By Dr. Jennifer L. Franz

We all have them, they provide strength, stability, and support for our spine and organs, they are our hips.  Our hips are often referred to as our foundation, and are collectively called the pelvis.  We have two hip bones or illia that attach by way of muscles and ligaments to our sacrum, the most posterior bone of the low back.  There are many strong ligaments and muscles to provide stability, strength, and motion to the pelvis.   Part of our abdomen, urinary bladder, and reproductive organs all sit within the pelvis and are supplied by many nerves and blood vessels that are found in, through, and around the pelvis.

Our hips are often the site of problems due to the amount of motion and various attachments they have.  One of these important attachments the sacroiliac ligament, named for the two bones it attaches.  The sacroiliac is a common area for misalignment and irritation.  We have many other ligaments that make up the pelvis, as well as large muscle groups that are affected by the motion of these bones.  Certain muscles give strength and tone to the pelvis, such as the gluteus medius and psoas muscle.  These muscles are often affected directly by the increased motion or lack of motion in the hip region. 

Along with the many muscles and ligaments in the pelvis, we have a plethora of nerves and blood vessels that innervate the organs locally and control their functions.  Some of those organs are our bladder and reproductive organs.  Muscles in our low back and down the leg are also innervated by nerves in this area.  The vital functions of these systems and muscles are susceptible to malfunction if their nerve or blood supply is disrupted.    

The joint space of the hip is considered a diarthrodial joint, for it is freely movable and has a fluid filled cavity to aid and assist in motion.  There is a ball and socket joint where your thigh bone, the femur, attaches to the hip.  This ball and socket also allows for a lot of motion in different planes and directions.  All this motion leaves the area vulnerable for injury and even simple actions such as walking, sitting, or standing can adversely affect the pelvis. 

As we age, the hip joint space, as well as other joint spaces of our bodies, will begin to deteriorate and often cause a metabolic condition known as DJD or degenerative joint disease.  DJD is not a normally aging process of the body.  Unfortunately, this condition is very common and is not only found in older persons.  DJD is often seen in the pelvis.  Different life conditions, such as prolonged stress on the body, lack of motion or misalignment, and poor bone density can affect and increase the severity of this condition.  Chiropractic, however, can slow down, stop, and even reverse the degeneration process.

Early detection is our best means of defense.  DJD is often easily detected by an x-ray or a specific blood test.  A Chiropractor is specifically trained to read x-rays and look at your joint spaces to determine if you have this condition, many others, or misalignments.  By being aware, you can make changes that are necessary to change this process.  Whether you have DJD, hip or leg problems, or low back problems, you may have misalignments in your pelvis and not feel any pain.  Being that only 3% of your nerves feel pain, it is quite likely that you have an impingement on your nerves and not know it.  Chiropractic specifically and gently can realign your hips, pelvis and spine, so that your body can have the opportunity to function at its optimal level.  By taking x-rays and giving you a thorough examination, your Chiropractor will best be able to guide your treatment.  Stretching exercises have also been found to be valuable in aiding the motion and health of the hip joints and muscles, as well as specific dietary changes.

Gillette Family Chiropractic Center utilizes a culmination of specific chiropractic, orthopedic, neurological, and kinesiological testing to gather information to best be able to help you.  The center gives regularly scheduled health talks that are short, fun, and informative.