Hip and pelvic pain can make it very difficult to carry out everyday tasks - getting in and out of a car, walking to the shops, doing housework - but it can be quite difficult to treat. Beyond surgery or prescription painkillers, for some of the causes of hip and pelvic pain, chiropractic care can be a good option for many people.
Pelvic pain very rarely affects men but it can be fairly common in women and can be defined as acute or chronic. Acute causes of pelvic pain usually require immediate medical attention and can be caused by an ovarian cyst, an infection caused by an STD, appendicitis, peritonitis, a UTI, constipation, an abscess, or endometriosis. These all have their own medical treatments, and chiropractic care usually isn't needed.
For chronic pelvic pain, however, chiropractic care can be effective in some instances. While chronic pelvic pain can be caused by medical issues such as endometriosis, an infection, or IBS, it could also be caused by problems that can be helped with chiropractic care. These can include:
• lower back pain
• trapped or damaged nerves in the pelvic area
• PGP/SPD in pregnancy
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) is a particularly common cause of pelvic pain, experienced by approximately 20% of pregnant women. It can start as early as the 12th week of pregnancy and can become progressively worse as the pregnancy progresses.
How chiropractic care can help with pelvic pain
Pelvic pain caused by lower back pain
Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for lower back pain. If problems with the lower back are causing pelvic pain, treating the back will reduce the pain in the pelvis. Chiropractic treatments could include spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, exercise advice, stretching, posture correction, among others.
Pelvic pain caused by trapped nerves
Manipulation and other treatments carried out by a chiropractor can help to take the pressure of the trapped nerve, releasing it, and reducing pain.
Pelvic pain in pregnancy
Chiropractic care can help reduce pelvic pain caused by SPD. Treatments can include:
• soft tissue massage
• fascial release
• postural advice (including fetal positioning)
• ice therapy
• exercise advice
• blocking techniques
• pelvic stability belt
Hip pain is usually caused by osteoarthritis, which is when the cartilage that helps to cushion the joints starts to break down. This causes the joints to rub directly together, which results in pain and inflammation. Hip pain can also be caused by a tear in the cartilage, hip dysplasia, infection, reduced blood flow to the hip, bursitis, a hamstring injury, or iliotibial band syndrome.
How chiropractic care can help with hip pain
The chiropractor will first run diagnostic tests, including x-rays, to determine what the cause of the hip pain is, and then will come up with a treatment plan. If the hip pain is caused by an injury elsewhere, such as IT band syndrome or a hamstring injury, treatment will focus on that injury. This can include stretching, massage, and release techniques.
Hip pain caused by osteoarthritis
Chiropractic care cannot cure osteoarthritis, but it can slow its progression and reduce the pain associated with it. Care will focus on increasing the range of motion, strengthening the supporting muscles, and reducing inflammation and pain. Treatments can include:
• joint manipulation and mobilization
• exercise and nutritional advice
Hip and pelvic pain can result from a variety of different causes. For many of these, chiropractic care can be an effective treatment. The care plan will include a variety of techniques aimed at reducing pain and improving movement and functioning.