Even very minor concerns about spinal health may indicate that a problem is in the making. Untreated, back pain can lead to more debilitating problems. Some of these problems result from a lack of knowledge about what’s wrong with your back and what steps you can take to treat it. A visit to the team at Southeastern Spine Institute can help you solve the mystery and alleviate your discomfort before it worsens.
It’s vital to your spinal health that you understand how serious problems can develop when a pain or strain is left untreated. One common misunderstanding is how intricately your hips are related to your back and how devastating it can be when you injure them or they shift out of alignment.
Your Hips and Hip Alignment
The joint where the femur and the hip bone connect can withstand a lot of stress and repeated motion, such as when you’re walking. There’s a small portion of your hip made up of cartilage, which is there to prevent any friction as the hip bone moves within its socket. With wear-and-tear as you get older and repeated stress from activities like long-distance running, the cartilage can wear down and the muscles and tendons in the hip region get overused, leading to hip pain.
Hip pain and hip misalignment fall into the same spectrum. You can perform a few at-home tests to see if your hips are out of line. These include a standing test, during which you try to stand up straight without any discomfort or vertical imbalance. Other lifestyle habits can lead to misalignment too, such as:
- Not stretching after exercise
- Poor posture
- Carrying a heavy shoulder bag that puts a lot of pressure on only one side of your body
- Wearing improper shoes for each activity you perform
Causes of Hip Pain
Knowledge of the problems that cause hip pain can help you find out what may be wrong with your hips before anything gets worse. Knowing the causes of possible hip pain other than misalignment can huide your spine specialist toward the best available spinal health treatment options. Some other causes of hip pain include:
- Arthritis, including osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and septic arthritis
- Joint dislocation
- Hip labral tear
- Inguinal hernia
- Pinched nerves
- Bone cancer
After a thorough examination — which includes a complete medical history, X-rays and other tests — your spinal doctor can confirm whether your hip pains are the result of hip misalignment. At that point, treatment options are recommended.
Treatment for Your Optimal Spinal Health
After confirmation that your hips are out of alignment and pose a threat to your spinal health, the treatment options available to you for realigning and healing include:
- Focused exercises
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle adjustments
- Weight loss
- Pain management
Continual check-ups with your doctor are vital to restore your proper hip alignment. Hip misalignments are common, but performing a self-diagnosis without medical confirmation from a specialist who only treats back pain and associated disorders like hip misalignment can lead to further hip pain and the need for more invasive treatment. The best way to maintain your hip alignment is to follow an exercise regimen given to you by your doctor.