Hip pain can get in the way of your basic and everyday functioning. It might make it hard to walk or go up the stairs. In fact, a surprising 30-40% of adults who play sports will experience hip pain at some point or another.
Hip pain can also happen due to many reasons. However, knowing why your hip is hurting in the first place can help you determine the best way to go about eliminating the pain. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the causes of hip pain, the symptoms, and how to treat it. Let’s get to it!
What Causes Painful and Aching Hips
Although the hips are made to withstand some wear and tear, it’s not exempt from all injuries or pain. As time goes on, the hips become more susceptible to injury due to the natural degradation of the human body with age.
Yet, this still doesn’t answer the question: Why am I experiencing pain in the hips?
Some of the most common causes of hip pain include:
Many individuals develop osteoarthritis as they enter their later years of life. Osteoarthritis, often referred to as the “wear-and-tear” arthritis, happens when the cartilage at a joint naturally degrades over time.
This deterioration causes pain and inflammation at the joint. Along with pain, many individuals with osteoarthritis notice stiffness, especially in the morning, and reduced range of motion.
The hip joint consists of two major bursas. Bursas are fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction at a joint. However, with overuse, these structures can become irritated and inflamed, leading to varying degrees of pain.
Tendons attach muscle to bone, and tendonitis refers to the inflammation of these structures. With tendonitis, the pain usually comes on fairly gradually. And with various tendons attaching at or near the hip joint, it’s not uncommon to experience tendonitis in this area.
As you age, you may experience brittle bones (such as in the case of osteoporosis). This not only makes the body more susceptible to falls but also to bone fractures, such as those occurring at the hip joint.
The hip labrum is a ring of cartilage that adds stability to the hip joint. However, the hip can become very painful when this piece of cartilage tears. This often happens due to direct trauma, such as injury from impact or a dislocated hip.
The hip joint is supported by a variety of muscles and tendons. These muscles allow you to move your hip, lifting your thigh upward, extending your leg outward, or extending your leg backward. However, overuse may cause these muscles to stretch past their usual limits, leading to a muscle strain or tear.
Symptoms of Hip Pain
So, what symptoms usually go hand-in-hand with hip pain? While some of these symptoms may vary depending on the cause, some common hip pain signs and symptoms include:
- Hip or groin pain
- Warmth at the hip joint
- Hip stiffness
- Hip swelling or tenderness
- Trouble sleeping due to hip pain
If your hip pain is severe, it’s important to seek out immediate medical attention. This could be a sign of something more serious, such as a fracture.
How To Treat Hip Pain and Joints
So, what can you do about your hip pain?
If you have mild to moderate hip pain that has just begun, there are a few at-home treatment methods you can try.
As soon as pain begins, it’s always a good idea to rest the affected limb or body part. Try to limit or avoid activity that involves your hip joint. Additionally, it’s a good idea to lie on your opposite side when you sleep to avoid any disruptions during the night.
2. Cold or Heat Packs
Depending on your injury, cold or heat can help alleviate your pain and any muscular tightness. Heat, in particular, is useful for relaxing the area and relieving any tension. Meanwhile, ice is excellent for reducing pain.
Apply a hot or cold pack for 15-20 minutes, with 45 minutes in between applications. Make sure you place a cloth between the hot or cold pack and your skin to avoid any skin damage.
3. Use Over-the-Counter Pain Medications
For acute hip pain, medications, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen, can help reduce pain and inflammation. However, you will want to ensure you don’t take these medications for longer than a week or two. Some of them can have undesirable side effects, including gastrointestinal issues, when taken for long durations.
4. Perform Gentle Stretches
If your pain allows it, try performing a few gentle hip stretches. This can help ease some muscular tension and promote blood circulation, helping your body heal.
Yet, if pain increases trying any hip stretch, it might be best to wait a few days or until the pain subsides. Pushing your body past the point of pain may result in a far worse injury.
Who Can Treat Hip Pain?
If your hip pain continues for longer than a few days or a week, it’s probably a good idea to call in some of the experts. Booking a physiotherapy appointment can help you determine the cause of your pain, as well as the best action plan to treat it.
A physiotherapist will perform a thorough assessment, diagnosing your pain. From there, your treatment may include prescribed exercises, manual therapy, acupuncture, and more. From start to finish, your physiotherapist will guide you, ensuring you make a full recovery.
Additionally, massage therapy may help you relieve muscle tension and reduce pain. Massage helps increase blood flow to the area, bringing all the necessary immune cells to help your body utilize its natural healing mechanisms.
How to Treat Hip Injuries: Call Corydon Physiotherapy Today!
Ready to book a physiotherapy appointment? Corydon physiotherapy is here to help. Contact us at 204-900-8250. Together, we can help you achieve a full recovery and get you back to your regular activities or sports.