The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The head of the femur (thigh bone) is the ball and the acetabulum (indentation on the pelvic bone). The femur is the longest and strongest bone in the body. The hip bears approximately one-third of a personís weight when standing.
The hip joint is very stable. There has to be an incredible force applied in order to dislocate this joint. Even with its incredible stability, the hip is susceptible to arthritis (inflammation of the joint) and osteoporosis (decrease in bone density). Many elderly patients diagnosed with osteoporosis may fall and suffer a broken hip. Since the hip bears almost all of an individualís weight, it may fracture due to its weaken state. So it is not clear if the fracture is a result or a cause of the fall.
Low back problems may refer pain to the hip area. There are muscles that attach to the five lumbar vertebrae or iliac crests (the pelvic area) and the femur (psoas major, gluteus major, gluteus minor, gluteus medius, and quadratus lumborum). When these muscles develop a spasm (uncomfortable contraction of muscles), they tend to pull on their insertions producing pain or discomfort. When this occurs a subluxation (misalignment of a joint) may be a result.
The majority of the population seeks medical help for a quick fix for pain relief. The medications that are prescribed help diminish the pain but do not treat the underlying cause of the dysfunction. The Doctor of Chiropractic looks for these causes.
The Chiropractor will perform an initial consultation and a detailed medical history. After the physical, orthopedic, and chiropractic examinations, radiographs of the area of chief complaint may be warranted for further diagnosis. Based on the findings the chiropractor gives a report of findings and a treatment plan, which will be discussed with the patient. Referrals to other practitioners are made if necessary.