helped through things like chiropractic and exercise because it emphasizes mobility of the joint. Arthritis can’t be reversed, but it can be effectively managed and its progression can be slowed down or halted in some cases. Movement is king, so the more you move your hip joints, the longer you will be able to move your hip joints in the future.

Tendinitis

Many muscles are responsible for moving the hip joint. All of these muscles are attached close to the hip joint via tendons, which connect muscle bellies to their boney attachment site. Sometimes, either through acute injury or repetitive stress, these tendons can become thickened and swollen. This is known as tendinitis, and it can be a very painful condition. The stiffness that ensues can restrict range of motion and decrease overall function of the joint. It can be a nagging injury that lingers if it is not properly managed. Massage therapy, deep tissue laser, and exercise are great ways to help these tendons make a full recovery and get back to normal function.

Sciatica

One source of hip pain that doesn’t directly involve the hip joint is sciatica, which refers to pain that originates from the lower back and can travel through the hips down as far as the feet and toes. Sciatica is commonly caused by misalignment of a vertebra in the lower back, but can also be due to a disc herniation or degeneration. Sciatica is usually felt more in the posterior (back) aspect of the hip, closer to the buttock region, and it has the potential to be a debilitating source of pain. Chiropractic, decompression, and laser are three great and conservative treatment methods for fixing the problems that cause sciatica.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I go to a chiropractor in Springfield, IL for hip pain?

Yes, The Chiropractors at the Springfield Wellness Center have helped hundreds of people with hip pain and hip-related conditions. They get to the source of the problem and put together the right treatment recommendations to get you out of pain and back to living the life that you want to live.

How does a chiropractor in Springfield, IL help with hip pain?

At the Springfield Wellness Center, we have several treatments that we utilize together to get our patients the best results. We combine chiropractic care with soft tissue work such as massage, custom exercise planning, and deep tissue laser to help heal the source of the problem naturally. You should always try conservative treatment measures first before jumping to more invasive procedures such as hip injections or surgery.

How do I know my hip pain is serious?

Everyone’s experience with pain is unique. Generally speaking, hip pain is serious if it is interfering with your everyday life activities, responsibilities, and things you enjoy doing. While it is best to be proactive with your health and address small problems before they turn into bigger ones, this would be the time to take massive action to correct your hip pain problem before it becomes more chronic.

What does a worn hip joint feel like?

A worn hip joint will typically feel stiff and achy. It may click or pop more so than usual, and will typically feel stiffer in the mornings and perhaps loosen up over the course of the day. This is a common example of degenerative arthritis in the hip, and it is important to practice regular movement in order to preserve as much hip mobility and joint spacing as possible.

How do I loosen my hip flexors?

Hip flexors are muscles that attach to the lumbar spine and inside of the femur. The best way to stretch this muscle would be to have the hip go into extension, or move backward in other words. One of the best stretches for this is a lunge. On the side you wish to stretch, go down on that knee. Bring the opposite foot forward and lean your hips forward. This will provide a nice stretch to the hip flexor, and if practiced regularly, can help keep them from getting chronically tight.

Get A $49 Complete Chiropractic Hip Pain Screening

Schedule Appointment