Chronic Back Pain: Are My Hips Out of Line?
Have you gone to see a chiropractor or doctor for back pain and they’ve told you that your hips are out of line? Back pain is so common you might assume it’s a normal part of life. The reality is that a common source of the pain may stem from spine and hip alignment. People with back problems often rely on over-the-counter pain medications to get through the day. Many suffer through periods of limited mobility due to a tight or aching back. Ongoing back pain can impede one’s ability to do physical labor, exercise, and enjoy life.
The body is a complex machine, and no part exists independently from another. Where you’re feeling the pain or stiffness isn’t necessarily the location of the actual problem area. While an aching back can have many possible causes, issues with the discs are often the culprit.
“When the disc is troubled, these joints hurt and occasionally pinch nerves,” says Dr. Craig Callewart. “Most of these problems should be treated with changes in posture, exercise, or simple medication.”
If you’ve been living with unexplained back or neck pain, there’s hope. Figuring out what’s going on with your hip and spine alignment is a first step toward finding relief.
Unparallel Lines: Is Hip Alignment the Source of Your Back Pain?
The hips are one of the most neglected parts of the human body. A misalignment in the hips can lead to pain in the back, neck, legs, or anywhere else in the body. If any of these misalignments are present, it can become impossible to maintain correct posture. The pain or stiffness might increase the urge to slouch or lean. This becomes a compounding problem as the slouched spine continues to worsen the patient’s pain levels. Improper hip alignment will often transfer into the spine over time.
Although poor positioning is often the root of such misalignments, they can occur for other reasons. Sometimes, the body develops or grows in the wrong direction, much like a tree growing at a sideways angle. In other cases, the pain is due to a damaged or worn joint.
Sitting up Straight: Can Posture Affect Spinal and Hip Alignment?
Bad posture often plays a huge role in chronic spinal and hip pain. The way we sit, stand, and walk is habitual, which means even the worst slouchers can change with a little effort. It also means without doing something to correct the problem, the pain is likely to worsen with time.
Poor posture can lead to:
- Spinal wear and tear
- Back, shoulder, and neck pain
- Musculoskeletal misalignments
- Reduced flexibility and range of motion
- Joint problems
- Digestive or breathing difficulties
- Struggles with balance
Persistent issues with any of the above can lead to long-term inflammation and higher levels of pain.
What Good Posture Looks Like
The way you position yourself is important whether you’re moving or still. When aligned as nature intended, your head should be above your shoulders. The shoulders and hips should be parallel to each other as well as the ground. Neither your right nor left hip joint should be higher than the other. Likewise, hips shouldn’t push forward or backward. You should try to maintain the natural shape of the spine without an increase in the curvature.
To reduce hip pain and improve your posture:
- Avoid straining either side of the body by carrying a backpack or heavy purse on one shoulder.
- Wear comfortable shoes without high heels.
- Take short walks around your home or office to avoid sitting in one position for too long.
- Sit with both feet on the ground with your ankles in front of your knees.
- Use a back pillow or seat cushion to help your hips and thighs remain parallel to the floor.
- Maintain a healthy weight and level of activity.
- Do exercises that strengthen the core, which helps hold the spine in proper alignment.
- Enjoy activities like yoga and stretching, which can loosen hip flexors and increase circulation into the hips and spine.
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders back rather than leaning on one leg or the other.
Healing Misalignment: A Doctor Can Help
Although posture is a common problem, the hips and spine can suffer due to a wide range of ailments, such as arthritis and herniated discs. A thorough examination with your doctor is your best bet for discovering the source of the issue.
During the exam, your doctor may order X-rays or other diagnostic scans to check for structural problems. This includes conditions like scoliosis, which causes abnormal curvature of the spine. You’ll share your health history, including injuries which may have played a role in misalignments. You’ll also have to complete some orthopedic tests.
Doctors use a variety of treatments to help with hip and spine alignment. Some common treatments include:
- Supportive Back Brace
- Recommendations for weight loss
- Suggestions for postural improvements or other lifestyle adjustments
- Exercise regimens that strengthen the core and relax the hips or back
It’s Time to Seek Relief: Help with Spine Alignment from Dr. Craig Callewart
Regardless of the cause, returning the hips to a healthier state can shift the entire body back into alignment. You can find relief from many misalignments with even a few simple lifestyle or postural changes. Don’t accept chronic back or hip pain as an unavoidable part of life. If you’ve been suffering with hip, back, or neck pain, you can find the relief you deserve.
The team at the practices of Dr. Craig Callewart commits to helping patients in Dallas alleviate pain, regain proper hip alignment, and get their lives back. Please contact us now to schedule your appointment.