Conditions We Treat

Hip Pain Treatment

Hip and glute pain in runners, why is it so common?

It’s really common to think that hip or glute pain is no big deal and that it will just go away. Also, it tends to come on insidiously, that is, it sort of creeps up on you through years of poor movement or posture patterns. So we go looking for what could possibly have caused it…

  • “Did I sleep wrong?”
  • “Maybe I lifted that heavy carseat up at the wrong angle?”
  • “I wonder what I’m doing wrong in my workouts?”

But you can’t pinpoint an obvious reason why it started…and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better on it’s own, and is possibly getting worse. If this is true for you, you are not alone, we hear this all the time! Hip and glute pain is one of the most common conditions that we see at Riverstone Chiropractic!

So what are the causes of hip and glute pain?

You may be wondering how the hip and glute muscles get overused or injured in the first place, right?  Because they are so deep, it’s not like these muscles get “pulled” in the same way you might pull a calf muscle, and you rarely fall on your bum, so what is going on?  The truth: it’s the end result of a long chain of compensations!  Generally, it all starts with tight hip-flexors (either from too much/too soon marathon training, or from chronic shortness due to sitting at a desk for eight hours).  Once the hip flexors become injured, they reciprocally inhibit the muscles on the other side of the joint.  This basically means that the hip flexors “turn off” the glutes.  What do you think happens when a big muscles stops working?

We are amazingly adaptable humans…a different muscle or set of muscles will try to take over the work.  It’s like one employee with specialized knowledge of a work project becomes ill, so two others on his team take over one of his projects.  They may complete it by the deadline, but it may be riddled with errors.  In the body, we now have a case where one (or more) of the deep rotator muscles (employees trying to be good team players), are trying to bear the load that the gluteus maximus (sick employee) usually bears.  The two muscles have completely different axis of rotation, their force-couples are different, and they were overall designed to perform different actions.  But if they don’t step in, who else will?

What does hip pain treatment look like?

Once we enter this situation, it’s easy to extrapolate that those small muscles are about to get overworked and aggravated.  An aggravated muscle is constantly contracting, which results in decreased circulation (thus decreased oxygen).  This hypoxia (lack of O2) causes adhesions to form in the muscle.  These are now your immediate source of hip or butt pain, even though tight hip flexors may have been the initial cause.  Manual therapy and joint mobilizations can help both restore the integrity of the hip flexors as well as reduce adhesions in the specific deep external rotator muscle or other muscles that are causing you the pain. 

If you are tired of suffering with hip and glute pain and would like to schedule a free consultation with an Oakland chiropractor, please call (510) 465-2342 or click the button below.

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Hip pain treatment - Manual therapy

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