Hip Pain- Common causes, why and what to do?
The hip joint is a very strong ball and socket type of joint. It is highly mobile and frictionless due to the cartilage and fluid present in the cavity of the joint. Although it is very tough and durable, it can also be damaged due to wear and tear over time. Moreover, hip pain can also be caused by an injury to the hip joint that may be an accident or trauma to the hips.
Despite the strength of the joint, bursae in the hip region and excessive fat, hip pain still exists, which is common among people who are overweight, make overuse of the hip joint, remain in a sitting position for hours and older women and hip pain in runners. Some common causes of hip pain include the following.
1: Hip Osteoarthritis
For example, Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition that occurs with age, injury or obesity, mainly in high mobility and weight-bearing joints. Certainly, it is one of the most common causes of hip pain in older adults. In old females, the cause of osteoarthritis can be a deficiency of estrogen hormone after menopause. Diagnostic tests may include blood tests, X-rays and MRI. In obese people, it can be controlled by losing weight, while in older women, estrogen supplements are used to control bone-related problems.
2: Hip Pain Due to Bursitis
Bursae are fluid-filled pouches that are present between bones, muscles and tendons. That is to say, their sole purpose is to reduce friction between these issues when they move over the bone. When there is excess movement between these tissues, chances of inflammation may increase, which can lead to excruciating pain in the hip region. Some common types of bursitis are as follows.
A: Trochanteric bursitis
In addition, this particular bursa is present on the lateral sides of the hip region. Like other bursae, this one can also be inflamed, giving rise to a condition called greater trochanteric pain syndrome. Old people and those who run and do cycling regularly are susceptible to this clinical condition. This pain is aggravated by walking and especially moving downstairs. Initially, there is a sharp pain in the hip region, leading to a deep and dull ache in the buttocks. Diagnostic methods include X-ray, MRI and ultrasound. Treatment options may be the application of ice and anti-inflammatory medications.
B: Ischial bursitis
Like the trochanteric bursa, the ischial bursa can also get inflamed in some instances. Common victims of ischial bursitis are those who sit on chairs for hours, i.e. those who work at offices. The pain of ischial bursitis is also aggravated during walking and running. Diagnosis and treatment options are the same as for trochanteric bursitis. It can be avoided by breaking the sitting intervals with a little walk during working hours.
3: Labral tears
The labrum is a cartilage that lies within the cavity of the hip joint. The purpose of this cartilage is to reduce friction while movements are performed. It can be torn due to any trauma to the hip joint, congenital abnormalities or prolonged repetitive motion. Therefore, when this cartilage is damaged, it leads to pain in your hip joint and stiffness during the movements. This type of tear can be viewed using MRI and ultrasounds.
4: Avascular Necrosis of the Hip
Like other tissues of your body, bones also need a continuous supply of blood. However, when the blood supply to any specific region of bone is cut off, it leads to necrosis of the bone called avascular necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis. Causes of avascular necrosis may include a previously fractured bone, excess steroids intake and alcohol abuse. This condition can be either asymptomatic or characterized by dull pain in the hip region. Diagnostic techniques include X-ray, MRI, CT scan or biopsy of the bone.
The Takeaway Message
In conclusion, despite the strength and durability of the hip joint, it is still susceptible to pain and trauma. Causes of pain may be different, i.e. injury to the hip joint, information of the bursae or necrosis of the hip bone. Whatever the cause is, the ultimate result is a pain in that joint’s hip region and stiffness. Most importantly, all the above clinical conditions can be prevented by avoiding the risk factors for that particular condition.
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