The hip is a strong joint (ball and socket joint) that gives movement and bears body weight. It can endure repetitive motion and substantial wear and tear. When the hip is in motion, a cushion of cartilage prevents friction when the hip bone moves in its socket. Age and wear and tear can make the hip susceptible to damage. Additionally, the hip may sustain injuries from falls or accidents, causing the hip to break, and leading to hip pain.
At Axon Health Associates, we offer advanced hip pain management solutions to maintain mobility and help you maintain your active lifestyle. Our specialists use advanced diagnostic equipment to diagnose and formulate a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
What Is Hip Pain?
Hip pain involves discomfort in or around the muscles or joints in the hip or pelvic region. Hip pain is very common and can be caused by various problems such as diseases and conditions in other areas of your body (referred pain). Hip joint problems can affect people of all ages; however, in older people, it may result from arthritis or fractures. Overuse from activities that involve moving the hip in various directions, such as dancers or athletes, are highly likely to injure their hips. It is advisable to seek medical treatment and advice on managing hip joint pain.
Causes of Hip Pain
Common causes of hip pain include:
- Arthritis: This is the most common cause of hip pain. Arthritis causes stiffness, pain, tenderness, and difficulty walking. There are various types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. It commonly affects older people.
- Bursitis: Bursae are sacs of fluids inside the hips that provide cushioning for your joints. If the bursa gets inflamed, it can cause pain. The inflammation can be caused by injury, overuse, arthritis, or repetitive activities that irritate and swell the hip joint.
- Hip fractures: Aging causes bones to become brittle and weak, which are more likely to break from an injury or fall.
- Sprain or strains: This is pain, bruising, or swelling experienced over the injured area that worsens with activity.
- Cancer: Bone tumors can cause pain in the hips and other body parts.
- Tendinitis: This is the inflammation or irritation of the tendons (thick bands of tissues that attach to muscles to the bone) caused by repetitive stress.
- Hip impingement: This is a condition whereby an abnormal bone grows along the bones forming the hip joint. This causes pain with exercise and movement.
- Infections in the joints and bones
- Muscle imbalances
- Excessive sitting
Symptoms of Hip Pain
Hip pain depends on the cause. You may experience discomfort in the buttocks, thigh, and groin, inside and outside the hip. Symptoms can be mild or severe and can cause disability. Symptoms include:
- Swelling over the hip
- Joint pain when walking, standing, climbing, or descending the stairs
- Tenderness of the hip
- Groin pain
- Loss of motion of the hip
- Popping or snapping sensations
- Reduced range of motion
- Swelling at the hip
- Difficulty sleeping on the side of the hip
If you experience the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
- An injury causes hip pain
- Your hip is bleeding
- You can see an exposed muscle or bone
- There is a popping sound
- You cannot bear weight on the affected hip joint
- Severe pain, or tenderness, lasting longer than several days
- Your hip joint appears deformed
- Sudden swelling
- The hip appears red, warm, and sore
- Have a fever or chills
- Inability to move the leg or hip
During a diagnosis, your doctor will conduct a physical examination and take details about your medical and family history. The physical exam might include internal and external hip rotation to detect positions that aggravate pain. Your hip may also be palpitated to check for tenderness over the inflamed areas.
Your doctor may also order imaging tests such as MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, blood tests, or X-rays to determine the cause of your hip pain. A nuclear medicine bone scan can also be done to check a fractured bone.
Hip Pain Treatment
Treatment depends on the cause and how much pain you are in.
If your pain is caused by exercise, rest can help the hip to heal. You can try the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method to alleviate pain and swelling. Anti-inflammatory medications can help with mild muscle and tendon injuries. Typically, this type of pain resolves within a few days.
Arthritis can be managed with physiotherapy to keep the joint mobile and medications to relieve pain and stiffness. Occupational therapy can help make waking with walking aids easier. Cortisone injections for joint pain can help lubricate the hip joint to help in movement.
Surgery may be recommended for hip fractures, malformation, tendon, and labrum tears. A damaged hip joint can be repaired with hip replacement surgery.
You do not have to live with hip pain. Get a comprehensive treatment plan for hip joint pain management from Axon Health Associates. Contact us today or schedule an appointment online.