The ball-and-socket hip joint fit together in a way that allows for fluid, repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. Whenever you use the hip, a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged, muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused or the hip bone itself can be fractured.
Symptoms of Hip Pain
Depending on the condition that’s causing your hip pain, you might feel the discomfort in one or multiple areas:
- Inside of the hip joint
- Outside of the hip joint
Sometimes pain from other areas of the body, such as the back or groin can radiate to the hip. You might notice that your pain gets worse with activity, especially if it’s caused by arthritis. Along with the pain, you might have reduced range of motion. Some patients develop a limp from persistent hip pain.
Causes of Hip Pain
If your hips are sore, here are some of the most common causes of chronic hip pain:
Osteoarthritis is one of the most frequent causes of hip pain. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it affects around 27 million people every day. Due to age, trauma or other factors, the cartilage in the hip that cushions your joints start to break down causing the bones to rub together during movement. The bone-on-bone action creates pain, stiffness, and loss of movement. If conservative treatments fail, hip replacement surgery is an option.
Trochanteric bursitis causes inflammation of the bursa over the outside of the hip joint. Bursa is the fluid-filled sac that works to reduce friction and cushion the points between the bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursa is located throughout the body, including the hips. It causes degeneration of the soft tissues that surround the muscles and bones of the hip. Rest, ice and pain medications can help treat the condition.
The tendons are a fibrous structure used to join the muscles to the bone. Tendonitis can occur in any of the tendons that surround the hip joint. When the tendons in the hip become inflamed, irritated or swollen, it can cause immense pain. The most frequently encountered tendonitis around the hip is iliotibial band (IT band) tendonitis. Tendinitis can be caused either by injury or overuse of the tendons. It also happens with age as tendons lose elasticity.
Osteonecrosis is a condition that occurs when an inadequate amount of blood flow reaches the bone, the cells die and the bone may collapse. One of the most common places for osteonecrosis to occur is in the hip joint.
Snapping Hip Syndrome
Snapping hip syndrome is a word used to describe three distinct hip problems. The first is when the IT band snaps over the outside of the thigh. The second occurs when the deep hip flexor snaps over the front of the hip joint. Finally, tears of the cartilage, or labrum, around the hip socket can cause a snapping sensation.
Hip Labral Tear
The labrum is the cartilage that surrounds the hip joint. The purpose of the labrum is to hold the ball of the thighbone firmly in the hip’s socket. Trauma, repetitive motions, and hereditary conditions can all cause painful tears in the labrum. Hip labral tears are being recognized as a cause of pain and catching sensations in the joint. Often hip arthroscopy is a treatment option.
Stress fractures of the hip are most common in athletes who participate in high-impact sports, such as hockey, football or long distance running.
Strains of the muscles around the hip and pelvis can cause pain and spasm. The most common strains are groin pulls and hamstring strains.
Hip fractures are most common in elderly patients with osteoporosis. Treatment of broken hips requires surgery to either replace the broken portion or repairing with a metal plate and screws.
A blunt force trauma such as an automobile accident or sports injury can cause the hip joint to become dislocated, where the ends of the bones become forced from their normal position. Hip dislocation is a very painful injury that can immobilize your hip joint, making walking near impossible.
Stop Your Hip Pain
There are many conditions that may cause hip pain. Some conditions are more serious than others and that’s why it’s important to not self-diagnose and seek treatment from a physician. Especially if you have chronic pain that is altering your day-to-day activities.
Our experienced physicians will help you move better, so you can live better. Make your appointment today and get on the path to recovery.