By Mark Aquino B.Mus., RMT, DOMP, D.Sc.O
I get asked about hips that click often. Clicking, either with or without pain, is a sign that something is breaking down in the biomechanics of our movement patterns. The result is an imbalance in the muscles of the hips, pelvis, abdomen and lower back. Sometimes there is tension without pain and the clicking occurs on it’s own accord. However, I regularly say that if a joint needs to click to get relief then it should be attended to sooner than later. Otherwise, this will cascade into more issues.
The most common hip related symptoms involve pain and tension in the pelvis, abdomen, back and legs. Specifically; the groin, gluteal muscles (buttocks), inner thigh, hamstrings and outer leg (I.T. Band) and knees can accompany these locations. Pain or tension may increase with or without movement and it may become uncomfortable to sleep in side lying. Usually, one hip or leg feels tighter and this is noticed during yoga or stretching.
Although there is no cure for arthritic and degenerative changes, manual osteopathic treatment can ease irritated joints and their progression. More times than not, the underlying cause is digestive irritation due to inflammation.
In conjunction with osteopathy for manual treatment to the visceral organs and intestines, naturopathic medicine and live blood cell analysis is the key. I have had a number of patients who told me their achy/clicky hip joints ceased once they saw a Live Cell Microscopist and Naturopathic Doctor. Paula Porter is excellent for Live Cell Microscopy at the Root of Health. Likewise so are our naturopathic doctors; Dr. Jodie Peacock, Dr. Ann Nakajima and Dr. Alison Danby, who is also the owner of the Root of Health.
Clinically, I find that most hip issues stem from old traumas or injuries, pregnancy and can include old surgeries.
An osteopathic appointment for a hip issue includes specific assessment of the entire body, briefly from head to toe.Treatment of the soft tissues and organs, pelvis and abdomen and lower back is gentle and effective. Typically, techniques focus on decompressing the back and pelvis structurally while gentle myofascial release to hip flexors, gluteal muscles and abdominals help to unhook restrictions. Specific exercises and protocols follow to assist integration after treatment to address dysfunctional movement patterns.
The length of treatment depends on how long the the issue has prevailed however even a couple of treatment will generate relief with good results within 4-6 treatments.
Hips can be very frustrating but they don’t have to be. I personally don’t think a hip issue has to be left to ‘just aging’.