Hip Pain

Woman Self Massaging Legs with Foam Roller at Home

The hip joint is made up of several parts, including the femur (thighbone), pelvis, and sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine).

Your hip joint can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It is the largest ball-and-socket joint in your body, which means that it moves smoothly and fluidly. Anytime you use your hip, a cushion of cartilage helps to prevent friction as the ball of your femur moves within its socket in your pelvis.

The hip’s main job is to support the body’s weight. But as you age, your hip pain may occur due to worn-out cartilage or damaged ligaments. Injuries can also cause your hip to hurt.

What Is Hip Pain?

Pain from your hip joint itself usually causes pain on the inside of your hip, groin, or upper thigh. Hip pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, and tendons that surround your hip joint.

Hip pain can sometimes be caused by conditions in other areas of your body, such as your lower back.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms of hip pain include:

  • Stiffness in the hip area
  • Hip pain that worsens during physical activity or long periods of sitting
  • Painful clicking or “catching” with hip movements; the feeling of something unpleasant stuck in the hip or blocking hip motion.
  • Sharp pain in the hip or groin when squatting
  • A deep ache in the front of your hip or groin

Causes of Hip Pain

The causes of hip pain can usually be divided into degenerative conditions or injuries. Some examples of these include:

Arthritis: this is one of the most common causes of hip and joint pain. Arthritis causes joints to be stiff and painful and can lead to difficulty in walking and movement. It may be caused by old age, infection, trauma, or injury.

Burstis: Bursae are small sacs of liquid found between tissues such as bone, muscles, and tendons. They ease the friction from these tissues rubbing together. Inflammation of the bursae is usually due to repetitive activities that overwork or irritate your hip joint.

Inflamed tendons: this is known as tendonitis and affects your joints. When the tendons at your joints are inflamed, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. This may be due to too much exercise or strain.

Hip Labral Tear: a tear in the ring of cartilage (called the labrum) that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. Athletes and people who perform repetitive twisting movements are at higher risk of developing this problem.

Hip Impingement: also called Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), is a condition where the hip joint is not shaped normally. This causes the bones to painfully rub together.

How to Prevent Hip Pain

While some causes of hip pain cannot be prevented and can only be treated, many can be prevented through different activities. One of the ways to do this is eating healthy and exercising often to avoid becoming overweight as this can put stress on your hips and pelvic bones.

Another way to avoid hip pain is to avoid high-impact exercises that may injure your hip or cause you to strain your hips too much. Practicing water workouts is a great way to keep the hips neutral while exercising.

Hip and joint strengthening exercises and mobility training can also help to prevent hip pain.

How can Physical Therapy help with Hip Pain?

Physical therapy can help with hip pain by providing a means to restore mobility to the hip and relieve pain and tension on the hip. Conditions that cause hip pain and lead to loss of motion or reduced strength in the hip area.

With physical therapy, patients can engage in exercises like stretches and strength exercises that help to restore the hips to normal function. Your physical therapist would recommend a training regimen based on the cause of hip pain and its severity.

People dealing with hip pain often need rehabilitation and physical therapy. Contact us today to learn more about treatment and exercises for hip pain.