Having hips that are not symmetrical is one of the signs that you may have scoliosis. In such cases, one of the hips is higher compared to the other. This usually leads to pain when you stand at work for a long time. The pain is most apparent at the curve’s apex or the point where your spine curves out. There are several causes for hip pain. We’ll discuss them here along with the available treatments for scoliosis hip pain.
Causes of Scoliosis Hip Pain
With scoliosis, you will feel discomfort and pain because the ligaments are stretched due to the spine’s deformity. Another thing is that if your pelvis becomes tilted because of scoliosis, one of your hips will begin to take added weight. This causes pain due to the misuse or overuse of your musculature and tendons. When you do rest, you may feel some relief but then the discomfort will eventually return. In most cases, scoliosis is the symptom of another health issue.
Another cause of scoliosis hip pain is called ligament laxity. This happens when your ligaments become too loose. Our ligaments are tissues connecting our bones to one another. Naturally, they are tight so that our joints are limited to the normal movements and giving the joints stability. If you have ligament laxity, then it could result to instability in the joints.
Scoliosis Hip Pain Caused by Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Scoliosis hip pain may also be cause by sacroiliac joint pain. Sacroiliac joint pain manifests in the area of the buttocks and the lower back. When there is injury or damage to your joint between your hip and spine, then it will cause pain. Sacroiliac or SI pain may feel like you have hip problems such as a herniated disc. That’s why it is important to have an accurate diagnosis so that the source of why your hip hurts can be determined.
Your sacroiliac joints are found between the sacrum and the iliac bones. These connect the spine to your hips. The SI joints give stability and support. They also absorb impact whenever you are lifting or walking. Supporting your SI joints are muscles and strong ligaments. As we grow older or when a person has other conditions like scoliosis, the ligaments become stiffer, the cartilage gets worn down, and our bones begin to rub with each other. This causes pain.
Symptoms of SI Joint Pain
Some of the SI joint pain symptoms can be felt in the buttocks and lower back. Usually, the pain radiates to the upper thigh, groin, and lower hip. In most cases, the pain can only be felt at one side. But there are also cases where it can hurt on both sides. For others, tingling sensations or numbness can be experienced in the legs. It may also be felt as though one leg feels weaker than the other.
Most of these symptoms may grow worse when you sit, stand, sleep, walk, or climb stairs. Transitional movements can be difficult such as going from a sitting position to standing or when you are standing with one leg as you are climbing the stairs. Pain can also be felt whenever you are in a particular position for too long.
How to Diagnose SI Joint Pain?
To determine if you have SI joint pain, you need to undergo a medical exam. This will evaluate your medical history along with the results of your physical exam. The doctor will be able to take into account all of your information and health conditions. There are also more specific tests that can help in determining SI joint pain.
The doctor may ask you to perform certain movements such as moving or standing so you can describe where you are feeling the pain. Furthermore, the doctor may ask for a CT scan, X-ray, or MRI scan to have a more accurate diagnosis as well as to check you hip and spine in case there are other related health issues on that area of your body.
SI Joint Pain and Scoliosis Hip Pain Treatments
For treatments for this health issue, there are surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Some options for nonsurgical treatments include stretching exercises, chiropractic manipulation, and physical therapy. You may also be given anti-inflammatory oral medications, creams, or topical patches. Other nonsurgical options include having mechanical bracing.
Joint injections are also an option to treat hip pain. Steroids help in reducing the inflammation and swelling of your nerves. In this procedure, corticosteroid is injected into the joint that is causing pain. You will have a numbing agent though so don’t worry about the pain of the injection. The relief may only be temporary but if you find them helpful, you may have corticosteroid injections for up to thrice annually.
If the nonsurgical options do not offer relief from the pain, then you should talk to your doctor about surgical treatments. The doctor may recommend a procedure called SI joint fusion surgery. With this surgical procedure, there will be a small incision where the surgeon can place titanium implants along with bone grafts so that your joints will be more stable.
It will also help in promoting bone growth. The surgery will only take about an hour and you can go home on the same day or the day after. After the surgery, you will need to use crutches to support your weight.
If you are feeling any pain or discomfort around your hip area and it won’t go away even if you’ve rested and taken pain medications, then you should see your doctor. It is important that you get a proper diagnosis so that the cause of the pain can be determined. Once the cause is known, finding treatments will be much easier.
It may be possible that you don’t have to go through surgery if the nonsurgical treatments will be effective in taking away the pain. At every step of your decision-making process regarding your treatment, always consult your doctor so that you will know the best options for your particular case.
Dr. Tymothy L. Flory graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri. Before opening Atlas Brain Spine, Dr. Flory practiced Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Flory completed Board Certification of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association in 2012 and is currently a Credentialed Instructor for the organization.