The hip joint refers to where the femur attaches to the pelvis at the acetabulum on both sides. Closely located to the hip is the sacroiliac joint (SI joint) where the sacrum and ilium articulate at the base of the spine. Also, close to the hip joint is the pubic symphysis which is a fibrous joint that only moves very slightly. It is important to differentiate between these regions when identifying the problem. The hip is composed of bursae, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, muscles, and fascia that hold the hip in place and allow proper motion. Tight muscles, an inflamed bursa, torn cartilage and irritated tendons can all contribute to syndromes of pain in the hip area.
Common conditions of the hip include:
Some people are born with congenital defects like hip dysplasia that can be asymptomatic while younger and them become more problematic later in life. Conditions that mimic hip pain include hernia, swollen lymph nodes (from flu or infection) and back pain that refers to the hip area like sciatica or other neuropathy.
Proper biomechanics and balanced muscles in the surrounding structures reduce the strain placed on the hip joint during weight bearing activities, sitting and sleeping. An evaluation of alignment by your chiropractor to assess the function of the hip area can identify the problem areas and treat the cause of the issue. Special tests like x-ray and MRI can take a deeper look if arthritis, fracture or damaged cartilage are the problem.