My hip is problematic with clicking and pain

by Don
(Fargo ND)

Six years ago this month, and almost to the day, I was coughing and 'went out'. Falling on my butt and landing on a floor air vent, damaging my sacral area. I started right off going to the chiropractor and telling him of my 'accident' and the resulting problem. The area affected, swelled up horizontally to the right from my sacrum, the size of a Bic cigarette lighter.

Then a couple of weeks later I had a vehicle accident that stressed that area to the left and the right.

Eventually I was experiencing what I can only refer to as being comparable to ALS. I even had difficultly swallowing, along with fierce fatigue, as my muscles got more and more tensed up over time, all over my body. Getting up to go to the bathroom required nearly 1 hour of rest to recuperate from the trip. I went to three different chiropractors and eventually I got somewhat loosened up but eventually the fatigue got to be too much and I stopped going to chiropractors, taking some time off.

Then I returned and thing got somewhat better and my body got to where I could tolerate more and more. Eventually, a year ago there was pain from my right hip that was so bad I ended up using a crutch to get around.
Eventually with going to the chiropractor, using the crutch and the discovering Yoga, the stiffness or tension in my muscles are all but gone, but I have to keep on it with the Yoga. I am nearly able to walk unassisted with no pain from my right hip. But it does now feel, quite weak at times. I have been using a walker for the last few months so things got 'evened out' as opposed to using the crutch.

My hip seems to have gone through many adjustments on it own. I have pain at times in any given area of my right leg seemingly depending where my hip is at, then with a simple movement, such as leaning to the right my hip will click and the pain will go away. Then I'll get up to move and later on I get pain from my hip to another muscle in my leg. Eventually with any random movement my hip will click and THAT pain will subside.

This has gone on for months. Pain, click, then no pain. I just had some pain, and the simple movement of getting up from the chair caused it to click. The pain went away. Now after sitting for awhile to type this I got up and now there is pain while walking. It'll click again later and it'll be fine. When I get into my van, on the passenger side, it is very difficult to lift my right leg. After being in the seat for awhile and I attempt to exit it, my right leg is first out, and when I extend my leg downwards, I have to be careful because there will be a catch in my hip that hurts terribly before I get past it, then it sometimes hurts to walk, sometimes not.

In addition to all this I noticed a couple of months ago that while laying flat on my back on the floor I cannot lift my right leg. There is a 'dead' sensation that extends from the very bottom of my lower back, on the back side, of my right leg, to my knee, when I try to lift it.

I said all that to ask this. (1) What causes all the clicking in my hip? (2) What is my problem that I cannot lift my right leg off the floor?

Did I damage or sever a nerve when I damaged my sacrum, that affects lifting my right leg?

Hello Don,
There's a lot of confusion over the term 'hip'. Anatomically it refers to the ball and socket, with pain in the groin and side of the upper leg which is misbehaving.

But many folk, including chiropractors and doctors I might say, use the term hip to describe the sacroiliac joint; they are connected obviously, and affect each other, but are really two distinct entities.

Now, when you talk of your hip clicking, I'm not really sure which you mean. Both affect walking, and getting in and out of the car. That fall on the sacral area obviously stirred up one, or both. When the joint is unstable then it can click as it subluxates.

What I would recommend is that you start some gentle hip and sacroiliac joint exercises EVERY morning before getting out of bed.

Start with the lower back exercises that you'll find in the navigation bar at Chiropractic Help and then, if it's strong enough you may want to move on to the hip exercises described at the page below; they may be too tough.

When you can't raise your leg, is it because of pain, or is it just too weak to lift?

You may well have what we call an impingement syndrome in the hip; then it becomes stiff and painful, may click and getting in and our of a chair, or the car becomes difficult; and, if you don't exercise it, it becomes arthritic.

Reading between the lines it seems that some of that chiropractic is helping; continue with the best person you have found. Has an x-ray of your pelvis been taken?

I hope all of this makes some sense.

Dr B

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Apr 20, 2017
My hip is problematic with clicking and pain
by: Don

Your first diagnosis of a denervated muscle (I found the definition on the net) makes more sense than the diabetes diagnosis, because after having what was comparable to ALS for the last 6 years, it would just make sense, to me, that there would be more than one bum muscle.

Anyway, my body has given up all it's tension, and 95 percent of the pain I once had, thanks no doubt to my chiropractor and my constant Yoga exercises and my pure determination to keep moving. So I now know for a fact that I can give up my walker soon and walk pretty much normal.

I have held back with my comments until my MRI and X-rays, that I had last Friday, were evaluated by an orthopedic doctor.

He says my hip is shot. I'm not buying it 100 percent though, because some times there is no pain there, and other times pain in other places.

He said that a bad hip can manifest itself in many ways and with pain from, and to, many places. Including that dead muscle that prevents me from lifting my right leg.

I told him that particular day I was in NO pain at all, and that I'll soon be able to give up my walker.

He then told me that once I do, and have been walking unaided, to give it 6 weeks, then return to talk to him again about my hip to see if my hip is the actual problem or not. Or if it the problem will 'correct' itself.

I must admit that I caused my OWN hip problem.

After injuring my sacrum 6 years ago I made a seat cushion for my van, with a cutout for my tailbone. I drove for 5 years sitting on that cushion.

But each time I got in my van the cushion would get pushed off the seat because I could never remember to lift myself high enough to clear it.

So I carved it into a wedge, from left to right. Higher on the right then the left.

After that it was comparable to having a VERY FAT wallet in my right rear pocket and we all know NOT to drive while sitting, constantly, on a fat wallet, right?

It never did cross my mind how I goofed up. But it has NOW!!

Hopefully someone here can and will benefit from my mistake. I have.

Live and learn.

It's possible, Don that cushion contributed to the hip, but no certainty of that, and in any case it's history; set in concrete.

If the hip causes you no pain, then live with it is my advice; it's not the cause of the weakness in your leg. Exercise it every day though, as there is a knock on effect in the sacroiliac joint that will stiffen up; a sort of sympathy pain.

If you give up your walker, use a stick. A fall is likely to mean a fractured femur.

Thank you for your contribution; others will certainly read with interest and benefit.

Dr B

Apr 06, 2017
My hip is problematic with clicking and pain
by: Don Lo.

You have lost track. I have not had THIS problem for 6 years. It was 6 years ago I injured my sacrum and just recently found I cannot lift my right leg when laying flat on my back on the floor.
I have no pain when attempting to do it, it's just dead and I cannot lift it.
It has nothing to do with the sciatic nerve, I've had sciatica before and know that problem, and there is no problem lifting the upper leg when sitting. Just a problem lifting it when getting into my van.

Maybe lifting it when getting into my van has nothing to do with being able to lift my right leg off the floor when laying flat on my back. So maybe that doesn't even factor in.

I have been doing stretching exercises for the last few months.

I don't know where to 'twitching' comes from but when sitting in a chair, and not in my van, my leg does jump, twitch. The heel on my right foot jumps continuously, for a number of seconds each time it does it, though off and on.

My knee reflex is good

Yes, I can lift my big toe and heel off the floor when sitting.

Looking up on the for denervated muscle I believe you've hit on something. So I need chiropractic AND some physical therapy.

Hello again,
Quite right, it's not sciatica; I would start off with a test for diabetes; that causes painless weakness of the quadriceps muscle, making it difficult to raise the leg.

If it's a pinched femoral nerve then it is far more likely to have started with pain in the leg, and probably the back too.

It's a simple urine test.

Let me know.

Dr B

Apr 02, 2017
My hip is problematic with clicking and pain
by: Don

Yes, the catching and clicking is in my hip, the area of my leg just behind my right front pocket of my pants.

The area to the left of my hips, behind the seam of my pant leg is also swelled up at times. Once the catching and subluxation (clicking) occurs, the swelling goes down some.

I have been doing stretching exercises in the morning for the last couple of months and all my muscles are pretty much tension free, except for my hip, area behind my right front pants pocket.

No, there is NO PAIN when attempting to lift my right leg. There is a 'dead' sensation that extends from the very bottom of my lower back, on the back side of my right leg, to my knee, when I try to lift it.

You asked: When you can't raise your leg, is it because of pain (refer above or is it just too weak to lift?
No pain, no weakness, just plain DEAD. No response, as though it's paralyzed.

What is my problem that I cannot lift my right leg off the floor?
A severed nerve? A pinched nerve.

You asked: Has an x-ray of your pelvis been taken? Yes 6 years ago when all this started.

When I fell 6 years ago the area that swelled up, the size of a person's thumb, was right on the right hole, THIRD one down, on the RIGHT SIDE of the sacrum. It still swells from time to time but not nearly the size it used to.

Thank you for your time and past comments.

Hello DON,
If you are simply unable to move the upper leg when sitting, not because of pain, but because of weakness, then there is a strong perception of paralysis. And if you've had it for six years, then there's little likelihood of recovery, no matter what the treatment.

When this all started, can you remember, did you have strange twitching in the muscles, probably in front of the thigh, just below the groin? They are called fasciculations, and sign of a denervated muscle.

Do you know if the knee jerk reflex is normal?

What's a bit odd is that area of the sacrum would affect the sciatic nerve, and not the femoral that innervates the thigh flexors. Can you lift your big toe, and lift your heel off the ground.

I'm afraid I have little to offer, Don. I'd do some gentle hip and lower back exercises, walk as best your can with a stick.

Dr B

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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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