Hip misalignment is a common problem that can affect people at any stage of their life, and it can cause pain in the hip and throughout the body, as well as making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Sometimes it is caused by anatomical reasons, such as having one leg physically shorter than the other, but at other times it has causes that can be corrected and helped through chiropractic care.
How should the hip be aligned?
The hip is the largest joint in the body and consists of two bone-and-socket joints in which the leg can move. The hip is directly in line with the spine and movements of the hip curve the spine in different directions. The hip can move forwards and backward as well as side-to-side. Either side of the hip can raise independently of the other.
When the hip is in the correct "neutral" position, it is parallel to the shoulders and the ground, it isn't tilting forwards or backward, and it is horizontally level. This position makes sure that the spine is straight vertically and curved to a natural degree forwards.
Types of hip misalignment
1) Hip tilted forward
This accentuates the curve of the spine so that it is more curved than it would normally be. It is usually caused by carrying too much weight in the belly (including because of pregnancy). A forward tilt can tighten up the muscles in the lower back and cause pain and discomfort.
2) Hip tilted backward
In this case, the muscles in the lower back are stretched past the point that they would naturally be and the curve in the spine is reduced.
3) Pelvic obliquity
Also known as hip hiking or hip cocking, this is when one side of the hip is held higher than the other. Doing this results in a functional leg difference, and can cause pain in the upper and lower back, the hips, and the joints of the leg.
In many of these cases, hip misalignment is caused by habit. If we stand in a particular way over and over again, this becomes the habitual way that we hold our bodies and it can be hard to get out of the habit on our own.
How chiropractic care can help with hip misalignment
The chiropractic clinician will first conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of the hip misalignment. And, if it is caused by something anatomical, then a treatment plan can be put in place to help manage the condition (often liaising with other medical professionals). If the cause of the hip misalignment is functional, then the clinician can help to correct it.
Types of treatments offered
* Manual adjustments to the spine and joints
* Soft tissue massage
* Lifestyle advice - e.g., posture advice and advice about daily tasks
* Weight loss advice
* Exercise program
Hip misalignment can cause pain and discomfort throughout the body and is often caused by a habit of holding our hips in an unnatural way. Chiropractic care can help to relieve the pain and discomfort and can also help to address the habits and lifestyle choices that could be underlying the hip misalignment.