As the largest joints in your body, your hips take a lot of stress while performing a wide range of movements. Hip pain can make it difficult to get around or to enjoy your daily activities.
What Is Hip Pain?
The hip joint is crucial to everyday movement, including: standing up, sitting, and walking. This joint supports and balances your torso and plays a major part in movements that include jumping, bending, and twisting.
The joint in the hip is a ball and socket joint. The structures inside are coated with cartilage. Additionally, small fluid-filled sacs known as bursae ease movement and reduce friction.
Hip pain can occur when there is a problem with the bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the area. Some hip pain is localized to the joint. Other hip pain can radiate into the legs. Depending on the injury and the individual, hip pain can come on suddenly or build up over time. In some cases, it progresses to the point where activities like walking are affected.
Symptoms of Hip Pain
Hip pain can either be sharp or a dull persistent pain. The pain may be localized to the hip or it may radiate down into the legs. Some hip pain is constant. Other pain is aggravated by movement or pressure.
Hip pain may be accompanied by stiffness and swelling. Sometimes a crunching, grinding, or popping sensation or sound is present.
What Causes Hip Pain?
Because the hip is a heavily used joint, it is vulnerable to osteoarthritis. This occurs when the cartilage in the hip is worn. Research indicates that one in four individuals will experience some degree of osteoarthritis of the hips by the time they reach the age of 85.
Bursitis of the hip occurs when the bursa become irritated and inflamed.
Tendonitis of the hip occurs when the tissue that attaches muscle to bone becomes irritated. This sort of injury is often caused by overuse.
While hip pain is popularly associated with old age, it can strike individuals of any age.
Diagnosing Hip Pain
There are many possible causes of hip pain, so an accurate diagnosis is important. We start with an examination of your medical history. This will help us identify any risk factors you have, as well as a possible inciting incident for your hip pain.
During a physical examination, we'll learn more about your pain levels, what triggers pain in your hips, and your current range of movement.
Imaging technology like MRIs and CT scans can also be effective in locating the source of the hip pain you are experiencing.
Treatments for Hip Pain
The proper treatment for your pain will depend on your individual health and the cause of your pain.
In many cases, rest is needed to allow the hip issue to heal without complications.
Physical therapy may be called for later on to help with pain and to prevent reinjury. Your physical therapy may include exercises to strengthen the hip and the area around it, instruction to improve your gait, and stretching exercises to help you improve your mobility.
TENS units can be helpful for interrupting pain signals and lowering pain levels.
Medication such as NSAIDs can reduce inflammation and combat pain. If pain is not managed with oral medications, hip joint injections can provide relief.
Chiropractic care and massage can also relieve pressure and bring relief.
Request a Consultation
You do not have to live in pain. At Gulf Coast Pain Institute, we bring together healthcare professionals from a range of disciplines to give you the combination of care you need. Call for an appointment today. We will find the source of your pain and create a customized treatment plan to battle pain and help you regain your active lifestyle.