Looking for a helpful guide to Hip Pain? You’re in the right place! We’ve assembled this succinct and straight-forward guide to Hip Pain packed with helpful information answering some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this health condition.
A GUIDE TO
When is the last time you looked at your hips from the side? As in do you have an anterior pelvic tilt? Do you know if your hip flexors, adductors or IT band is tight? If you don’t know the answer to these questions and you have hip pain it is time to look at your posture. Many times the pain we experience from a muscular standpoint is due to our poor posture. With minor fixes we can alleviate a lot of our pain – find out more about how to alleviate hip pain with our guide below.
WHAT IS HIP PAIN?
Hip pain can be caused by many things and is pretty common in the general population, however it becomes much more pronounced through overuse or in the aging process. It is a pain radiating from the hip joint, which involves the junction of two bones: the Femur (thighbone) and the pelvis (which includes the ilium, ischium, and pubis). The head of the femur inserts into the acetabulum socket of the hip, so the pain can often radiate to the groin, low back, down the thigh, or even to the knee and be misconstrued as a knee issue. It can involve the bones, nerves, tendons, muscles,
Common symptoms can include a dull ache (ranging from mild discomfort to more intense pain) that is intermittent or consistent, tenderness, stiffness, and limping. The type of pain or sensations resulting from the affected hip will depend on what exactly is the root cause of the discomfort. There are many causes of hip pain, ranging from minor to more serious issues, as well as plenty of treatments to help. Consulting your physician can help find the cause and come up with a plan of action to hopefully alleviate the pain. It is especially important to seek advice or help as soon as possible. Hip pain can lead to a limited range of motion or mobility, difficulty walking or exercising, it can lead to troublesome sleep, and lead to a poor quality of life.
WHAT CAUSES HIP PAIN?
Physical injury to the hip can be a result of a car accident, contact sport, or serious fall and it will require a trip to the emergency room when accompanied by: intense pain, inability to move the hip or leg, inability to bear weight on leg, sudden swelling, a deformed joint, and signs of infection like a fever. Hip pain can be caused by a dislocation, (the bones come out of their normal positions leading to an immobilized joint), a fracture (life-threatening in older populations), a sprain (stretching or tearing of ligaments), and Bursitis (inflammation of the joint due to repetitive motion). Another serious cause of hip pain is cancer, specifically bone cancer or leukemia, or any advanced (metastatic) cancer that has spread to the bones.
A common cause of hip pain is arthritis, to include osteoarthritis (deterioration of joint cartilage), psoriatic arthritis (symptom of psoriasis), septic arthritis (infection of the joint), and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder affecting the lining of the joints). Osteoarthritis is the most common, and the pain results from the lack of cartilage in the joint, which allows for bone-on-bone grinding leading to damaged bones and tendons and inflammation. Certain activities or repetitive motion can cause temporary hip pain as well, but proper rest should resolve the issue.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF HIP PAIN?
The symptoms of hip pain depend on the cause of the pain, whether it is an issue involving a muscle, tendon, nerve, joint, bone or even the immune system. The pain can be more of a mild soreness or discomfort and will be temporary if it is a result of overexerted muscles and tendons from a new activity or from repetitive motion. As soon as the muscle has rested or adapted to the new movement, the pain will subside. The pain can sometimes travel down the leg, towards the groin, or to the low back.
If the pain is from a physical injury to the hip, the pain can be quite extreme and be accompanied by many or all of these other symptoms: inability to move the hip or leg, sudden swelling and/or bruising, not being able to put weight on the leg, a deformation of the joint, and even a fever if infection has developed from the injury. Some people report feeling a “warm” type of pain in the hip, which is typically accompanied by inflammation either in the joint, a certain muscle, or nerve (usually the sciatic nerve). Hip pain can worsen with certain activities, which can lead to reduced range of motion and stiffness from the lack of mobility over time. In long term cases of hip pain, limping can develop, leading to a poor quality of life and an inability to perform many activities. Even laying on the hip can be too painful, leading to poor sleep.
HOW DO YOU TREAT HIP PAIN?
Activity related hip pain will generally go away after a few days with proper rest (adequate sleep or applying heat). For more sudden, intense hip pain resulting from an injury such as a fracture or dislocation, an emergency room visit is necessary, which may require an MRI and/or X-ray in order to prescribe treatment. This will likely result in your physician gently maneuvering the bones back into place (if it’s a dislocation), which may require anesthesia depending on the amount of swelling and pain present. Surgery to repair or replace the hip is necessary if there is a fracture, the bones can’t be manipulated back into place, or the nerves and ligaments have been damaged as well. Post hip surgery will require some physical therapy and rehabilitation to strengthen the joint and return it to it’s full range of motion. Your physician will prescribe some medications such as NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ketamine to help with pain and inflammation during this process.
In terms of hip pain due to cancer, treatment will involve a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. If arthritis is the cause, a doctor will prescribe medications such as NSAIDs, painkillers or ointments to relieve pain and stiffness.
A HEALTHY LIFE FOR A BETTER LIFE
At Bare Health we are dedicated to helping our clients live better, healthier lives. Whether you are struggling with Hip Pain, want help building a sustainable nutrition program, or want to improve your physical fitness, Bare Health can help you! Remember, a better life starts by creating a healthy life.