The hip joint is one of the largest joints in our body and much of the body’s weight rests on both joints. Your hips give you strength, stability, flexibility and mobility. Almost everything we do creates some tension in the hip joint and it is therefore important that we understand its function and how we can help it if a problem develops.

Där lårbenet möter bäckenet finns höftleden med höftkula och ledskålThe hip is a ball and socket joint where the thigh bone connects with the pelvis. Cartilage separates the two bones and acts as a cushion to prevent the bones from rubbing together.  The joint is surrounded by a joint capsule with ligaments which support it. The muscles and tendons around the hip are important for stability as well as the strength and movement of the joint. A hip that is free of pain and has good movement plays a huge part in having a healthy and active body.

Hip pain can be confused with back or pelvic pain because of where the spine connects with the pelvis.  Back and hip pain can also be related to flat feet and over-rolling inwards of the feet when walking.

What is the cause of hip problems?
Hip problems are unfortunately not an unusual problem and can happen to anyone. It is important to remember that there are many different reasons for hip problems. Not all hip problems are caused by arthritis in the joint. A chiropractor will carry out a physical examination of the hip joint as well as the associated muscles and other joints such as the pelvis, spine and knee to formulate a diagnosis before starting any treatment. Sometimes it is hard to determine whether the pain is coming from the hip joint or another structure such as the pelvis and in these cases an x-ray can be helpful.
Arthritis in the Hip Joint
Arthritis (see also Arthritis Information) in the hip is one of the most common joint problems we experience. It affects both woman and men and it is associated with older age. It starts in the cartilage which slowly wears out getting thinner and rougher causing pain and inflammation. As the cartilages function is to act as a cushion, as the arthritic process worsens the cartilage can wear out completely so there is bone against bone. When this occurs there is little chance of being pain free and it often starts to influence your daily life. In this case a hip replacement is often the only alternative.

"Prevention is always the best answer"

Symptoms of arthritis in the hip can vary. Your first sign may be discomfort and stiffness in your groin, buttock or thigh when you wake up in the morning. Commonly there is a gradual increase of pain over the side of the hip into the groin, with pain down the front of the thigh and into the knee joint. Sometimes pain in the knee is the only presenting symptom and this can make hip problems harder to diagnose. Normally with hip arthritis the pain is worse with weight bearing activity such as walking and worse in cold weather.

Other reasons for Hip Problems
Not all hip problems actually come from the hip joint. This is why it is important to have an examination to rule out other causes. Problems from the joints or muscles in the spine and pelvis can cause pain and stiffness around the hip joint. Even foot problems such as over-pronation or flat feet can causes changes all the way up to the hip by causing tightness in the muscles, wrong positioning of the bones and restriction in the hip joint.


What can a Chiropractor do?
Prevention is always the best answer. Starting treatment early is important in minimising the problem and getting you back to normal activity without having to suffer with unnecessary pain. Not all hip problems are caused by arthritis but if you already have some arthritis in your hip(s) then chiropractic can help make it easier and slow down the eventual arthritic process in the joint. Chiropractic helps prevent problems arising in the associated joints of the spine and pelvis and keeps the function of even the problematic hip in better function. A chiropractor cannot take away or stop the arthritis but we can minimise the stiffness and pain. Chiropractic treatment is aimed at restoring normal function to your joints and muscles which in turn increases movement and reduces pain.

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