The hip is the body’s biggest ball-and-socket joint. It is built to withstand constant wear and tear but is not indestructible. Age and usage can wear down or damage cartilage, its muscles can become strained, and the hip bone itself can be fractured or broken. All of these scenarios can cause hip pain.
The locations and treatments for causes will vary depending on the affected area. Pain can be felt in the thigh, groin, glutes, or outside/inside hip joint. It is possible to feel hip pain as a result of an issue somewhere else in the body. This can be the case with a hernia that is located in the back or groin. Certain activities can worsen symptoms and some may even develop a limp as a result of moving to avoid pain.
There are several causes of hip pain, but the most common include:
Throughout the body, there are several bursa usually located by main joints. Bursa are fluid filled sacs that allow for proper gliding of joints and reduce friction making painless movement possible. If these bursa become inflamed, they can cause pain. There are two main bursa in the hip and each cause different types of pain – trochanteric bursa and the ischial bursa. Trochanteric bursitis can be felt in the outer hip and ischial bursitis in the upper glute.
This is the most common cause of hip pain (specifically osteoarthritis) and especially among women. Wear and tear on the joint can cause cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber, to wear out. Hip arthritis can cause issues in the groin, thigh, glute and knee and can lead to walking issues. Pain varies form sudden and sharp to dull,but commonly most with hip arthritis feel stiffness sin the hip joint.
Tendons are tough fibrous tissues that connect muscle to bone and are located throughout the body. This tissue can withstand quite a bit but can become inflamed. The most common tendon in the hip to become inflamed is the Iliotibial (IT) Band. The IT band runs along the outside of your thigh form your pelvis to your knee. When inflamed, the IT band causes issues in the outside of the leg, outside of the knee, or snapping hip syndrome (dancer’s hip) where you feel or hear a snapping sensation in the hip as you move.
Bones are susceptible to fractures and the hip is no different. Hip fractures are most common among older women and the issue can be quite debilitating. Symptoms include pain when straightening, lifting, or just standing on the leg of the affected side. Usually a hip fracture is felt as soon as it happens.
Remember that any pain felt for more than just a few days should be checked by a doctor.
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