Overview of Hip Pain
If you’ve dealt with any type of hip pain, you know how greatly it can affect daily activity and quality of life. Pain can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and stiffness, making it difficult to move freely. The causes of hip pain vary, but some of the most common issues I see in my practice are mainly arthritis, injuries, bursitis, poor posture, and referred pain. In this blog post I will discuss these common causes and share what treatment options are available to help alleviate your pain.
Common Causes of Hip Pain
Many conditions and injuries can cause hip pain. Issues within the hip joint itself often result in pain felt on the inside of your hip or groin. When the pain is experienced on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock, the cause is usually problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues that surround the hip joint. Some of the most common hip pain causes can include:
Arthritis Due to Wear and Tear:
Over time the wear and tear on our joints can lead to discomfort caused by the thinning of cartilage or a buildup of fluid within the joint. There are several types of arthritis that can affect the hips, including osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis (a type of arthritis where your immune system attacks the tissue lining the joints), and ankylosing spondylitis (a type of arthritis that causes lower back pain). Hip arthritis is relatively common and causes joint pain and swelling. While arthritis is most often seen in elderly patients, it can affect people of all ages. Symptoms of hip arthritis may include hip pain, stiffness, weakness and clicking.
Injuries are one of the most common causes of hip pain. Sprains, strains, dislocations, or fractures are often seen from overuse or trauma that can damage your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments in the hip. A strained or pulled muscle, tendon, or ligament can all lead to discomfort in the affected area. Injuries can happen to anyone and should be tended to as soon as possible to begin treatment. Some common hip injuries I help treat:
- Hip strains
- Labral tears
- Dislocated hip
Our hip joints are surrounded by fluid filled sacs called bursae. These sacs provide cushioning for our joints and can become inflamed from injury, overuse, or arthritis, causing a painful condition called bursitis. Most cases of bursitis are caused by overuse, so preventing or modifying activities that might cause injury is important. Rest, ice and anti-inflammatories may help relieve pain associated with bursitis.
It is not uncommon for poor posture to be the cause of hip pain, often with no history of an injury. Poor posture while standing or sitting can put additional strain on the joints in your hips, leading to discomfort and pain. Jobs or lifestyles that involve repetitive motions such as lifting, squatting, and twisting can also cause strain on the joint surfaces and lead to inflammation and pain. Developing and maintaining proper movement and posture while performing daily activities may help prevent hip pain.
Hip pain can also be caused by other existing conditions in your body, such as disease or lower back injury. This type of pain is known as referred pain. Referred pain is often the result of damage to the lumbar spine or muscle in the lower back. Damage to nerves in the lumbar spine may cause pain in the hip and groin area.
When To See a Doctor
It is important to seek medical attention when your hip pain become severe or interferes with daily life. If you experience swelling in the affected area, difficulty walking or standing, or have an injury that has not healed properly after several weeks of rest, I encourage you to make an appointment with me to diagnose and treat the problem accurately and effectively.
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
At your appointment, I will take your medical history, perform a physical exam, and run imaging tests such as x-rays or MRI scans. Gathering this information helps to determine the cause of your pain and what the best course of treatment should be. Treatment options will vary depending on the cause of your pain, but may include physical therapy, lifestyle changes, medications or in some cases, surgical repair.
Patients who are suffering from hip pain and have not responded to other treatments, such as physical therapy and medication, may be good candidates for a surgery I perform called anterior hip replacement. This type of surgery is a procedure where the hip joint is replaced with an artificial implant through a very small incision. It may be a good option for patients who have a degenerative disease of the hip, such as osteoarthritis. Anterior hip replacement surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that can provide patients with pain relief and improved mobility.
Hip pain can greatly reduce your quality of life. If you are experiencing severe or chronic hip pain, please reach out to my office for an appointment to diagnose the cause of your pain. Knowing the common causes and potential treatment solutions can help you make the best decisions for your health. I encourage my patients to seek answers so that they can continue living an active lifestyle without worrying about hip pain getting in the way.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Giang to find a treatment plan for your hip pain, please give us a call or request an appointment using the form below.