The True Hip
3/13/08
Published in the Times Standard
 
 
            Patients often present in my office with pain over the back crest of their ilium (the large bones you can feel at you waist).  They’ll say “Doc, I think my hip is out.”  While I understand what they mean, the “true hip” is located on the side of the upper leg and is fitted into the lower ilia.  What the patient is referring to is the innominate  bone or ilium being tilted, rocked or rotated causing low back pain.  This pelvic distortion may also affect the true hip over the years.  The pelvic imbalance affects the gait mechanism with an uneven distribution of weight to the weight bearing joints of the body.  One side will absorb the impact of our standing, walking and running more than the other side.
            The hip is a ball and socket joint formed by a projection of the upper end of the thigh bone or femur, called the femoral head, neck and greater trochanter.  Overlying this trochanter are ligaments, muscles and fat, all connected to a notch in the pelvis called the acetabulum.  Many of the muscles of the pelvis attach to the greater trochanter and neck of the femur for range of motion of the upper leg.  Distortions of the pelvis can affect the placement of the hip in the socket, causing it to subluxate, or slightly be displaced. This subluxation will cause pain during activity or something called snapping hip syndrome.  Patients often hear or feel a snap or pop in or around their hip with certain movements.  This is often due to a tightened muscle with its tendon hitting over a boney prominence.  It can be painful if the tendon thickens and a bursa is involved.  However, most often there is no pain, and the snapping subsides on its own in a few weeks with adjustments to stabilize the pelvis and restore balance to the musculature.  If the problem is the subluxated hip, then that needs to be adjusted to its proper position also.  If not corrected, damage to the joint lining can occur leading to painful degenerative joint disease and probable hip replacement surgery.
            The nerve supply to the hip and related musculature arises from the lower spine plexus of nerves.  Therefore, it becomes crucial to the function of our hips to pay attention to the lumbar spine as well as the pelvis.  Misalignments occur to the lumbar vertebral as they attempt to shift and compensate for the uneven pelvis.  This shifting may impinge on vital nerve and blood supply to associated pelvic and hip musculature and joint linings.
            Simple tests can be performed in a few minutes to determine the cause of the “hip” or low back pain.  Then the appropriate adjustments can be made to restore muscular balance, improve joint range of motion and relieve the pain, preventing further degenerative changes.
            Call for a free consult if this scenario sounds familiar.  You could be helped in a simple easy treatment through Chiropractic “Naturally.”
 
 
 
 
Crosbie Chiropractic
Michael H. Crosbie, D.C.
1828 Main Street
Fortuna, CA 95540
(707) 725-5668
www.crosbiechiropractic.com