As we get older, it’s hard not to think our bodies are trying to stage a coup. With each step we take, the creaks and cracks of our bones sound like a spooky Halloween movie from the black and white times.
As a chiropractor for hip pain, I’ve heard these noises from my patients as they hobble into my office in desperation. Our hips are a complex network of bones, nerves, muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments working in tandem to maintain support, stability, balance, and range of motion. The complexity of this joint gives us the ability to do this…
And even this…
The complexity also makes us vulnerable to chronic hip problems. Hip pain is common due to the joint’s range of movement and how much weight it bears. Because our hips carry so much weight and are critical for balance, a misalignment in the hip joint or an issue like bursitis or arthritis can drastically affect the body. Our body may begin to compensate for hip pain, leading to knee, ankle, and lower back problems.
It’s critical to seek care as soon as possible. Pain is our body’s way of alerting us to a problem, and we need to listen! The longer we wait, the worse the problem gets and the harder it becomes to treat.
At our practice, we treat hip pain every day and identify the root cause to relieve our patients’ pain and keep it away. Structural problems require structural solutions. We’re basically structural engineers for the body, helping build beautiful buildings that walk and talk and dance and sing.
Hip Replacement Surgery
If someone paid me a dollar each time someone underwent hip replacement surgery, I’d get $500,000…every year! Now, that would be amazing, and I’d accept it with open arms, but half a million hip replacement surgeries are half a million too many.
During surgery, a surgeon makes an incision in the patient’s thigh and removes the top of the femur from the hip joint, clearing out any damaged tissue that was holding the femur in place. Then, they make a deep cut to access the bone marrow and insert a long metal shaft acting as a new ball and socket joint. Finally, they close the incision, the patient starts throwing back painkillers, and a year-long rehabilitation process begins. It’s that easy!
Then, 10-20 years later, the patient will require a revision to the surgery to replace the artificial hip as it reaches the end of its lifespan. During that decade, two if they’re lucky, a patient runs the risk of metallosis – an inflammatory response triggered by metal debris in the body. Debris from the implant can get into the soft tissues, leading to severe pain, tissue death, bone loss, and implant failure.
Surgery may seem like a quick fix, but it’s actually often painful and requires a lot of time to become mobile again. It may help someone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis to move about pain-free, but I can think of a bunch of other more conservative options that everyone should try first.
How To Avoid Hip Replacement Surgery
1. Get Moving
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore—no need to transform into a gym rat overnight. Start with something fun, like a dance class. There’s no expectation to become the next Fred Astaire, Beyonce, or…
Physical activity is not just a calorie-burning endeavor; it’s good for the soul and a cornerstone of joint health. Exercises like yoga or tai chi enhance flexibility and stimulate blood flow to the hip region. Movement is medicine; in this case, it’s the prescription for hip pain relief.
2. Hip Pain Relief Exercises and Stretches
This isn’t a bodybuilding competition; it’s about targeted hip exercises to support and strengthen the pelvis to sustain an active lifestyle.
Strengthening the muscles surrounding the hip joint is akin to fortifying a castle against invaders. Incorporate targeted exercises like squats, lunges, and leg lifts to bolster the supportive structures. By cultivating strength, we create a robust defense against the wear and tear of daily life.
Several stretches will help relieve hip pain and help with strength and stability.
- Butterfly Stretch
- Single-Leg Glute Bridge
- Side Lying Leg Raise
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
No one likes to hear this one, especially around the holidays. But, excess weight places undue stress on the hips, accelerating wear and tear and often throwing the pelvis out of alignment.
Adopting a nutrient-dense, whole-food-based diet can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight. Remember, the goal is not just shedding pounds but nurturing our body with the nourishment required to function optimally.
4. Good Posture
Slouching is so last season. We need to stand up straight, shoulders back, and imagine a string pulling us up from the top of our heads. Not only will we look more confident, but we’ll also be doing wonders for our hip alignment.
Good alignment reduces the strain on our hips and has positive ripple effects throughout the body, positively influencing our overall well-being. Good posture is like Spanx for our skeleton—everything stays where it’s supposed to.
5. Stay Hydrated
Water is not just a beverage but the elixir of life, keeping our joints lubricated and our body functioning like a well-oiled machine. Proper hydration supports joint lubrication, ensuring our hips move smoothly. So, put down that big gulp and enjoy enhanced mobility.
6. Chiropractic Care
Enter the experts—the superheroes of the spine. Regular chiropractic adjustments are a cornerstone of holistic health. We can address misalignments in the spine, promoting proper nerve function and ensuring the entire musculoskeletal system, including the hips, operates harmoniously.
- Spinal manipulation is just one tool in our belt to stop hip pain fast. We work to pinpoint the exact underlying cause of a patient’s pain so we can craft a hip pain treatment specific to their unique situation.
- Chiropractic adjustments restore alignment, reduce pain, and improve range of motion. They also restore balance to the body and optimize the nervous system for better function, a stronger immune system, faster healing, and more robust overall health.
- Massage therapy and soft tissue work restore balance to the musculature that supports the hips, like the glutes, piriformis, and hip flexors. Active Release Technique and Graston Technique address painful muscle adhesions to restore muscle mobility and function.
- A custom therapeutic exercise plan complements chiropractic adjustments for hip pain by reinforcing the adjustment’s structural changes. We must address muscle imbalances to increase strength and support hip joint function.
- Deep tissue laser is an anti-inflammation miracle using powerful light energy to penetrate tissue and stimulate cell production, accelerating healing and reducing inflammation.
By adopting these practices, we’re not merely addressing isolated symptoms but fostering a comprehensive approach to hip health, not to mention our general health. Anyone needing a tune-up for their body’s intricate machine should call our office or schedule an appointment with one of our amazing doctors. May our hips be resilient, our posture impeccable, and our journey towards optimal health be transformative.