There are many different causes of hip pain. Because of this, it is important to seek medical care for a proper diagnosis to be made so that the appropriate treatment plan can be utilized. Some of the reasons for hip pain include arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, osteonecrosis, referred pain from lumbar problems, strains and fractures. The hip joint itself has tendons the surround it and when any of these tendons becomes inflamed, the result is tendonitis. The most common form of tendonitis near the hip joint is iliotibial band tendonitis. Iliotibial band tendonitis, or IT band tendonitis, is an inflammation of the iliotibial band. This band of thick fibrous tissue (fascia) begins at the hip and runs down the outer thigh ending below the knee joint. The IT band works with certain thigh muscles to offer stability to the lateral side of the knee joint. In many instances, this IT band inflammation will cause pain in areas around the knee but in some cases, the pain will be felt around the hip. This type of tendonitis is common in people who are very physically active, such as runners or cyclists. The muscles and tendons near the hip area are overworked and at times, improperly moved during activity.
Most people who experience IT band inflammation will respond positively to conservative care. Icing and stretching, massage therapy (deep tissue techniques work well) and modifications to activity as well as physical therapy exercises to strengthen the joint and surrounding musculature works well to alleviate pain and prevent future injury. Several tests can be done during a physical examination to help with the diagnosis of IT band syndrome, helping the chiropractic physician to rule out other conditions. Once a diagnosis is made, it is usually advised to cease any physical activity and ice the area to allow the inflammation to decrease so further treatment can be offered. Stretching the iliotibial band is at times more difficult compared to stretching other muscles because it is quite a long tendon. It is important to offer support to the pelvic area during stretching to avoid adding additional stress to the pelvis. The physical therapy exercises offered by a chiropractor are intended to strengthen any weak muscles in the area, such as the gluteus maximus and the abductors. Strengthening muscles such as these can provide better stability to the hip and therefore to the knees as well. Foot orthotics are useful when dealing with IT band syndrome because they can help to correct overpronation of the foot.
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