Pain in hip area may develop from the hip itself or from the structures surrounding the hip. You will experience pain, swelling, redness, warmth of the hip area.
Any injury or infections that cause inflammation makes the hip joint to fill with blood or fluid and stretches the hip capsules causing pain.
The cartilages in the hip joint can also tear or wear off causing pain. Tendons that attach to the hip joint control the movements and maintain the stability of the hips.
If they get an inflammation, they cause pain in the hips making it hard for you to make any physical movement such as walking, bending, or jumping.
My friend Peter is a basketball player living in Atlanta. I went to visit him at his place last month and he was limping due to hip pain. He felt pain walking and told me that he could not even drive his car.
I encouraged him to subscribe to this blog and get all the information about hip pain.
Causes of Pain in Hip Area
1. Hip fractures:
Old people fall often due to weak bones and lack of balance causing their hips to break. The hipbone may break due to osteoporosis or falling. The exact position of the injury assists the orthopedic surgeon determine the type of operation to use to repair the fracture.
Moreover, a trauma can cause injury and dislocation of the hip. The doctor will perform a careful examination and use x-rays to identify the source of the fracture.
2. Sprains and strains
Trauma may cause strains and sprains in the hip muscles causing severe pain. Sprains occur when the ligaments damage while inflammation of the hip muscles and tendons result to strains. The hip muscles, tendons, and ligaments are important to help the hip joint support the entire body weight. In case of inflammation, you experience pain when walking or jumping.
3. Overuse injuries
Strenuous daily activities may cause overuse injuries and inflammation of tendons, ligaments, and muscles causing hip pain. Overuse can also cause tearing and wearing off the cartilages resulting to arthritis.
4. Bursa inflammation
This is the inflammation of the bursa sacs on the outer part of the hips due to overuse or minor trauma causing pain and stiffness of the hip joint. The pain may worsen in the morning or at night.
Osteoarthritis is a major cause of hip pain among old people. However, arthritis due to inflammatory bowel disease also causes hip pain.
6. Sickle cell disease
Sickle crisis may cause the body joints to swell even without the presence of an infection. The hip joint swells as well causing pain.
Bacterial or viral infections such as Lyme disease may cause swelling of the hips. Moreover, food poisoning infections may lead to hip inflammation.
This is the weakening or tearing of the abdominal wall. This causes pain in the outer part of the hips.
9. Inflammation of the nerve branches
Inflammation of the nerves of the thighs causes hip pain. This is common among pregnant women, people suffering from diabetes, or people who often wear tight clothes.
This is the inflammation of nerves in the spinal cord. This may occur due to osteoarthritis of the spine, spinal stenosis or ruptured discs in the lower back causing pain in the butt and hip area.
Symptoms of Pain in Hip Area
Hip pains vary from one patient to the other and the cause, intensity or location is also different. You may feel the pain in the groin area, laterally over the hip or in the buttocks. Sometimes the pain may radiate downwards to the knees. Below we will discuss symptoms that occur with several causes of hip pain.
When you fall, twist, stretch or get a direct blow you will experience the pain immediately.
- Overuse injury
You feel pain a minutes or hours later after the injury because it takes time for the hip muscles to inflame and cause fluid accumulation.
Limping stresses the knees, ankles and back and can lead to further inflammation of the hip muscles
You get immediate acute pain and it worsens when you make any movement. The leg may appear shorter or rotate inwards.
When to Visit the Doctor about Your Hip Pain
It is important to seek medical assistance when you experience the following.
- Inability to stand, walk or bear weight.
- Signs that the hipbone is broken
- If the pain does not reduce after placing ice, heat or taking pain killers
- If you start limping
- If there is lack of bowel movement
Diagnosis of Pain in Hip Area
Your doctor will take the history of the when, where and what of the pain and get other complaints. This will help him/her to determine the cause of the pain and determines tests to carry out to confirm a specific diagnosis.
Secondly, the doctor performs a physical examination on the hips, back, and legs. He will examine you while you rest, walk or stand and feel the hips for pulses and sensation.
Then, the doctor will perform x-rays of the pelvis and hips to inspect the bones and joints or confirm osteoarthritis. He or she may order MRI to check for fractures or use scans to look for inflammation.
Lastly, the doctor may perform blood tests in case he suspects the hip pain may be a result of other body illness.
Over the counter drugs will help you to relieve the pain and the doctor will prescribe other medications depending with the cause of the pain. In other cases such as hip fractures, surgical procedures are necessary to replace the hip.
It is important to take enough rest to avoid overuse of the hip pain and stretch your hips, back, and legs daily to strengthen the muscles.
However, you can prevent the hip pain by avoiding obesity, eating foods rich in calcium to strengthen the bones, and exercising regularly to maintain normal hip movement in order to avoid back pain and hip osteoarthritis.