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One Hip Higher Than The Other? Pain Treatment for Pelvic Obliquity

May 29, 2021

The pelvis is the foundation of the spine that helps to stabilize the back and surrounding structures. If the pelvis is out of alignment, it could cause many issues for the spine’s alignment and long-term health, including a condition known as pelvic obliquity. Hans Knopp, a doctor of osteopathic medicine at the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center, explains more about the condition and how it is diagnosed and treated:

What Is Pelvic Obliquity?

Pelvic obliquity is the misalignment or malrotation of the pelvis. This can cause one hip to be higher than the other or cause the pelvis to tilt forward or backward. This condition can lead to abnormal postures due to the spine and associated structures compressing and becoming misaligned in an attempt to compensate. Eventually the abnormal posturing can lead to pain that is commonly felt throughout the lumbar, buttock or hip region. [embed]https://youtu.be/Tm3wDf2e08w[/embed]

How Is it Caused?

One of the most common causes of pelvic obliquity is muscle imbalance - either the muscles in the front or back of the trunk/pelvis can become tight or weak causing misalignment.  This leads to abnormal posturing causing increased stress on the spine, sacroiliac joint, and hips. Other common causes include previous history of back surgery (fusion), scoliosis, congenital leg length discrepancies, trauma, or gait abnormality.

What Treatments Are Available?

The Pain Treatment Center can offer help in numerous ways. The mainstay of treatment is first understanding the diagnosis and the predisposing factors that have led to the obliquity. Physical therapy is the gold standard for correcting incorrect posture and muscle tone.  In an attempt to decrease pain prior to physical therapy course NSAIDs are typically used to decrease painful inflammation that can be limiting.  Other options include interventional treatments such as:
  • Sacroiliac or hip injections: steroid or platelet-rich plasma.
  • Sacroiliac lateral branch blocks or hip femoral/obturator nerve blocks.
  • Sacroiliac or Hip Radiofrequency ablations.
  • Surgery for refractory cases.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect?

After treatment, a patient can expect improved range of motion throughout the trunk, pelvis and hips. As a result, there will be less pain associated with that movement. For more information about the services offered at the Pain Treatment Center, click here.