Hip pain is a very common problem, and it can be confusing because there are many causes. Some common causes include: Arthritis, Trochanteric Bursitis, Hip Fracture, and Osteonecrosis.
When do you need to call your doctor about your hip pain?
If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention. Treatment of hip pain must be directed at the specific cause of your problem. Some signs that you should be seen by a doctor include:
Inability to walk comfortably on the affected side
Injury that causes deformity around the joint
Hip pain that occurs at night or while resting
Hip pain that persists beyond a few days
Inability to bend the hip
Swelling of the hip or the thigh area
Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth
Any other unusual symptoms
What are the best treatments for hip pain?
Treatment depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment plan. Doctor Biehl specializes in hip pain and if you think that you are experiencing hip pain, you should call him for an evaluation.
Arthritis is among the most frequent causes of hip pain. Over 10 million people in the US have this condition. Since your hips carry your body weight, your hips may be at risk for osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease). The smooth and glistening layer (articular cartilage) on the ends of your bones that helps your hip joint glide may wear out. Your first sign may be a bit of discomfort and stiffness in your groin, buttock or thigh when you wake up in the morning. The pain flares when you're active and gets better when you rest.The condition keeps getting worse until resting no longer relieves your pain. The joint continues to erode and the hip ball starts to flatten out and no longer is round. Bone spurs might build up at the edges of the joint or cysts can form in the bone of the ball and socket (see Photo). When the cartilage wears away completely, bones rub directly against each other. This makes it very painful for you to move and your hip may become stiff. You may become a candidate for a total hip repalcement.
Trochanteric bursitis is an extremely common problem that causes inflammation of the bursa over the outside of the hip joint. Doctor Biehl will frequently treat this with anti-inflammatory medication or injections.
Tendonitis can occur in any of the tendons that surround the hip joint. The most frequently encountered tendonitis around the hip is iliotibial band (IT band) tendonitis.
Osteonecrosis is a condition that occurs when blood flow to an area of bone is restricted. If an inadequate amount of blood flow reaches the bone, the cells will die and the bone may collapse. One of the most common places for osteonecrosis to occur is in the hip joint.
Lumbar Pain - Referred Symptoms
Many back and spine problems can cause symptoms around the buttocks and hip. The most common problems that refer pain to the hip region are herniated discs and sciatica.
Snapping Hip Syndrome
Snapping hip syndrome is a word used to describe three distinct hip problems. The first is when the IT band snaps over the outside of the thigh. The second occurs when the deep hip flexor snaps over the front of the hip joint. Finally, tears of the cartilage, or labrum, around the hip socket can cause a snapping sensation.
Strains of the muscles around the hip and pelvis can cause pain and spasm. The most common strains are groin pulls and hamstring strains.
Hip fractures are most common in elderly patients with osteoporosis. Treatment of broken hips requires surgery to either replace the broken portion or repair it with a metal plate and screws.
Childhood Hip Problems
When the hips are dislocated or out of position in infancy, the joint may not develop properly. While this is not usually painful as a child, it will lead to early arthritis and problems with walking.
Also called Perthes disease, this is a problem similar to osteonecrosis (see above) but in childhood. If severe, it can lead to permanent damage to this hip joint and early arthritis.
Common Treatments for hip pain are listed here. Not all of these treatments are appropriate for every condition, but they may be helpful in your situation.
Rest: The first treatment for most conditions that cause hip pain is to rest the joint, and allow the acute inflammation to subside. Often this is the only step needed to relieve hip pain. If the symptoms are severe, crutches or a cane may be helpful as well.
Ice and Heat Application: Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for inflammation. So which one is the right one to use, ice or heat? And how long should the ice or heat treatments last? Read on for more information about ice and heat treatment.
Stretching: Stretching the muscles and tendons that surround the joint can help with some causes of hip pain. A good routine should be established, and following some specific suggestions will help you on your way.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is an important aspect of treatment of almost all orthopedic conditions. Physical therapists use different modalities to increase strength, regain mobility, and help return patients to their pre-injury level of activity.
Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, commonly referred to as NSAIDs, are some of the most frequently prescribed medications, especially for patients with hip pain caused by problems such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis.
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