Your hips are the connection between your upper and lower body. When this nexus is not in alignment, it could easily create several problems for your spine, posture, and overall health.
Misaligned hips can cause a wide range of health issues. Because they place additional stress on the spine, they frequently result in back pain. Hip misalignment can also cause pain in the knees, feet, ankles and hips themselves, as well as tense muscles and even sciatica. Because one of their legs appears longer than the other, many people with hip misalignment mistakenly believe they may have scoliosis.
The symptoms of misaligned hips are often mild enough that the condition goes undetected and untreated. If you experience any of these minor symptoms, hip misalignment may be the culprit:
- Increasing pain in the hips during or after exercise
- Pain in the hips and lower back while standing
- Pain in the lower back while lying down
- Uneven gait
To determine whether your hips may be misaligned, stand before a body-length mirror and examine your posture. If your shoulders or shoulder blades are not level with each other – or you could not draw a straight vertical line from your nose to your belly button – then you may currently experience hip misalignment.
When hip misalignment goes without treatment for too long, its symptoms can become so painful that they are debilitating. The spine’s alignment can also deteriorate until walking and standing become too painful to bear.
What Causes Hip Misalignment?
Uneven hips are frequently the outcome of certain behaviors, although this is not to say the patient is guilty of intentionally causing their condition. We can do many things that cause hip misalignment without even thinking about them, such as:
- Using poor posture
- Sitting at a desk all day
- Lifting heavy objects with improper technique
- Wearing shoes that provide inadequate support
- Exclusively carrying a heavy bag or backpack on one shoulder
- Leaning on one leg or keeping legs crossed for extended periods of time
Hip misalignment may also result from a significant discrepancy in the lengths or strength of the legs. Unfortunately, some people who wonder whether scoliosis is to blame for their uneven hips are correct.
What Is Correct Hip Alignment?
When the hips are positioned healthily, they provide the connected spine and lower extremities with the support they need to function correctly and not cause pain. Correctly aligned hips are parallel to the shoulders and the ground. They are also on the same level as one another. Furthermore, correctly aligned hips do tip forward or backward – conditions respectively known as anterior and posterior pelvic tilt.
What Treatments Are There for Hip Misalignment?
There are several ways to improve hip alignment and reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of uneven hips. Severe misalignment may take longer to correct, but a patient typically experiences noticeably less discomfort and greater mobility in very little time when they do one or more of the following:
- Practice better posture while standing and sitting
- Perform exercises that increase core strength
- Lose weight
- Receive therapeutic massage
- Receive manual therapy from a chiropractor
When a chiropractor administers manual therapy for uneven hips, they use a series of skilled hand movements to gently guide the hips, spine, and surrounding joints and muscles into ideal alignment with one another. They may also advise other modalities to restore balance to the hips or simply to alleviate pain, such as dry needling and nutrition services for weight loss.
If you are suffering from hip pain or have difficulty moving freely, then we welcome you to schedule a consultation at the Fargo Spine clinic in Fargo, ND today. Once we have determined that hip misalignment is the complete or partial cause of your discomfort, we can begin helping you enjoy greater health right away.