While traumatic injury can cause some types of hip pain, most commonly, pain and aching in the hip area are caused by strain in the lower back and buttocks that cause the bones, ligaments, and tendons to become pulled out of their normal alignment, resulting in inflammation and nerve compressions. Some of the most common sources of pain include:
long periods of sitting or standing
arthritic joint damage
slipped discs in the lower back
strain from overuse or repetitive use of the hips or lower back
excess strain as a result of being overweight
Normally, the spongy discs “stay put” between the bones of the spine, cushioning them and providing flexibility throughout the back. But sometimes, a disc can slip out of its position resulting in pressure on surrounding nerves. These nerves travel to other parts of the body, and compression can cause symptoms in the hips as well as other areas depending on which nerve is affected. Sciatic nerve compression (also called sciatica) is a common cause of pain and aching in the hips, resulting when the sciatic nerve becomes “pinched” where it exits the lower back.
The key to effective relief of hip pain is to have a thorough physical evaluation of the hip, the lower back, and even the knees. Chiropractic care begins with a hands-on evaluation of these areas including passive and active range-of-motion exercises to help pinpoint the source of painful symptoms. Once the cause is identified, treatment may include a spine adjustment to realign the vertebrae and help coax discs back into position so inflammation and nerve compression are relieved. Chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic massage can also help restore circulation to the area so healing of irritated or inflamed tissues can be more effective. Eliminating nerve compressions also optimizes the nerve pathways connecting the joint tissues with the brain so joint function and health can be improved. Finally, routine adjustments can help prevent joint pain from recurring.