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  • Dr. Mark Freund

Can A Chiropractor Help Relieve Hip Pain?

treating hip pain

Do you suffer from hip pain while running? Do you feel hip pain when you're sitting, walking, or sleeping at night? Wonder if a chiropractor can help?

Hip pain is a common complaint, especially in today's technological age of sitting 10 to 12 hours a day. Most people think of the hip as located on the side of the leg, but classic hip pain typically presents as a pinch in the groin near the bikini line and causes pain to radiate around the side of the hip and into the lateral gluteal muscle. (In other words, the butt.)

The hip bone is one of the body's largest weight-bearing joints, a "ball-and-socket" joint that includes the top of the femur, which is the thigh bone, and the acetabulum, the socket located on the pelvis that the femur fits into. Strong tissue called ligaments connects the ball to the socket to stabilize the hip. A thin membrane called synovium lines the area to lubricate the joint, and fluid-filled sacs called bursae provide cushioning. Muscles surround the hip to allow for movement, and nerves and blood vessels run through the hip. Hip pain can be caused by activity, such as running or lifting weights, which can lead to pinched nerves or strain in a tendon or sprain of a ligament.

So can a chiropractor relieve hip pain? Yes, chiropractic care is an excellent treatment for hip pain relief. We'll cover the type of hip pain, its symptoms, and how chiropractors can treat hip pain.

Types of Hip Pain and Their Symptoms

The hip is a complicated joint made of bone, cartilage, ligaments, muscle, and lubricating fluid. The symptoms of a hip disorder will differ depending on the cause of the disorder and the part of the hip joint that's causing problems. Common symptoms of a hip disorder include:

suffering from hip pain

  • pain in the hip

  • limping

  • reduced movement in the hip joint

  • referred pain (may be felt in the leg)

  • muscle stiffness

  • pain in the leg when you apply weight on that leg

People with arthritis may experience chronic pain and pain when walking. If you fall or have an accident involving your leg and you develop swelling or pain in your hip, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms might mean you have a fracture. An untreated fracture can cause serious complications.

Inflammatory Diseases

Think of inflammation as the body's natural response to protect itself against harm. There are two types: acute and chronic. You're probably more familiar with the acute type, which occurs when you bang your knee or cut your finger. Your immune system dispatches an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area, creating visible redness and swelling. The process works similarly if you have an infection like the flu or pneumonia. So in these settings, inflammation is essential—without it, injuries could fester, and simple infections could be deadly. Below are the inflammation symptoms that occur from hip pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another inflammatory disease that causes joint pain. Rather than being caused by wear and tear, RA is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks healthy tissues as if they were foreign invaders.

There's no cure for arthritis, but ways exist to help slow the disease and minimize your symptoms, including chiropractic care. In one study conducted in 2010, more than four out of five patients with hip arthritis noticed improved symptoms after nine or fewer chiropractic treatments.


This happens when the cartilage located around your joints deteriorates over time. It usually develops due to normal wear and tears, typically associated with aging. But this doesn't mean that younger people aren't immune to it. If you have a reason why you have decided to see a chiropractor. You may have been experiencing back, shoulder, and neck pain; it is best to see a physician who can diagnose hip osteoarthritis.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. Ankylosing means stiff or rigid, spondyl means spine, and itis refers to inflammation. The disease causes inflammation of the spine and large joints, resulting in stiffness and pain. The disease may result in erosion in the joint between the spine and the hip bone. This is called the sacroiliac joint. It may also cause bony bridges to form between vertebrae in the spine, fusing those bones. Bones in the chest may also fuse.

Referred Pain

Pain that originates in one area and can be experienced in different body parts, such as the hip, is known as referred pain. Referred pain in the hip can be successfully treated by physical therapy.

Also, referred pain in the hip is usually due to damage to the lumbar spine or muscle in the lower back. If nerves become damaged in the lumbar spine, this may cause pain in the hip and groin area. Conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause referred pain in the hip. Symptoms may also be due to trauma and disc prolapses ('slipped disc').

Lower back pain

Low back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions, or diseases — most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back. Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.

Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.

suffering from lower back pain and hip pain

Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs (sciatica). If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a "pop" when it happens. Pain is often worse in certain positions (like bending over) and gets better when you lie down.

Other symptoms of lower back pain include:

  • Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice a decreased range of motion.

  • Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand "crooked" or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.

  • Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.


The sciatic nerve runs from your pelvic region down the back of your thigh all the way to your feet. Inflammation or irritation of the sciatic nerve results in sciatica. This condition results from any injury or pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can include bulging discs, spinal degeneration, herniated discs, or osteoarthritis. Sciatica can cause radiating pain in various places in your body, including your lower back, the backs of your legs, and your hips.

So you may be wondering, can a chiropractor relieve sciatica hip pain? It's well known that chiropractic treatment can relieve sciatica symptoms. In one study from 2012, nearly two-thirds of chiropractic patients were able to avoid surgery thanks to dramatically improved symptoms from this non-invasive treatment method.


While overuse injuries occur gradually, traumatic injuries aren't so subtle. If you fracture or dislocate your hip, the pain can be immediate and severe. Even if you don't break any bones, your ligaments and muscles may be strained, sprained, or bruised as a result of slipping and falling. The pain from these injuries may keep you bedridden for weeks.

Fortunately, chiropractic care can help you heal faster. By helping to relax muscle spasms and strengthen weak joints, you can recover from your traumatic injury and get back on your feet faster than if you skip chiropractic treatments.

Muscle Overuse

Athletes, dancers, and other physically active people experience hip pain as a result of overuse. The joint and surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments become inflamed and irritated, making it difficult to maintain an active lifestyle.

chiropractic hip adjustment

To prevent excessive joint wear and tear from developing into arthritis, we encourage active individuals to visit a chiropractor regularly. Our treatment can help reduce inflammation and improve mobility to help your hips stay healthy and strong.

  • Soft Tissue and Muscle Injuries

  • Muscle or tendon strain

  • Overuse Injuries

Hip Fractures

Hip fractures are common in older adults and in those who have osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bones due to age or other factors. Hip fractures cause very sudden, severe hip pain, and they require immediate medical attention. There are complications that can arise from a fractured hip, such as a blood clot in the leg. A hip fracture usually requires surgery to be corrected. You'll most likely need to have physical therapy to recover.

Hip Impingement

Hip impingement is a grouping of disorders in which there is limited space within the hip for the soft tissues that line the bones. This can be due to irritation of the cartilage, tearing of the labrum (deepening cartilage), or limitations in the motion. This spectrum of diseases can affect day-to-day life or sports. Typically, pain occurs during activity. These disorders can often be treated with hip arthroscopy.

This isn't arthritis. Arthritis or wearing away of the cartilage is typically painful at all times, including rest and sleep. Hip arthroscopy is not an effective treatment for hip arthritis.


If it hurts on the outside of your hip, thigh, and buttocks, you can probably blame bursitis — the inflammation of the pillow-like fluid sacs that keep tendons and muscles from rubbing directly against bone.

Though walking for a long time or climbing stairs can make it worse, bursitis usually is not associated with activity-related pain Bursitis becomes more common as we age and is especially prevalent in people over 60.


If you're active and your hip flexor (the group of muscles that lets you bring your knee and leg toward your body) or groin are tender when you touch or move them, you may have tendonitis.

Straining or over-using tendons — the cords that attach the muscle to the bone — creates repeated minor injuries that eventually lead to muscular imbalances in the hip. People who do very specific activities over and over, like kicking a soccer ball, can be at risk for this severe pain.

Labral Tear

If you're active and your hip flexor (the group of muscles that lets you bring your knee and leg toward your body) or groin are tender when you touch or move them, you may have tendonitis.

Straining or over-using tendons — the cords that attach the muscle to the bone — creates repeated minor injuries that eventually lead to muscular imbalances in the hip. People who do very specific activities over and over, like kicking a soccer ball, can be at risk for this severe pain.

How Can a Chiropractor Help With Hip Pain?

So now that we've answered, "can chiropractors help with hip pain," you may be wondering how they do it. Your chiropractor for hip pain may also realign your spine to reduce pain or eliminate the strain on your hips. With regular adjustments, your body can maintain alignment and minimize the stress impacting your hip area.

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques, including manual adjustments, exercises, electrotherapy, ultrasound, cold laser, and massage on knots in muscles. One of the most common procedures we perform is spinal manipulation, or chiropractic hip adjustment, which restores joint mobility when we manually apply a controlled force to joints that have become restricted.

In many cases, we can adjust the hip joint using a painless drop-table technique: The chiropractor lightly thrusts the bone in a way that triggers a mechanism on the table the client is resting on to drop half an inch and gravity assists in moving the bone. This opens the joint, which creates motion and relieves pain. Deep ultrasound on surrounding muscles, infrared sauna to heat connective tissue, and exercises or stretches can also help.

If you want hip pain relief but don't want to rely on medication or surgeries, you can opt for chiropractors to offer nutritional counseling in addition to spinal manipulations. Fortunately, there are other pain management solutions that can alleviate the pain and increase the range of motion.

You can enlist the help of a chiropractor to offer you a natural path to healing with treatment options. The health care professional will perform a physical examination to diagnose the cause of the pain and develop a plan of treatment for hip pain. The course of treatment usually involves the following:


One of the best solutions to hip pain is strengthening the muscles around the hips. Your chiropractor can design you an exercise program that addresses your body's needs and help you get stronger, making way for faster healing and overall better condition of your hips. These exercises can be done at home and as part of a home remedy protocol.

These exercises may include knee lifts, external hip rotation, double hip rotation, and hip and lower back stretches.

exercises and stretched for hip pain relief and management


When you suffer from hip pain, you can be rendered immobile. Doing the right stretches can help you gain back mobility. This protocol is part of the home remedies for hip pain relief.

Lifestyle and Nutrition Suggestions

You may also receive suggestions on how to improve your lifestyle and diet to result in better health and wellness. They can help you maintain a healthy weight that can reduce the strain on your hips.

If you're looking for hip pain relief, consider chiropractic care. Schedule an appointment with Natural Care Chiropractic, and let us help you on the road to recovery.

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