Hip pain is defined as any form of pain in or around the hip joint.
Hip pain is not always felt directly over the hip. Instead, it may be felt in the middle of the thigh or in the groin. Similarly, pain in the hip might be actually a sign of a problem in the back, rather than in the hip itself.
Types of Hip Pain
Hip pain is of various types, which can be categorized based on the time the pain occurs and its intensity and duration. The main types include:
- Pain when resting, which does not increase with motion or standing is indicative of a mild problem.
Pain with movement, which increases when the person moves the hip is often caused by a muscle injury or infection.
Pain with weight bearing, which increases when a person stands or walks, is indicative of a problem with the hip joint itself.
Causes of Hip Pain
To direct appropriate treatment at the underlying problem, it is very important that the main causative factor of hip pain be diagnosed. There are normally two main causes of hip pain, namely fractures and insufficient blood flow to the hip. Some of the more specific causes of hip pain include:
Snapping hip syndrome
Muscle strain or sprain
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (slipping of the upper end of the thigh bone)
Bursitis of the hip is one of the most common causes of hip pain. A bursa is a closed fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. When the bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is referred to as bursitis.
There are two major bursae of the hip, both of which can cause stiffness and pain around the hip joint. Known as the tronchanteric bursa and the ischial bursa, these cause tenderness in the outer hip and a dull pain in the upper buttock area, respectively.
Prevention and Home Care
The main preventive measures to avoid such a condition of hip pain include:
- Avoid activities that raise one of your hips above the other for an extended period.
Warm up before and cool down after exercises.
Wear hip pads for contact sports like football and hockey.
Beware of the symptoms of osteoporosis.
Key home care steps that can be taken include:
- Try to avoid activities that aggravate the pain
Take over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Sleep on your non-painful side with a pillow between your legs
Anti-inflammatory medications, followed by a hip replacement surgery in extreme cases are the main medical solutions for hip pain.