Hip Pain

Understanding your Hip Pain

Structure of the Hip

The proper hip joint is defined as the connection of the thigh (femur) and the pelvis, classically known as the ball and socket joint.

The hip joint is complex in the fact that its unique structure allows for it to move through a large range of motion while bearing a heavy load.  The hard boney ball and socket structures are covered with a layer of smooth hyaline cartilage to allow for cushioning and gliding movement.  Those structures are then surrounded by a fibrocartilaginous joint capsule that is filled with synovial fluid.  This fluid acts as lubrication for the hyaline cartilage.  But throughout the hip capsule are strong ligaments with attach bone to bone from the thigh to the pelvis.

Controlling the movement of the hip are muscles and tendons.  The hip is made to move in a great number of directions, therefore it has a large amount of muscles which move it.  This includes hip flexors and extensors, internal and external rotators, abductors and adductors. Also, the hip has four main bursae:

  • Iliopsoas bursa

  • Trochanteric bursa

  • Gluteus Medius bursa

  • Ischiogluteal bursa

These bursae are jelly like sacs that provide cushion to tendons traveling over bony prominences, and allow for seamless pain free hip movement.

What causes the pain?

Pain can occur when any of these structures experience trauma.  That trauma can be acute and sudden, from a blunt force collision or a sudden pull or strain.  Or the trauma can repetitive and cumulative.
Acute hip injuries come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Fractures

  • Contusions

  • Dislocations

  • Sprains & Strains

  • Tears

  • Ruptures

These conditions affect the structures mentioned above, they cause sudden pain which can be quite intense.  Because of the complexity of the hip and the large number of structures involved, diagnosing acute hip pain correctly is most important.  If left unattended to, a hip fracture or dislocation can lead to serious conditions such as slipped capital femoral epiphysis or avascular necrosis of the femoral head.

Repetitive injuries can be just as detrimental to one’s health.  A list of some common repetitive or cumulative stress disorders of the hip include:

  • Tendinopathies

  • Bursitis

  • Myositis

  • Fasciitis

  • Chronic muscular shortening

Also, congenital variations in hip structure can lead to various issues following repetitive use.  An example of a congenital variation would be femoroacetabular hip impingement.  All of these injuries come on over time and can be very debilitating if allowed to progress to a painful state.

Getting Better

Healing and treating your hip pain starts with restoring proper range of motion to the hip soft tissues.  Therapeutic exercises will help regain proper muscle development. Chiropractic manipulations can help restore mobility to restricted joints of the hip and pelvis.

At DSM Spine+Sport we focus on advanced techniques (like Active Release Technique), so that we can offer a variety of treatment modalities to relieve your specific pain. Our job is to evaluate your source of pain by evaluating your entire hip-knee-ankle complex, along with talking about nutrition, stress, exercise, and the active and inactive parts of your lifestyle.

What hip symptoms are you currently experiencing? Book an appointment online with us today and visit us for a consultation.