Hip pain is pain felt in the hip area: sometimes radiating to the thigh or groin regions. It can be a distressing experience for the individual, and the pain may increase during physical activities or can even become impossible for the patient to move.
The bones in the hip region are placed in a way that enables easy joint movement. It consists of a ball at the end of the femur, the thigh bone placed inside the hip socket called the acetabulum. A ball and socket movement happens between the two with the help of a fluid called cartilage in the socket.
What causes hip pain?
Hip pain can be moderate or severe or even require surgical correction depending upon its cause. It can be caused due to damage or inflammation/ infection in the bone, surrounding tendons, or the muscles. The breakdown of the cartilage fluid can also cause severe hip pain.
Issues in the bone
- Hip fractures are common in older people with weak bones or osteoporosis.
- Osteonecrosis is caused when the hip bone does not receive sufficient blood supply. Heavy doses of steroids or alcohol can cause this condition.
Issues in the surrounding fluid: cartilage
- Diseases like Osteoarthritis, Infectious arthritis, and Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation and slowly destroy the cartilage in the hip joint or even the bones.
Issues in the tendons & muscles
- Bursae is a liquid sac near the hip joint and surrounding muscles that prevents friction between them while moving. Inflammation of bursae, called Bursitis, can cause repeated irritation of the joint.
- Repetitive physical activities also cause strains in the tendons called Tendinitis.
- A hip labral tear is typically caused in athletes or dancers when their ring of cartilage gets ripped due to repeated twisting movements.
- The pain gradually increases in case of Arthritic infections. It can also cause stiffness and reduce the hip’s mobility.
- Along with pain, when there is swelling near the joint, then it could be a symptom of damage in the tendons or muscles.
- Sharp pain in the groin, extending to the buttocks or the upper part of the leg, characterizes a hip labral tear.
- Hip fractures are symptomatic with a sudden, sharp pain in the hip. It can happen when there is a fall or with a sudden movement like getting up from a chair, bed, etc.
- Most forms of low-muscle hip joint pains go away with mild exercise. But for pains caused due to severe repetitive damage causing exercises, the best treatment is to take bed rest and avoid intense physical activities. By doing this, the muscles heal, and the patient can get relief from the pain.
- Pain caused due to arthritis can get worse with movement. It is treated by taking recommended medicines and opting for physical therapy.
- Over-the-counter painkiller medications are prescribed for hip pains caused due to an injury or inflammation in the tendons or muscles.
- Surgery followed by low-mobility exercises is the recommended treatment for hip fractures.
- Home treatment options include holding ice cubes or a hot bag in the area of pain.
Hip pain can considerably affect the quality of life. So, it is wise to take necessary precautions to prevent any damage or tear in the muscles or tendons near the joint. You should consult a doctor as soon as possible or visit a best orthopaedic hospital in Chennai if the pain doesn’t subside, the joints swell or bleed, or any movement becomes painful. The cause of the pain in the hip or the surrounding region can be easily identified using imaging scans to start the treatment right away.