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Hip Pain. Is it really a Hip problem or Referred Pain from Lower Back?

Diagnosing hip pain can be a tricky proposition if one does not understand how the physical structures of the region operate. Because of the way the bones, muscles and nerves are aligned in the area of the lower back and hip, the pain experienced by an individual may not be coming from the area he or she thinks it is. In other words, hip pain can be located directly in the hip joint or referred from another area.

When hip pain is referred, that simply means the issue causing the pain is occurring somewhere else. The pain is felt in the hip because the nerve expressing it terminates near the hip joint or because the hip muscles are tight/sore in a response to a lower back problem. This referred pain can actually start in a number of locations in the lower back and spine.

Irritated nerves and muscle spasms are common causes of referred hip pain. Patients experiencing these types of issues will describe the pain as sharp and/or burning, yet the hip joint itself will not be inflamed or restricted in its passive range of movement. Bending to one side or the other may relieve the pain by reducing the pressure being placed on the affected nerves.

When pain emanates directly from the hip joint, it is characterised by groin pain or even pain felt in or around the knee. This pain may be a dull ache or may at times be sharp in nature and in some cases, the skin may also be very sensitive. The two most common causes of this type of hip pain are osteoarthritis (wear and tear) of the actual hip joint and an acute groin strain.

Whether hip pain is referred or direct, it can be helped through treatment once a proper chiropractic diagnosis has been made. Chiropractic adjusting involves a specific thrust applied to the spine in the lumbar area, the pelvis or to the hip itself to help restore a more normal alignment or movement of the pelvis and hips, or we may choose to use effective non-force techniques, if that is required.

Other therapies we use include massage therapy, trigger point therapy or myofascial release and we may also want to get you started on some stretch and strengthening exercises for the area to help the body heal and maintain as much movement as possible.

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