What are the Symptoms of Hip Pain?
Hip pain can manifest in various ways, each indicating potential underlying issues. As hip pain can potentially lead to health complications in the future that may affect other parts of your body, early diagnosis and hip pain treatment are crucial.
A noticeable limp
Swelling and inflammation
Pain during movement and/or rest
Clicking, popping, or grinding sensations
If you are experiencing persistent hip pain, it is important to consult Our Doctors to have an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
5 Common Causes and Hip Pain Treatment
Mobility and Functionality
The hip joint is integral to our ability to move, walk, run, climb, and engage in various physical activities. It facilitates a wide range of motions, from basic tasks like standing up to more complex actions like dancing or participating in sports.
The hip joint's design, with its ball-and-socket structure, provides a balance between mobility and stability. This stability is crucial for maintaining balance, preventing falls, and avoiding potential injuries. A well-functioning hip joint supports our body's weight distribution, preventing undue stress on other joints and reducing the risk of conditions like back pain.
Bursitis occurs when small fluid-filled sacs, known as the bursae, that cushion and reduce friction between bones, tendons, and muscles, become inflamed. An example of this condition is trochanteric bursitis, a type affecting the outer hip, which can result from activities like running or stair climbing.
Tendonitis is another common cause of hip pain. It happens when the tendons, which connect muscles to bones, become inflamed or irritated due to overuse or repetitive motions. In the case of hip pain, iliotibial (IT) band tendonitis is one example. This often affects runners and cyclists due to the continuous motion of the hips during these activities.
Arthritis, also known as the "wear and tear" of joints, can affect the hip joint's comfort. Osteoarthritis, prevalent in older adults, leads to cartilage deterioration and joint inflammation. Adding on, the hip can also be affected by rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition that causes pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.
Hip fractures, particularly common among seniors, can have life-altering consequences. A fascinating aspect is that the hip is one of the strongest bones in the body, yet it becomes vulnerable due to factors like osteoporosis. It causes sudden, severe pain and can be a medical emergency.
Hip impingement can be caused by a variety of reasons and can come in three different forms. The first is known as Femoral Impingement, where the femur's spherical head has an irregular contour. During certain movements, this non-uniformity causes the femoral head to bump against the acetabulum's rim, leading to friction and discomfort. The second is Pincer impingement, where the acetabulum extends farther than usual and collides with the femur. Finally, the last is combined impingement where a person is affected by both aforementioned conditions above.
Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatments for Hip Pain Relief
What are the Non-Surgical Treatments Available for Hip Pain?
This hands-on approach involves targeted exercises and techniques to strengthen muscles around the hip, enhance flexibility, and improve joint stability. It may be used alongside other treatments such as medication and injections to improve their effectiveness.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), provide a valuable tool to mitigate mild to moderate hip pain by reducing inflammation and offering pain relief. However, we would recommend consulting your healthcare provider and avoiding self-medicating.
Injections are minimally invasive treatments that can deliver precise relief. Different injections are used depending on the conditions, such as Corticosteroid injections temporarily quell inflammation within the hip joint. Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid injections introduce lubrication and cushioning, facilitating smoother joint movement.
What are the Surgical Treatments Available for Hip Pain?
Through small incisions and specialised equipment, this technique grants orthopaedic surgeons access to the hip joint, enabling them to address various issues like labral tears, cartilage damage, and impingement with precision.
When hip pain is rooted in advanced arthritis or severe joint deterioration, hip replacement will be the go-to treatment. This procedure involves substituting the compromised joint with an artificial implant, effectively minimising pain and reinstating functional mobility.
This is a procedure where your femur is surgically altered. This procedure involves reshaping the femur to mitigate impingement, thus facilitating smoother joint movement and reducing discomfort.
Commonly performed on those with specific hip conditions such as shallow hip sockets (acetabular dysplasia), periacetabular osteotomy repositions the socket to fit better with the femoral head. This adjustment can promote better hip health and joint coordination.
How Can the Source of Your Hip Pain Be Diagnosed?
In diagnosing your hip pain, medical practitioners may use a variety of methods and medical devices to get to the root of your condition.
- Examining your medical history.
- Conducting a physical examination.
- Analysing your gait.
- Conducting imaging studies.
- Conducting blood tests.
What is the Anatomy of the Hip?
Ligaments are sturdy bands of tissue that connect bones and help stabilise joints. In the hip, several ligaments provide support and prevent excessive movement. The iliofemoral ligament, commonly known as the Y-shaped ligament, is the strongest in the body and helps prevent hyperextension of the hip joint. In contrast, the pubofemoral and ischiofemoral ligaments contribute to the joint's stability.
Bones and Joints
The hip also consists of bones and joints that collaborate to facilitate movement while maintaining stability. At the top of the thigh bone, there is a rounded structure known as the femoral head, which fits neatly into a hollow, bowl-like part in your pelvis called the acetabulum. Complementing this arrangement is the presence of cartilage, a specialised tissue that cushions and protects the bones during movement. This cartilage cushion that helps your bones move without any rubbing or discomfort.
Muscles and Tendons
The hip's dynamic range of motion is enabled through the coordinated efforts of muscles and tendons. Muscles enveloping the hip joint perform essential functions that enable us to walk, run, and perform various activities. Among these, the gluteal muscles, situated in the buttocks, stand as the prime movers. Additionally, the tendons also connect the muscles to the bones, allowing for fluid movement.
Nerves and Arteries
Nerves act as messengers that send signals to your muscles. The sciatic nerve traverses the hip area and extends down the leg, branching into various smaller nerves along the way. Along with other nerves such as the femoral nerve located in the front of the femur, and the obturator nerve, they ensure muscle contractions are precisely timed and coordinated, allowing for actions as varied as walking, running, and balancing.
When Should You Seek Professional Help for your Hip Pain?
Understanding when to reach out for professional guidance is crucial in managing hip pain effectively and preventing potential complications. Here are key signs and scenarios where you should seek medical attention as soon as possible:
- You have pre-existing health conditions.
- You had a previous hip injury.
- You are unable to bear weight.
- The pain worsens after a few days.
- Your mobility becomes limited.
- You experience swelling and redness in the affected area.
Timely intervention can improve treatment outcomes, and you do not need to display such symptoms before seeking medical intervention.
Are You or Your Loved Ones Suffering from Hip Pain?
Hip pain can significantly impact daily life and mobility. If you or a loved one are facing this challenge, feel free to book an appointment with us at Avant Orthopaedics, and we will provide you with a personalized consultation.