Hips play a pivotal role in supporting many other structures in the body, primarily the pelvis and the lower back. So it is vitally important that they are functioning at their optimum to prevent injuries in these areas.
To understand how the treatment works, it is helpful to understand as much as possible about hip joints and the problems that can occur with them. This article contains the following information:
- Anatomy of the hip
- Why your hip isn’t getting better with other treatments
- Common hip symptoms
- Types of hip injuries and how prolotherapy injections can help
- Common causes of hip injuries
- Prolotherapy research
Before you start reading the article, the below video review is of a lady with hip pain. She came to our clinic for treatment and had great success:
For more video reviews, head over to our dedicated video review page.
Anatomy of the hip
The hip is classed as a ball and socket joint, which means it is able to move in all directions.
There are seventeen different muscles associated with the hip joint and it is held together by four ligaments. One ligament is inside the joint, and the other three attach around the outside.
The joint includes two fluid-filled sacs called ‘bursae.’ They help to reduce friction between some of the above structures.
Each surface in the joint is covered by a shock-absorbing tissue called ‘cartilage.’
The cartilage that coats the socket is called the ‘labrum.’
Female hips are set at a slightly different angle to mens hips.
Why your hip isn’t getting better with other treatments?
Many therapies will focus solely on the hip joint itself when treating it, failing to realise that it has a strong relationship with other joints in the body. These other joints include the pelvis, lower back, knee and ankle. Problems in these neighbouring structures can prevent the hip from healing effectively if they aren’t treated at the same time.
For example, a patient comes in to the clinic suffering from hip arthritis or a labral tear. Upon examination of the joints that surround the hip, the ligaments in the knee were identified as being unstable. Unstable ligaments in the knee causes structures in the hip to overwork. If the knee ligaments aren’t treated at the same time as the hip, then you aren’t going to achieve optimum results.
Our treatment is able to strengthen and stabilise knee ligaments in a way that other treatments can’t.
Common Hip symptoms
- Pain that can be sharp or dull in character. It is commonly located at the side or the front of the hip. Some individuals can describe it as a ‘catching’ type pain.
- Instability – the joint can feel unstable performing daily activities such as walking and climbing stairs. Individuals report that the hip can ‘give way’ at times.
- Stiffness – most commonly effects rotational movements of the hip. For example, swinging the leg round to get out of a car.
- Weakness – individuals will report not being able to put weight on the leg of the affected hip. This can either be due to physical weakness in the supporting muscles around the hip, or from the pain preventing them from putting any weight on it.
Types of hip conditions and how prolotherapy injections can help
A condition that is diagnosed when the cartilage inside the joint has started to degenerate. When this happens, the joint becomes unstable and the surrounding muscles have to work harder.
When assessing our patients, we find that the pain associated with arthritis is more coming from these over-worked muscles, not the bones rubbing against each other.
The injections help to stimulate cartilage growth and strengthen the ligaments around the joint. This helps to take the work-load off the muscles and as a result, reduce much of the pain associated with hip osteoarthritis.
Other injuries include:
- Labral Tear – A tear of the labrum in the hip.
- Ligament or tendon tears
- Snapping hip syndrome – a snapping sensation is felt when the hip is flexed and extended.
- Bursitis – this occurs when one of the bursa in the hip becomes inflamed.
Common causes of hip injuries
Falls and sporting accidents are the most common forms of trauma. They can cause structures in the hip to over-stretch and dislocate, leading to tears.
Ligaments, tendons and the labrum are the most common structures to be effected by trauma. The regenerative effects of our injections help to repair the damaged fibres in these structures.
As mentioned earlier on in the article, the hips have a close relationship to other neighbouring structures such as the pelvis and the lower back. Even a mild misalignment in one of those structures can put strain on the hips over time. This additional strain can lead to conditions such as tendonitis, osteoarthritis, labrum tears and bursitis.
For an individual to experience long-lasting results with the injections, it is important that the misalignment is also treated during the same appointment. Each appointment at our clinics also includes gentle clinical massage and stretching techniques to ensure the body is in line.
Repetitive strain –
Certain occupational or sporting activities can involve repetitive movements which can slowly affect the health of the hip. The most common structures to be affected by repetitive strain are ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage, bursa and the labrum. Our treatment can help to repair and reduce inflammation in the effected structures.
Sedentary sitting postures –
The action of sitting tightens up the structures at the front of the hip. This can lead to tension and catching pain. If tight for too long, it can lead to osteoarthritis at the front section of the joint.
The injections can help to enhance the health of the cartilage. Along with the injections, clinical massage and stretching techniques are performed to release the tension in the muscles.
Previous injuries –
Historic injuries further down in the lower limb (knee or ankle) can often cause slight imbalances in the mechanics of the hip. These imbalances aren’t necessarily noticed at the time of the old injury but long-term can cause structures in and around the hip to over-work and cause pain.
For example, an individual rolls over on their ankle and damages the ligaments on the outside of the foot. An injury like this can create a degree of instability after the ligaments have healed. That instability over-time can change the angle of the leg during a walking stride and eventually put repetitive strain through the knee or the hip.
This is why prolotherapy doctors will always assess both the hip and it’s connecting structures to see if they may be contributing to the problem. The aim of our treatment is to not only fix the problem, but also fix the underlying cause of the problem. This approach helps to create long-lasting results for people in pain.
Interested in how much prolotherapy costs? Head over to our prices page.
For more in-depth information about how prolotherapy and Prolozone therapy work, head over to our post titled ‘what is prolotherapy?’