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Lateral Hip Pain and Sarah's Story of Treatment

In 2020 Sarah presented to our office with hip pain. Sarah was a very friendly lady and a grandmother of 2. She was having pain sleeping at night due to the pain in her hip. She wasn't able to lay on her side for more than 5 minutes due to the pain. This forced her to lay on her other side almost every night which was also irritating. She also was having a tough time getting up and down from the ground to play with her grandkids. 

Sarah was losing to much sleep at night due to the pain and knew she couldn't continue like this. Sarah's husband has been seen at our clinic in the past due to chronic neck issues and referred Sarah to our clinic. 

As a chiropractor that's certified in FAKTR we conducted a comprehensive hip and low back evaluation. We noticed the following findings in Sarah's hip and low back exam. 

  • Significant pain in the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles along with the IT band.
  • Weakness in the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscle when strength testing.
  • No positive orthopedic tests associated with the hip joint. 
  • Restricted range of motion in the lumbar spine. 
  • No neurological findings or red flags associated with the disc injury.
  • A history of a broken toe in the past which has caused Sarah to alter her gait and walk on the outside of her foot.

Here is a short video of what we look for regarding hip and low back pain.

After evaluating Sarah, we discussed her condition and her prognosis. We discussed daily activities such as how sleeping on her hip can restrict blood flow and lead to pain at night. We also discussed her concerns such as not wanting to have a cortisone injection and wanting to treat the cause of her injury. We also discussed her goals of sleeping on her side and the ability to get up and down on the floor with her grandkids. 

Sarah has a condition called gluteal tendinopathy

  • Tendinopathy involving the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus is the most common cause of lateral hip pain.
  • Gluteal tendon tears have been dubbed "rotator cuff tear of the hip" because of a similar etiology, prevalence and management.
  • Gluteal tendinopathy develops from a combination of excessive tension or compression.

I discussed with Sarah our treatment plan. We could achieve the results she desired with a combination of Chiropractic and FAKTR soft tissue therapies and specific exercises for her condition. I explained to Sarah that we could obtain these results rather quickly with pain reduction over the course of 1 week and the ability to sleep and get up and down from the floor in 2-3 weeks. I also explained that it may take longer to develop her strength back in her hip and change her abnormal muscle patterns that have developed over the course of the last few years due to her broken toe. Most of this strength would be developed from a home exercise plan.

Here is the most important exercise I gave Sarah to strengthen her hip. 

Following our treatment plan and completing her home exercises Sarah was able to start sleeping on her side again and it has been easier for her to get up and down on the floor with her grandkids. Sarah was able to improve the strength of her hip without a return of her symptoms and she was able to avoid a cortisone injection.

Sarah has been just one of many patients who has responded to our treatment of hip pain. If you are dealing with a similar issue feel free to start with the exercise provided. If it's not doing the trick and you need more help contact our clinic and we would be glad to help.

We're ready to help! 

Thank You for taking the time to read Sarah's story!

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