Hip pain is common—in fact, one study reported 14.3% of adults had significant hip pain on most days over a six-week period. Whether you’re experiencing severe pain or a feeling of being “out of place,” the cause could very well be uneven or misaligned hips.
Regardless of the severity of your symptoms, be it severe pain or mild discomfort, having uneven hips can make navigating your daily life more difficult. This is because bodily functions are not isolated to the affected location. The muscles and joints that connect to the hips are also affected, leading to the possibility of further injury or health complications.
Thankfully, chiropractic care for uneven hips may provide the lasting relief you need.
Symptoms of Uneven Hips
Hip pain can manifest in a variety of ways. Because of how the sacrum connects to the bottom of the spine and the pelvis, any distortions in the spine can alter the position of the hips. For example, one hip can be raised higher than the other or rotated more to one side of the body.
Because these distortions can affect the body’s biomechanical functions, they can also cause pain. What types of symptoms you experience are also affected by the cause of your uneven hips. Uneven hips fall into two main categories:
|Uneven hips can be caused by an abnormality in things like posture and muscle imbalance. This is referred to as a functional cause. For example, a postural distortion or spinal misalignment could be causing a rotation in the hips to one side of the body.||If the asymmetry is anatomical, there is a constitutional cause such as having a short leg or asymmetrically formed pelvis. Scoliosis may not be seen with these asymmetries.|
Symptoms of uneven hips include:
- Feeling as if the hip is “out of place”
- Uneven gait
- Uneven shoulders
- Pain in the SI joints, lower back, hips, knee, ankle, or foot
- Tightness in the hips and lower back
- Never comfortable standing evenly on both feet
- Uneven wear of shoes
- Clothing always needs to be tailored or seems twisted
Treatments for Uneven Hips
Having uneven hips can be extremely frustrating, even when they aren’t necessarily painful, and can also cause issues with your daily routine. People with uneven hips will often catch their feet on one of their pant legs or may have difficulty maintaining proper form when working out.
Luckily, there are treatments you can perform at home that may provide some immediate relief for the pain and discomfort associated with uneven hips. If you have a functional cause for your uneven hips, these stretches and exercises may also help restore regularity to your hips.
Most of these exercises can help to stretch and stabilize a pair of muscles in the back that connect to the top of the hip called the quadratus lumborum. They also help the hip flexors.
- Leg split: Sit on the floor with your legs spread as wide as you comfortably can, then reach your right hand over and try to touch your left foot. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Switch sides and hold for another 10 to 15 seconds.
- Side plank: Lie on your side with your feet together and hold yourself up with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Maintain a tight core and straighten your body. Hold this position for anywhere between 20 seconds to as long as you can hold and repeat on the opposite side.
- Superman: Lie on your stomach and extend your arms straight in front of you and your legs behind you. Lift and hold your arms and legs off of the floor while contracting your abdominal muscles. Reach out as far as you can and hold for four to five seconds. Repeat five times.
- Hip flexor stretch: Kneel on one leg and bend the other out in front of you with your foot flat on the floor. While maintaining a straight back, slowly push your hips forward until you feel the stretch in the thigh and hip. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the alternate side.
- Side leg lifts: While lying on your side with your knees together, hold yourself up with your elbow and cover your belly button with an alternate hand. Maintain a straight body and slowly raise the leg not touching the ground about 12 inches into the air. Do this 10 times and then repeat the process on the alternate side.
- Seated rotations: Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you, then cross one leg over the other. Gently twist toward the bent leg while holding yourself up with your hand. Try to turn as far as you comfortably can and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the alternate side.
These stretches are effective at easing pain and discomfort and helping to recenter the hips. However, these will only be effective for functional causes and in the case of chronic low back pain or hip pain; 75% of people will have an anatomical cause of the uneven hips. If the cause of your uneven hips is anatomical, these stretches won’t provide a long-term solution, as the misalignment of your hips is an adaptation to standing on a flat, even surface unevenly. Moreover, it is very easy for your hips to misalign again if you haven’t received neuromuscular education that trains you to unconsciously hold the new, proper posture.
That’s why comprehensive chiropractic care can provide long-term benefits and solutions for those with functional or anatomical reasons for their uneven hips.
Chiropractic Adjustment for Uneven Hips
The first step in adjusting uneven hips is identifying whether there is a functional or anatomical source. If there is an anatomical inequality in the pelvis or leg, the first line of correction is the usage of a heel lift.
Heel lifts are inserts that go into the shoe to compensate for the discrepancy in leg length or pelvis symmetry.
If the source is functional, then chiropractic adjustments such as postural exercises and neuromuscular reeducation are utilized.
|Chiropractic Adjustment||Spinal Traction||Neuromuscular Reeducation|
|By applying manual adjustments to the spine, chiropractors restore range of motion to the spine and hips, which would otherwise hinder the postural improvements and evening of the hips.||When there is a chronic asymmetry, spinal ligaments will thicken and prevent postural realignment. Spinal traction is the application of a slow deep stretch to the spine that pulls the vertebrae and restores flexibility to the ligaments and allows for long-term alignment.||This involves retraining the neuro (mind)-muscular (muscle) connection to unconsciously hold the proper posture, as well as the maintenance of spinal alignment through a series of therapeutic techniques that restore proper nerve function to the muscles.|
While all of the above can be beneficial, an important factor when receiving chiropractic care is ensuring that the root cause of your uneven hips is identified so that the most effective combinations of treatments are utilized. Otherwise, treatments will not be as effective.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® and the Benefits of a Chiropractic Adjustment for Uneven Hips
Whether the cause is functional or anatomical, there are many benefits of chiropractic adjustments for uneven hips; however, correctly determining the source of your hip misalignment is essential for successful long-term healing.
Because of this, the staff at PostureWorks use Chiropractic BioPhysics®, a cutting-edge chiropractic method that starts with a thorough examination of your health history and posture. Once the cause of your uneven hips has been found, a personalized treatment plan will be created that includes postural exercises, spinal traction, neuromuscular therapy, and chiropractic adjustments to improve your posture and realign your hips and spine.
Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of chiropractic adjustment for uneven hips or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive.