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Part 2: Solutions to Hip Pain

Image from page 77 of "Diseases of the hip, knee, and ankle joints and their treatment by a new and efficient method" (1875)Last week we discussed the underlying causes of hip pain. Now let’s talk about how to prevent, and possibly reverse, hip pain. If you missed the previous article, go to www.sandpointwellnesscouncil.com.

The incidence of total hip replacement (THR) in the U.S. is increasing[i]. To date, 2.5 million people in the U.S. have had THR surgeries.[ii] We are getting tighter, more stressed, and more inflamed. To reverse these trends, we first need to change our lifestyles and realize we just don’t wake up one morning needing a hip replaced.

Hips don’t go bad because the muscles are weak. They go bad because the soft tissue from the back to the knees shortens. Leg-length is shortened, and that adds to the problem. In my 35 years of treating hip pain, often the real cause of the hip pain is the opposite hip tightness. The imbalance of the pelvis ends up affecting the less tight side more.

Chronic tension and misalignment of the soft tissue will continue to pull joints out of place. Chiropractic adjustments are great for the immediate joint misalignment, but for chronic issues, chiropractors and osteopaths will suggest methods that release the soft tissue so the need for regular adjustments decreases.

Yoga is great for stretching and teaching the body to relax under stress. Slowly learning to let go, when your tendency is to tighten, can be transformative. For many that is all that is needed. For the more chronic situation, though, you may need someone to help you release more than the hip muscles. The relative order of therapies that release the soft tissue from treating acute to more chronic issues is: mindfulness stress reduction, cranial sacral therapy, acupuncture, massage, and then Rolfing®.

Research and clinical evidence suggest a lot of improvement is gained when you remove foods that cause inflammation. Grains (particularly the gluten grains like wheat), sugar, and food with additives are the most common irritants. Many of my clients report there are numerous supplements that help joints. With chronic tension and misalignment, clients say these supplements don’t alleviate the problem. Like drugs, they are treating the symptoms, albeit in a more holistic manner.

The first step is to listen to your body. If you have a reoccurring pain, don’t assume it will away on its own. Sure, it might leave for a while, or shift to somewhere else as you compensate for it. But the pain will not leave unless you treat the cause.

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advanced Rolfer, www.align.org – call if you have questions: 265.8440. 

[i] jumped by 205 percent in those aged 45 to 54 from 2000 to 2010; http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/news/20150212

[ii] http://paindoctor.com/incidence-hip-pain-demographics-economic-impacts

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