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Located in Montgomery, Alabama, Hands On Healing understands the causes of hip pain and treats it at its source.
If there was a single condition that nine out of ten of our clients seek treatment for it would have to be hip pain.
Undoubtedly this issue affects not only someone’s general ability to walk, but may very well cause pain when sitting or even lying down, leaving few avenues for finding comfort throughout the day.
However, clients often describe this hip pain as discomfort radiating along the upper edge of their pelvis out toward the leg, and for us as therapists, this description is not related to the hip, but rather to the spine.
Let’s examine why that is.
Figure 1 (click to enlarge) indicates the areas in which the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) trigger points radiate out their pain response.
We can imagine just about anyone would say that if they were experiencing pain in these areas, they would associate it to a troubled hip.
So what is it that sets off these trigger points? Simply put, the lower spine is not designed to withstand rotational movements.
The direct connection that the lower back shares with the pelvis causes the lower spine to be subject to imbalances of the legs; more specifically the jarring and rotational movement created by imbalanced walking.
The biggest detail that we commonly relay to our clients about healthy posture and function is that the pelvis and hips are different structures entirely, with totally different functions.
The pelvis is a stable structure, meant to serve as an attachment point for a multitude of muscles; whereas the hips are the more mobile structure, designed to create fluid movement and walking.
Should the hip joint become tight and restrictive, walking begins to actually shift and rock the pelvis as the body moves.
This motion then carries into the lower spine, rotating and twisting the muscles of the lower back and activating trigger points.
In the previous section we made mention of the involvement of the hips in the development of these painful conditions.
However it’s important to note that the hip is often completely healthy.
The leading aspect of developing this imbalance comes from under stretched thigh muscles, which limits the correct linear motion that the legs should create when walking.
Like everything else that we as therapists treat on a day-to-day basis, no single area of the body is its own separate condition, and it’s important to receive work throughout the lower body as a whole to create healthy function.
With an improved walking pattern, the trigger points of the lower back can then be released with less chance of returning, and radiating pelvic pain can finally be put to rest.