Hip, buttock and groin pain Sitting cross-legged
Walking is a great way to stay fit and active. Even if you are sedentary, you can take 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. But if you are active, watch out. You can take more than 10,000 steps a day. So what happens when the sacroiliac joint doesn’t move freely and the hip joint moves excessively? Can you imagine the damage to the soft tissues of the buttocks, the sacroiliac joints and the hip with each step taken?
The pelvis is made up of the sacrum, coccyx, and two ilium (wing-shaped hip bones). When you walk and run, as a unit, the sacrum and coccyx sway slightly back and forth. And each wing-shaped hip bone rotates in the opposite direction. So when walking, one hip bone (ilium) along with the sacroiliac joint rotates forward while the opposite one on the other side rotates backward.
If one of the hip bones is stuck in a forward-rotated position, then the sacroiliac joint itself cannot freely and fully rotate backward during the second half of the stride. The gluteal muscles on the same restricted side are forced to compensate by pulling harder on the hip joint to swing the leg back. Normally, the sacroiliac and hip joints rotate simultaneously. But with a dysfunctional sacroiliac joint, the hip joint is forced to rotate more than necessary.
Now, do you see the potential for damage, especially if you take 10,000 steps a day? If the hip joint is forced to rotate excessively, it will eventually wear out. The affected hip can click and pop as it needs to create a new axis of rotation. This can lead to premature hip degeneration and arthritis. The hips feel stiff in the morning. You will also feel stiff and clumsy when getting up and moving around after sitting for a while.
What about the muscles of the buttocks? Let’s say you have a hand crank radio. It is old and has not been cared for; some of the internal gears are rusty. When you turn it on, you notice that it doesn’t spin as smoothly as before. Internal gears do not move freely and efficiently. More effort is required to turn the handle. Within minutes, the muscles in your arm tire of turning the rusty gears inside the radio.
The same principle applies to the muscles of the buttocks. Eventually, the compensated buttock muscles will wear out; they become tight and tense. Tight and tense buttock muscles will resist forward rotation of the sacroiliac and hip joints, creating a new problem.
Normally, when you take a step forward such as walking and running, the gluteal muscles should loosen up and relax. But these tight and tense muscles prevent normal facilitative relaxation. The hip and groin flexor muscles must then work harder to overcome the increased tension in the buttock muscles. So you basically have a tug of war between the anterior hip / groin flexor muscles and the posterior buttock muscles.
Before you know it, this tug of war causes pain and popping in the hip and groin. You will often notice a popping sound in your groin and hip when lifting your thigh, going up stairs and up the hill, or just getting up after sitting.
Other signs and symptoms of chronic sacroiliac dysfunction include myofascial pain and stiffness in the lower back, buttocks, and hips. The same thigh and leg may be weak when standing for a while; and one leg may appear longer than the other leg. As you walk, you will feel that one hip and one leg do not seem to be rocking and moving as smoothly and easily as the other side.
The most appropriate treatment for sacroiliac joint dysfunction is chiropractic treatment. And you will notice immediate improvement after just one treatment.
The fundamental problem here is biomechanical. If the sacroiliac and hip joints are not moving freely and correctly, they are not happy. Therefore, there is no point in stretching or doing rehab exercises. Why? Because when you stretch or exercise, you are forcing unhappy joints to move against their will.
And don’t forget the muscle tug of war. They are not happy either. When all soft tissues are treated and biomechanical problems are corrected, selective rehabilitation exercise and stretching are welcome and should be part of the treatment plan.
Therefore, if you continue to experience pain and popping in your hip and groin despite all previous treatment attempts, see a chiropractor. It will save you a lot of stress and frustration. A thorough and competent chiropractor will evaluate and treat you appropriately.
Thank you for being interested in your health. I hope you learn something new.