Ask Dr. Lonna: How do I handle this hip pain?

Dr. Lonna

Dr. Lonna


Have a health or fitness question for Dr. Lonna, a chiropractor who specializes in the treatment of sports injuries and rehabilitation? Submit your questions for advice.

Dear Dr. Lonna,

I am hoping you can help me with this. I have pain in the front of my hip. It’s intermittent but getting more and more frequent. I’m not sure what its from, but sometimes it completely jams up. IT KILLS! The pain feels like muscles or nerves but it’s right where the bone fits into the socket, and the worst pain usually comes after sitting. I have a BMI of around 19 or 20 and I don’t really do load-bearing exercises that would impact my hips so I don’t think I’m putting a heck of a lot stress on that joint. Do you have any ideas of how to treat this or if physio or a chiropractor might help line me up?

Hipster in New York

Dear Hipster,

This is actually a common issue. The front of the hip has many overlapping muscle groups as well as tendon attachments for the major muscle groups of the thigh, like your quadriceps. These muscle groups can contract involuntarily and cause pain in the front of your hip. That is the most benign scenario. You don’t state your age or what your body has been through in the past, but another less probable cause can be a labrum tear. The labrum is a cartilage ring that holds the head of your femur into your hip. I see labrum tears occasionally in women who are older (60+) or who have had a direct trauma to the hip. If this were my hip, this is how I would proceed:

Woman with hip pain1. Find a chiropractor in you area that has an Active Release Technique certification. This is a deep soft tissue treatment which involves stripping of adhesions from muscle groups. Although other providers can have an A.R.T. certification, only a chiropractor can examine whether your hips are in alignment and make the adjustment to your sacroiliac joints if needed. Since the hips are the anchor for these muscle groups you want to make sure the foundation is right.

2. After your hips are aligned and muscles have been treated, start a stretching regimen for the hip. If your chiro doesn’t do this type of rehab, because not all do, go see a physical therapist. This should include stretches for the Psoas, Piriformis, Quads, IT Band, Gluts., and Hamstrings.

3. If your symptoms do not resolve in a timely manner you need to get an M.R.I. of your hip. This type of imaging not only shows bony structure but all the associated soft tissues. This will show any possible tears or inflammation of tendon attachments. With a clear picture you can make a more informed choice about your next move. Good Luck!

Dr. Lonna Denny, D.C., is the owner of the San Francisco Spine Pain Relief Center, a Denny Chiropractic Corp., and specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. “Relieving your pain, increasing your game!” If you are in need of a San Francisco Chiropractor, please call our office at 415-775-9100

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