Seven common causes for hip pain
Our hips bear the full weight of our bodies and help us stand, walk, run and dance over a lifetime. It is not surprising that pain felt in the hip is concerning. In general, issues within the hip joint bring on pain felt inside the hip or groin area. When the pain is felt outside the hip, on the upper thighs or outer buttock, the problem is usually with the muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues around the hip. There are a variety of conditions, injuries and problems that bring on hip pain. Here are a few of the most common.
Each year, over 300,000 people over the age of 65 in the United States are hospitalized for hip fractures, according to the Center for Disease Control. As people age, their bones become more brittle and weaken, making hip fractures more common among this age group. The pain from a fracture is significant and surgery is needed to address the fracture.
There are small liquid filled sacs found throughout the body known as bursae that act as cushions between tissues to reduce friction. There are two major bursae in the hip that can become inflamed and cause pain. This inflammation is called bursitis and is usually caused by overusing the hip. Stretching and warming up before exercise can reduce the chances of developing bursitis.
Tendons are the thick bands of tissue that attach bones including the hip to muscles in the body. When these tendons are inflamed by repetitive movement, they cause a pain known as tendinitis. Regular stretching and warming up before exercise can reduce the chances of having tendinitis.
Hip labral tear
The outside rim of the hip joint has a rim of cartilage that helps cushion the join and holds the ball at the top of your thigh bone securely in the hip socket. If this ring of cartilage known as the labrum is torn during intense activity, it will bring on hip pain.
Hip pain can also be caused by a pinched nerve in the body. One example of a pinched nerve is sciatica. The sciatic nerve branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. If this nerve is compressed or irritated, pain is felt all along the nerve path including in the hip.
Tumors that start in bones or spread to the bones can cause hip pain. In addition to being painful, the hip joint may swell and feel stiff.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common causes of hip pain. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones in the hip begins to wear down and becomes inflamed. The hips may also feel stiff and the range of motion can be reduced by arthritis.
Relieving hip pain
When hip pain is minor, there are ways to treat it at home. Try to avoid bending at the hip and putting pressure on the hip. Avoid sleeping on the painful side of the hip or sitting for long periods of time. Your doctor can recommend some simple stretching exercise to reduce pain. Try taking a warm bath or shower before exercise to make movement easier. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can reduce the pain. Cold packs can also help address hip pain.
When to call the doctor
When the pain in the hip is intense and there is swelling, seek immediate medical attention. If the joint looks deformed and you are unable to move your leg or bear weight on your leg, go directly to an emergency room. If fever, chills or redness accompanies any of these symptoms, be sure to let the doctor know since they can be signs of infection.
Repairing or replacing the hip is a major surgery that requires significant recovery time and targeted therapy. This level of care is usually found in a short-term care facility where there is a trained team of professionals who can provide an effective program of care and therapy. Whitehall of Deerfield can provide the highest level of care at their Elective Orthopedic Pavilion, a luxury destination for post-hospital rehabilitation.
Whitehall of Deerfield’s Elective Orthopedic Pavilion features a state-of-the-art orthopedic gym specially designed for those recovering from joint replacement surgery. A team of highly-skilled therapists work one-on-one with guests to regain their ability to return to an active lifestyle. Guests have access to equipment like the Kinesis® One, a functional training station to improve strength, balance and flexibility as well as an APT restorator bike to help with range of motion. There is also a computerized balance gym for balance and weight bearing testing and training.
At Whitehall of Deerfield’s Elective Orthopedic Pavilion, guests enjoy all-private rooms with luxurious amenities including high-speed wireless Internet, concierge service, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and newspaper, dozens of cable channels with a 24-hour channel of newly released movies and even valet parking for visitors.
The Elective Orthopedic Pavilion at Whitehall of Deerfield offers a free orientation on the third Tuesday of every month where you’ll meet its team of experts and discover what it takes to recover successfully.
To learn more or schedule a tour, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.