Hypermobile hips with popping and pain

by Lydia
(Milwaukee, WI)


I am 30 years old. I have known of my hypermobile hips since I can remember. As a kid I was told not to run and jump a lot, in case it wore down my hip ligaments. I also have a back/spinal injury from an old horseback riding accident, I was 12. The accident left me with a twist at the bottom of my vertebrate, which you will see in the attached picture of my fairly recent xray.

The fall also caused one side of my pelvis to stop growing, thank goodness I was almost done growing already. Anyway, I had relatively no pain in my back or hips for the longest time, until the last 4 years. Popping in my right hip started within the last 10, but increased much more in the last 5 in the right hip, eventually both.

Within the last year the popping is very frequent in my right hip, and it's starting to worry me. The only exercise I do is Pilates, yoga, running stairs and walking, and along with the increased popping it it causing pain, mostly in the right hip.

Also, my back pain from my injury has reared it's ugly head this last February, and I started seeing a chiropractor. He has been very helpful, although it left my back feeling worse at first, since I never had my injury treated when it happened, I kept the injury to myself at the time, but over the course of a couple months the muscles around the site stopped pinching an seizing. Now the pinching is still there, but as long as I take care not to over exert myself, there is not much pain, just stiffness.

Not only am I concerned of the state of my hip ligaments as they are right now, but my husband and I are looking to start a family soon, and I am worried that pregnancy and carrying a child might exacerbate my problem. I have heard I might need some form of physical therapy late in pregnancy. I just started seeing a new primary doctor, and am not sure if I should talk to her about this, or if I should just straight up search for a specialist, and if so, which kind?

I will talk with my chiropractor about this in the next month, but am hoping for some more information and hope!. Thank you for your time!

Hello Lydia,
Yes, I need to see that photo of your pelvis. Send it from your regular computer, either here if you can attach it, or to contact.

A distinction needs to be made between hypermobile hips and hip dysplasia. In the latter, the cover of the hips is reduced, and the shape of the roof of the acetabulum slopes upwards. In the latter, there's a great tendency to get hip arthritis, but not in the former. It sounds like you might have developmental dip dysplasia.


Has granny had a hip replacement?

Start by sending me that x-ray, and then we'll take it further.

Dr Barrie Lewis DC


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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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