Hip pain can occur at any age, although it tends to affect people who are older, and who have one or more of the medical conditions mentioned in a section further down.
Because of its anatomical structure, the ball and socket joint of the hip absorbs a lot of impact throughout the activities we perform day to day. It’s no wonder that it can become injured and painful. Although hip pain is generally felt locally, on either side of the hips, it can also radiate to other parts of the body.
Some of the most common causes of hip pain are:
- The natural wear and tear that occurs with aging, can lead to pain
- Bursae, which are small sacs filled with fluid, act as a cushion between our bones. They can cause pain if there is a change to their structure, such as inflammation
- Damage at the level of the soft tissue surrounding the hip region. What may feel like pain in the hip bone may simply be pain caused by a superficial injury at outer soft tissue surrounding the hips. The presence of a bruise can signify injury of the soft tissue.
- Femoroacetabular impingement. This condition causes the hip bone to grow in an unusual shape that does not fit in the socket of the hip joint. This can lead to pain.
- Hip fractures
- Hip labral tear. The labrum is a cartilage that is formed around part of the hip joint and serves as a cushioning between the bones. It also helps keep the upper part of the leg bone joined with the hip joint. When the labrum is torn, it can no longer prevent friction between the bones and can also lead to dislocation.
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Injury of the muscles and tendons, especially from high impact exercises such as running
- Referred pain, such as injury to the iliotibial band in the leg. Injury to a different part of the body that causes pain as a result can make our body project that pain in a different location from the original source.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sickle cell disease
Apart from hip joint pain and hip socket pain, you can also experience pain and stiffness in other parts of the body, such as the back, buttocks and legs. The pain can vary in intensity from mild to moderate, and it can range in terms of duration as well.
If pain in itself is the only thing you are experiencing, chances are that it is nothing severe. However, if there are any other symptoms that accompany the pain, you should be cautious.
Diagnosis and Treatment
You may be wondering if hip pain can go away on its own, or if it requires treatment. Although there is no straightforward answer, because both scenarios can be likely, the way your hip will heal depends on a variety of factors. These include the severity of your pain, the severity of the injury or illness that is causing you these symptoms, as well as your age and overall health.
Although in some cases hip pain can go away on its own, there are cases when it requires treatment.
The type of treatment you get will depend on your condition as well as on your personal preferences.
If your hip pain is mild to moderate, you might want to try out some of the following self-care methods to treat the symptoms in the first instance:
- Try the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method.
- Although it is not recommended, you can still take some anti inflammatory medication to temporarily alleviate your pain
- Use a cane when walking. This can temporarily help you move around. Although it might not help make your hip pain better, as you’re still placing weight on the affected hip while walking.
If your pain has been there for a long period of time and nothing you’ve tried at home seems to help, or if you have other symptoms apart from the pain itself, or your pain extends to other parts of your body, you might want to consider seeking medical advice and getting treatment.
Your doctor will carry out a series of tests to determine the exact cause of your symptoms. Most commonly, this consists of an initial physical examination and asking questions about your condition. If your doctors considers that there is a cause for concern during this initial assessment, you may be referred to have further tests to rule out more serious conditions, such as a tumour.
However, if the cause of your pain is easily determined or not dangerous, you may be offered some of the treatment options below: Physical therapy. Because the focus is on long term pain relief, physical therapy is the best and most recommended solution. It is the least likely to cause unwanted side effects or to make your condition worse
- Steroid injections. They can help to temporarily alleviate pain, if anti inflammatory medication did not prove to be useful enough to produce the desired results
- Antibiotics can be used to treat any infection that may be causing you pain. However, just like with steroid injections and medication, they are only a temporary solution
- Surgery for hip replacement. If one or both of your hips has suffered damage that is irreparable, surgery will be considered, although this is often a last resort. Because this is an invasive procedure, it can take time for it to heal and for you to regain your mobility.
Spinal Backrack Technology
The Backrak is a patented class I medical device that has been carefully engineered by the brightest minds on Harley Street. It is highly efficient at freeing you from hip pain, and also preventing the symptoms from coming back altogether.
Its aim is to treat the source of your hip pain, rather than the symptoms. Given its unique structure that mimics the spine, it accurately targets your pain points, delivering great results.