Overview of Hip Pain

Overview of Hip Pain

Your hips are crucial joints that help you walk, run, stand up, sit down or just get around in general. When one or both of them start to hurt, you’ll notice it real quick because it becomes difficult to move.

Hip pain may be related to an injury or condition affecting your muscles, ligaments or joints. You tend to feel hip pain in the upper part of your thigh and buttock and the outside of your leg, though it can affect your groin too.

Hip pain can lead to further pain or permanent disability, so do not try to ignore it or act like it doesn’t bother you.

Continue reading to learn more about hip pain. Discover its symptoms and causes and find out when you should seek treatment from health care professionals like physical therapists.

Symptoms of hip pain

Hip pain is identifiable by any dull, persistent achiness or sharp and stinging pain in or around the hip. Sometimes your hip may hurt because of overuse. In these cases, the pain may go away on its own after a few days of rest.

Hip pain may be the sign of something serious too. If you notice any of these symptoms with your hip pain, you will want to seek professional help:

  • Hip pain that lasts for more than a few weeks
  • Loss of motion or stiffness
  • Increased pain when bending or lifting your leg
  • Increased pain from sitting or walking or activity
  • Pain that stems from your hip into your groin
  • Swelling
  • Redness and warmth
  • Sensitivity to touch

If any of this sounds like you, you may have a serious condition that is causing your hip pain and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Causes of hip pain

Hip pain can be related to many causes. You should learn about the causes of hip pain so you can know when to seek medical attention, especially if you know you’re prone to some of the specific causes.

Common causes of hip pain include:

  • Inflammation — Overuse or strain can cause inflammation in the tendons of your hips. This can be a minor condition that requires a few days of rest, or it may be more severe and long-lasting.
  • Arthritis — There are different forms of arthritis that can affect your hip. Arthritis can cause the cartilage to wear down from age and prolonged use, or it may be related to a condition in which the immune system causes the cartilage and bones to break down.
  • Fractures — Pain associated with hip fractures is severe and characterized by a sudden appearance. These are usually caused by heavy impact or osteoporosis, which is a condition that weakens the bones.
  • Bursitis — The bursa is a sac of liquid in your hip that serves to reduce friction. Bursitis is when this sac becomes inflamed and causes pain and stiffness.
  • Pregnancy — The stress that pregnancy puts on your body can cause pain in your hips.

Diagnosing hip pain

An accurate diagnosis is crucial to receiving effective treatment. Your physician will identify the cause of your hip pain by examining your symptoms and asking you some questions related to the development of your pain. He or she will also consider factors like your age, sex and medical history.

A complete diagnosis usually includes some of the following tests:

  • CT scan
  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

These tests will provide images of your bones and soft tissue that can show your physician the source of your pain.

Treating hip pain

Treatments for hip pain vary depending on the cause and personal factors like your age and medical history. Some extreme cases of hip pain may require surgery, but most cases can get by with medication and physical therapy.

Physical therapy for hip pain focuses on reducing your pain and improving your strength and mobility. Improving the strength and flexibility of your muscles and ligaments can help relieve pressure and provide much-needed support to your bones and other structures. Many hip pain physical therapy treatments include:

  • Stretching and exercising
  • Massage
  • Cold and hot therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Controlled movements

Physical therapists can also help you recover from surgery. If you have to  get a total hip replacement to resolve your hip pain, you should seek a physical therapist to help you recover more fully and quickly.

Schedule an appointment for hip pain at Advent Physical Therapy

The team at Advent Physical Therapy has been treating conditions like hip pain for more than 20 years.

If you are suffering from hip pain and would like help reducing your pain and regaining your ability to move, then contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists.