Hip Misalignment Symptoms | American Hip Institute
Posted in: | Tags: | Posted on: 25-Jul-2022
Hip pain isn’t an uncommon experience. Events that impede the smooth motion of the ball (femur) inside the socket (pelvis), such as a sports injury, wear and tear due to overuse, pregnancy, or an underlying condition, can all cause hip pain. In some cases, the pain can arise due to misalignment, causing the joint to have difficulty gliding as intended and limiting its range of motion.
Are My Hips Misaligned? Hip Misalignment Symptoms to Watch Out For
Are my hips misaligned? is typically not the first question patients ask when dealing with hip pain. As one of the body's largest and most complex joints, any disturbance can contribute to slight discomfort, making it challenging to detect alignment issues.
Hip alignment issues are diagnosed when hip and back issues are accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
Knee, ankle, or foot pain
Tightness or restrictions in the movement of the hips
Uneven gait (manner of walking)
Many of the above hip misalignment symptoms are also associated with other conditions. Therefore, for a more accurate diagnosis, you should seek professional help from a good orthopedic specialist.
What Does It Mean When Your Hips Are Out of Alignment?
What does it mean when your hips are out of alignment? First, the feeling of being “out of place” associated with misalignment doesn’t mean that the hip is out of place. An out-of-place hip would mean it’s dislocated, which is quite painful and may require a trip to the emergency room.
Secondly, the pain associated with hip misalignment may be one-sided lower back pain near the SI joint, which gives the perception of a locked back, limited motion, or a general feeling of discomfort.
In biomechanics, a misaligned hip can mean that it has moved away from a centered position. It may be rotated forward or backward, favoring one side. This action forces the spine as well as the lower limb to compensate. This results in tilting the spine, which may make the legs appear uneven.
How Does Hip Misalignment Affect Me?
As mentioned previously, hip misalignment forces the spine and lower limbs to compensate. Your shoulders and upper back are connected to your pelvis through the spine, which means they can also be affected. These result in:
Uneven shoulders, with the shoulder above the lower hip appearing higher
Shoulder blades may stick out on the side with the lower hip
Uneven leg length, with the leg on the higher hip appearing shorter
Rib cage may appear more prominent on one side as a result of severe scoliosis
What Causes Hips To Go Out of Alignment?
Hip misalignment can be caused by several factors. These include:
Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that results in the abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. It is more commonly diagnosed among children and teenagers because it occurs around the growth spurt. However, as an adult, if you have not been diagnosed with scoliosis, it is most likely not the cause of misalignment in your hip.
Anatomical Leg Length Discrepancy
The anatomical or structural discrepancy in limb length is the physical shortening of a person’s lower limbs. They can be congenital but can also be acquired due to trauma to the hip, orthopedic generative disease, fractures, or complications due to orthopedic surgery.
Having legs at different lengths may cause the hips to become misaligned. In most cases, this can be corrected with the help of a wedge placed in one shoe as a simple corrective measure. But in more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Hip misalignment as a result of an anatomical leg length discrepancy takes years to develop and would normally begin around the adolescent years. If pain due to misalignment is a relatively recent discovery, it’s highly likely not a structural issue but a functional one.
Functional Leg Length Discrepancy
Functional, non-structural leg length discrepancy is a condition associated with an observed unilateral asymmetry in the lower extremities without the actual shortening of the limbs. Essentially, your legs have the same length but are misaligned due to several factors that alter lower limb mechanics, such as muscle weakness or joint contracture. Common causes of hip misalignment as a result of a functional leg length discrepancy include:
Uneven pressure on the pelvis as a result of carrying a heavy load on one shoulder
Wearing shoes that provide uneven support
Constantly leaning or standing on one leg
Bad seating posture
What Treatment Options are Available?
Stretching helps loosens the muscles around the pelvis, which can help alleviate pain and fix minor issues that contribute to misalignment. Hip stretches like the 90/90 stretch, the side plank, and the superman are all stretches you can do at home to improve symptoms. But note that these stretches can create a slight discomfort in the affected area. It’s best to stop immediately if you experience pain during these exercises, as pain is not a good sign.
While some stretches can help, it’s not recommended to perform extreme stretches in an attempt to “pop it into place.” Without a solid understanding of what is happening, managing the problem alone may aggravate the injury and create an even bigger problem. This is why you must seek professional help from an excellent orthopedic specialist.
Seek Expert Orthopedic Care at the American Hip Institute
If you are experiencing hip misalignment issues, seek the expert advice of a licensed orthopedic specialist to determine the root cause. Understanding the main reason for misalignment ensures that the proper corrective action is performed, which is instrumental in your quick recovery.
The American Hip Institute provides industry-leading hip treatment solutions to restore the alignment of the pelvis. After determining the extent of your injuries, our orthopedic specialists will determine the best course of action and help you develop a personalized recovery plan. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
Hip Misalignment Symptoms? Take This Hip Alignment Test
Many people think that one of their legs is shorter than the other or that they have scoliosis when what they really have is misaligned hips. It can be difficult to tell the difference between these things unless you know what to look for.
Hip misalignment symptoms include hip pain on one or both sides, tight leg and butt muscles on one side, back pain (upper and lower), sciatica, ankle pain, and knee pain. While there can be other symptoms, these are the most common ones that come along with misaligned hips.
What Causes Your Hips to Go Out of Alignment?
There are several reasons your hips can go out of alignment. They are scoliosis, functional leg length discrepancy, and physical leg length discrepancy.
Scoliosis and Uneven Hips
Many people automatically think of scoliosis when they suspect misaligned hips. But scoliosis is only one cause of hip misalignment. And it’s not likely that you have scoliosis if you’re an adult who hasn’t previously been diagnosed with the condition.
If you have a child you think has a misaligned hip, you may want to take them to get tested for scoliosis just to be safe. Most children who have this condition will grow out of it, but they still need to be monitored by a medical professional.
Functional Leg Length Discrepancy
More likely, your hip misalignment is what we call a functional leg length discrepancy. This means that your legs are actually the same length, but you’re doing something to cause your hips to misalign. It usually comes down to how you stand, walk, and your posture that could create this functional leg length discrepancy.
Physical Leg Length Discrepancy
When your legs are actually different lengths, this can cause your hips to become misaligned. Most cases are remedied by wearing a wedge in your shoe. However, some more serious cases where the difference is significant may require surgery. However, if you’re an adult and you’ve only just noticed your hip misalignment, it’s likely a functional issue rather than a physical one.
Can Hip Alignment Cause Back Pain?
When you think about how the body’s systems work together, you won’t be surprised to learn that hip misalignment can cause back pain. This happens because misaligned hips can pull the back out of alignment, which can cause all sorts of problems, including herniated discs, sciatica, muscle spasms, and stressed soft tissue.
Many people are surprised to learn that their sciatica is directly tied to a hip misalignment that they didn’t even know they had. The same goes for people who have lower back pain, thinking they did something to their back when really it’s their hips that are to blame.
In fact, one study found that range of motion and the prevalence of osteoarthritis in the hips were both contributors to spinal misalignment. This goes to show that taking care of the hips along with the spine is important for the long-term health of both.
Symptoms of Misaligned Pelvis
If you’re suffering from hip pain, back pain, or simply think you have misaligned hips, you’ll want to look for these symptoms.
Back pain – Lower back pain is most common, but upper back pain is possible
Pain in the knee, ankle, and/or foot
Tightness or limited range of motion in one or both hips
Of course, there are other things that can cause the symptoms above. Misaligned hips isn’t the only cause of pain or tightness in these areas. This is why it’s a good idea to perform the hip misalignment test detailed below.
Hip Alignment Test
There’s a simple way you can get a good idea whether your hips are misaligned. This is intended for information purposes only. You should see a chiropractor or physician for a professional diagnosis.
Get into your bare feet
Grab a piece of yarn, string, or a shoelace (should be 12-inches or longer)
Stand in front of a mirror, one end of the string held in each hand
Place the heel of each hand against your hip bones on either side
Look at the string in the mirror to see if it is tilted
If you have any of the symptoms above and you see a tilted string on the hip alignment test, you likely have a misalignment. You may also feel that one of your hips needs to “pop.” This feeling doesn’t necessarily mean that your hips are misaligned, but you can try to pop your hips if it doesn’t cause you pain.
Hip Misalignment Treatment Options
Hip misalignments can be tricky to correct by yourself. Although there are some exercises you can do at home, it’s important to have your hips, posture, and gait analyzed by a professional so you can learn what is causing the misalignment. Studies show that chiropractors can help increase hip joint extension, which can help keep the hips healthy and moving well. This is just one reason why hip adjustments are ideal for those with misaligned hips.
Chiropractic adjustments aren’t just done to one area of the body. While the most common adjustments are performed on the spine, it’s common for chiropractors to adjust the lower back and hips regularly. As mentioned earlier, these two components work closely, and misalignment in one can affect the other.
One study published in 2010 found that chiropractic care helped reduce hip pain in those with hip osteoarthritis. The patients found an increase in their quality of life thanks to the chiropractic care and the pain reduction techniques used.
Another study details the treatment of two middle-aged women with congenital hip dislocation. The conservative treatment options, including manipulation and spinal stabilization, were effective in managing pain and other symptoms created by the hip problems.
While seeing a chiropractor is the best and safest form of treatment for hip misalignment, you can also try certain exercises at home to see if they help. Chiropractors work closely with physical therapists to give you exercises to do at home, but you can try the ones listed here if you’re hesitant to head to the chiropractor’s office.
Seated Hip Stretch
Standing Reverse Leg Raises
90/90 Hip Stretch
Be careful when you try these stretches. If any of the movements cause you pain, stop immediately. You may experience discomfort, but pain is an indication that something is wrong and you should cease that exercise.
Hip Misalignment Symptoms and Treatment: Conclusion
Hip misalignment can come about for many reasons. Most people experience occasional misalignments because of habits they’ve developed when sitting, standing, or walking. Luckily, these causes are fairly easy to correct with the help of a professional chiropractor or physical therapist. Through adjustments, exercises, changes in habits, and strengthening workouts, you can say goodbye to your hip pain and misalignment for good!
Fixing Hip Misalignments in Anchorage and Juneau
Better Health Alaska has been serving Anchorage and Juneau for over 20 years. If you’re having hip pain, back pain, or discomfort in any of your joints, we can help. Contact Better Health Alaska today to experience effective and safe pain relief!
The pelvis is one of the most important, although sometimes overlooked, parts of the skeleton. The pelvis is shaped like a basket with a tip and contains many vital organs, including the intestines and bladder. In addition, the pelvis is in the center of gravity of the skeleton. If the body is compared to a pencil balancing horizontally on a finger, its point of balance (center of gravity) will be the pelvis.
Therefore, it is obvious that the position of the pelvis greatly affects the posture. This is the same as if the central block in the tower is displaced, in which case all blocks above the displacement are at risk of falling. And if you compare the central unit with a box, then the tilt can lead to the box falling out. Similar mechanisms take place when the pelvis is tilted, and the contents of the pelvis are shifted forward. As a result, there is a protruding abdomen and bulging of the buttocks. Since the pelvis is the junction of the upper and lower torso, it plays a key role in body movement and balance. The pelvic bones support the most important supporting part of the body - the spine. In addition, the pelvis allows the lower limbs and torso to move in a coordinated manner (in tandem). When the pelvis is in a normal position, various movements are possible, twisting, tilting and movement biomechanics are balanced and the distribution of load vectors is even. Displacement (skew) of the pelvis from normal positions causes dysfunctional disorders of the spine, as there is a change in the axis of distribution of loads during movement. For example, if there is an axle shift in a car, then the wheels wear out quickly. Something similar happens in the spine, there are leverage effects and excessive load on certain points, which lead to rapid wear of the structures of the spine. Therefore, often the main cause of pain in the back and neck is a change in the position of the pelvis (displacement, distortion). A change in position changes biomechanics, which can lead to degenerative changes in the spine, to disc herniation, scoliosis, osteoarthritis, spinal canal stenosis, sciatica, etc. Pelvic tilt also leads to pain and dysfunction in the neck, neck pain radiating to the shoulders, arms, contributes to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome and other problems in the limbs.
Causes of pelvic tilt (displacement)
First of all, pelvic tilt is caused by a normal muscle imbalance. Technology is developing very quickly and a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main reasons for the development of imbalance, because our body requires a certain amount of movement that it does not receive. Prolonged sitting and low physical activity are sufficient conditions for the development of muscle imbalances leading to pelvic tilt and, as a result, the appearance of dysfunctional disorders in the spine and the occurrence of back pain.
Accidents and injuries are common causes of pelvic tilt , e.g. side impact, heavy lifting while twisting, falling to one side, carrying heavy loads from the side, e.g. carrying a child on the hip or carrying a heavy bag constantly on one shoulder. In women, the pelvis is less stable from birth than in men, since a certain flexibility and elasticity of the pelvic structures is necessary for the normal course of pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, pregnancy is often the main cause of pelvic displacement in women.
Injury to the pelvic muscles is the most common cause of misalignment. Injured muscles tend to thicken and shift in order to protect the surrounding structures. If the muscles in the pelvic area, such as the sacrum, are damaged, then the tightening of the muscles will lead to an effect on the ligaments attached to the pelvis and joints. As a result, structures such as the sacroiliac joints will also have a certain disposition. Muscle compaction after damage persists until the muscle is fully restored and during this period of time the pelvis remains in an abnormal position.
Difference in leg length can also cause pelvic tilt and in such cases the tilt can be from right to left or vice versa. But the displacement can also be forward or backward, or it can be twisting of the pelvis.
Many conditions can lead to muscle spasms that cause pelvic twist. Disc herniation can cause muscle spasm of an adaptive nature and, in turn, in antalgic scoliosis with functional pelvic tilt . Active people often experience tension in the calf muscles, which in turn creates tension around the pelvis. Surgery such as hip replacement can also cause the pelvis to reposition itself.
Because the pelvis is one of the most stressed areas of the body due to movement and weight support, movements that cause pain and stiffness are a clear indicator of pelvic alignment problems. Back pain in particular is a common indicator of pelvic tilt . In addition to participation in the movement in the pelvic cavity are: part of the digestive organs, nerves, blood vessels, reproductive organs. Therefore, in addition to back pain, there may be other symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, bladder and bowel problems, or reproductive problems. Most often, changes in the following muscles lead to pelvic disposition:
M. Psoas major (lumbar muscle) anatomically can lead to extension and flexion of the hip, which leads to an anterior displacement of the pelvis.
M. Quadriceps (quadriceps), especially the rectus muscle, can lead to hip flexion.
M.Lumbar erectors may cause lumbar extension.
M. Guadratus lumborum with bilateral induration can cause an increase in lumbar extension.
M.Hip adductors (adductors of the thigh) can cause the pelvis to tilt forward as a result of internal rotation of the hip. This leads to shortening of the adductor muscles.
M. Gluteus maximus (gluteus maximus) is responsible for hip extension and is an antagonist of the psoas major muscle.
M.Hamstrings The muscle of the back of the thigh, this muscle can be hardened. The muscle can be weak, at the same time hardened due to the fact that it is a synergist of the gluteus maximus muscle and this can be of a compensatory nature. The deep muscles of the abdominal wall, including the transversus abdominis and internal obliques, may become tense due to weakening of the lumbar erectors muscles
Symptoms of a misalignment (misalignment) of the pelvis can be both moderate and severe and significantly impair the functionality of the body. With moderate misalignment, a person may feel unsteady when walking or frequent falls are possible.
The most common symptoms are pain:
In the lower back (radiating to the leg)
Pain in the hip, sacroiliac joints or groin
Pain in the knee, ankle or foot Achilles tendon
Pain in shoulders, neck
If the pelvis is displaced for a long time, then the body will correct and compensate for the biomechanical disturbance and asymmetry and the corresponding adaptation of the muscles, tendons and ligaments will occur. Therefore, treatment may take some time. In addition, pelvic tilt can be difficult to correct, as a pathological stereotype of movements is formed over time. The longer the period of pelvic tilt, the longer it takes to restore normal muscle balance.
Diagnosis and treatment
Pelvic tilt is usually well diagnosed on physical examination of the patient. If it is necessary to diagnose changes in the spine or hip joints, instrumental examination methods are prescribed, such as radiography or MRI (CT).
There are various options for the treatment of pelvic tilt and these methods depend on the cause of the pelvic tilt. In the treatment of, for example, twisting of the pelvis, it is necessary to reduce muscle damage. For this, various methods of physiotherapy, NSAIDs can be used. If the skew of the pelvis is due to the difference in the length of the limbs, then it is necessary to use individual insoles or surgical methods of treatment.
But, in any case, the treatment of pelvic tilt is effective only in combination with the impact on the pathogenetic links that led to a change in the position of the pelvis and a violation of biomechanics (physiotherapy, massage, manual therapy and exercise therapy). Exercise therapy is the leading treatment for pelvic disposition, especially when muscle problems are the cause of the pelvic tilt.
Useful information about the misalignment (displacement) of the pelvic bones
Useful information about the misalignment (displacement) of the pelvic bones
Signs of possible pelvic obliquity
Pain that occurs predominantly during movement.
Stiffness of movement.
Unsteadiness when walking, frequent falls are symptoms of moderate pelvic tilt.
Pain in the back, shoulders and neck, especially often pain in the lumbar region radiating to the lower extremity.
Pain in the thigh.
Pain in the projection of the sacroiliac joints.
Pain in the groin.
Pain in the knee, ankle, foot or Achilles tendon.
The appearance of a difference in the length of the lower limbs.
Violations of the function of the genital organs.
Muscle imbalance. Lack of adequate physical activity, a sedentary lifestyle, "sedentary" work often lead to the fact that some muscle groups of the human body gradually weaken and even atrophy, while others are in constant tension, a state of increased tone. The balance of muscle tissue is disturbed, which normally should form a kind of supporting corset for the entire musculoskeletal system. As a result of the tension of some muscle groups against the background of the weakening of others, the pelvis may shift.
Injuries of the pelvic bones (due to mechanical impact - fall or impact). The most serious injuries include fractures of the pelvic bones and, especially, fractures accompanied by a rupture of the pelvic ring. Improper union of these fractures can lead to a violation of the shape and subsequent displacement of the pelvis.
Physical overexertion (sudden lifting of weights, prolonged carrying of heavy objects on one side of the body, etc.). Often, a pelvic tilt occurs in people involved in powerlifting and weightlifting, especially if these classes are carried out without the supervision of an experienced and competent instructor.
Pregnancy. The female pelvis is quite flexible and elastic by nature, which is provided so that the woman can subsequently give birth to a child. Therefore, during pregnancy, especially when carrying a large fetus, the female pelvis may well shift. Also, a woman may experience a violation (displacement) of the pelvis during childbirth.
Damage to the muscles of the pelvis and adjacent areas of the body. As a rule, damaged muscles are less elastic, denser and more tense than healthy ones. If an area of muscle tissue in the pelvic region is damaged, the tension and compaction of the fibers of this area will cause tension in the ligaments and displacement relative to each other of the bones that form joints and fixed joints. If the muscles do not fully recover and remain in increased tone, the pelvic bones will eventually shift relative to each other and change the position of the pelvis in relation to other parts of the skeleton. Depending on which muscle is damaged in this case, the pelvis will move in different directions. For example: - damage to the lumbar muscle causes the pelvis to move forward; - damage to the quadriceps muscle leads to hip flexion; - Injury to the adductors of the thigh will cause the pelvis to tilt forward and rotate the thigh inward.
The difference in the length of the lower limbs, which is a manifestation of anatomical features or a consequence of the disease. Most often, the different length of the legs causes the pelvis to shift from right to left, but sometimes in such cases the pelvis shifts from front to back or from back to front. Twisting of the pelvis may also occur.
Presence of a herniated disc. The displacement of the pelvis in such cases occurs due to the resulting prolonged muscle spasm, and the distortion is functional. The mechanism of formation of pelvic tilt in this case is similar to that in case of muscle damage.
Surgical interventions in the area of the bones that form the pelvis, as well as in the area of the hip joints.
The presence of scoliotic changes in the spine (congenital or acquired), especially in the lumbar region.
Causes of misalignment of the pelvic bones
Consequences of incorrect positioning (misalignment) of the pelvis
Changing the location of the pelvis can cause quite unpleasant consequences:
Curvature of the spine and impaired function. When the pelvis is displaced, the spinal axis is displaced, which often leads to an uneven distribution of the load inside the spinal column, excessive pressure on some points, as a result of which bone structures are gradually destroyed in these places. Subsequently, this can cause degenerative changes in the vertebrae, the formation of intervertebral hernias, the development of deforming osteoarthritis, spinal canal stenosis, sciatica, and many other diseases of the spine.
As a result of displacement and dysfunction of the spine, a person develops pain in various parts of the back, shoulders, neck and limbs. Limb functions may be impaired, carpal tunnel syndrome may develop.
Increased load on one of the lower limbs. When the pelvis is positioned correctly, the load is divided evenly between both limbs. When it is skewed, the center of gravity shifts, and gravity acts more on one leg.
Treatment is prescribed after the cause of the pelvic displacement has been established and should be aimed at eliminating this cause in the first place.