When we use the term “hip joint,” most people are actually referring to more than one joint. The true hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint where the head (ball) of the thigh bone (femur) meets the acetabulum (socket) of the hip. Another is the sacroiliac joint, formed where the sacrum meets the ilium. All of these joints are part of the pelvic structure and therefore biomechanically influence one another. The true hip joint can commonly be affected by wear and tear arthritis (degenerative arthritis) which is characterized by a wearing away of the cartilage in the joint. As the protective cartilage is worn away, bare bone is exposed within the joint leading to stiffness, pain and sometimes hip replacement surgery. The sacroiliac joints are also prone to arthritis as well as subluxation, and are a common cause of low back pain.
Chiropractic and Hip Pain
Chiropractors pay close attention to sacroiliac alignment, hip range of motion and leg lengths to ensure a level and structurally sound foundation. Maintaining movement and a maximum range of motion in these joints is essential in preventing degenerative changes. Pelvic alignment is also of major importance for expectant mothers. Studies have shown that properly aligned sacroiliac joints, hip and spine will ensure a more comfortable pregnancy, a safer and easier delivery and post-partum recovery. Chiropractors are experts in identifying and correcting mechanical disturbance in the hip joints which lead to pain and malfunction.
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Hooper, PD, Faye, LJ, The hips as an overlooked cause of low back pain: A case report. Chiropractic technique, 1994,6(1).