What’s Causing The Pain
Dr. Elson says pain in the side of your hip most often results from one of the following conditions:
Tendinitis. This is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the gluteal muscles in your buttocks to the hip bone. “Tendinitis develops because of muscle imbalance. It could be from a lack of activity, crossing your legs, or even sitting on a wallet,” Dr. Elson says.
Overuse injury. When you walk or run, weak hip and buttock muscles can tighten and irritate the iliotibial band a long band of connective tissue that runs from the knee to the hip. It merges with the gluteal muscles to stabilize the leg.
Tight muscles in the buttocks and hip. If the gluteal muscles and IT band are too tight, they pull at the thighbone where they attach, and that causes pain on the side.
Spine problems. “The body isn’t always smart in recognizing where the pain is coming from,” Dr. Elson explains, “and spine arthritis, a pinched nerve, or bones in the spine rubbing together can create pain in the side of your hip.”
Hip Impingement: Another Cause Of Pain
Hip impingement is a condition in which the ball-and-socket structure of the hip joint doesnt fit together well, causing bones to rub together. This can cause pain and could limit activities that would require you to bend or squat and can predispose you to arthritis later in life, Dr. Bauman says.
Diagnosis of this condition is becoming more common as people are becoming more and more active in sports and are active in sports later in life, he explains. People with hip impingement say they notice pain during more strenuous activity.
Treatment typically begins with nonsurgical options, such as activity modification, NSAIDs, and physical therapy. If these dont work,arthroscopic surgery, which involves small incisions, is often used to correct the problem. Severe cases may require open surgery.
Exercise And Physical Therapy
Exercise is essential for reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and slowing its progress. Exercise not only helps you manage your weight, but it also improves strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Low-impact exercises are less likely to put strain on a damaged joint. Experts strongly recommend tai chi for people with hip osteoarthritis.
Other options include:
Regular stretching can help relieve stiff, achy, or painful joints. Here are some tips to help you stretch safely:
- Start by asking a physical therapist for suggestions and guidance.
- Do all stretches gently and build up flexibility slowly.
- Stop if you feel pain.
- Increase intensity slowly.
If you dont feel pain after the first few days of an activity, gradually spend more time on it. At first, you may find it hard to stretch very far, but your flexibility will increase over time, as you practice.
Here are a few possible stretches:
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart or sit in a chair. Slowly lean forward, keeping your upper body relaxed. You should feel the stretch in your hips and lower back.
Lie on your back. Pull your bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a stretch. If your body allows it, use your other leg to deepen the stretch.
Extended leg balance
This is the same exercise as the knee pull, but you start from a standing position. Place one hand along the wall for support.
Here are some other stretches you can ask your healthcare provider about:
- standing hip flexors
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Comparing Arthritis And Bursitis Symptoms
Is your hip pain caused by osteoarthritis, bursitis, or something else? A closer look at the symptoms of osteoarthritis and bursitis may provide you clues.
Symptoms that suggest hip osteoarthritis include:
- Pain that originates from the inside of the hip joint and may also be felt in the groin and thigh, and occasionally the buttock
- Increased hip joint stiffness and/or decreased range-of-motion
- Grating or creaking sensations, known as crepitus
- Referred pain in the knee
Read more about Hip Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Symptoms that suggest hip bursitis include:
- Hip pain that is felt on the outside of the lower hip
- Pain and tenderness that increases when pressure is put on the affected hip, such as when lying on your side
Read more about Hip Bursitis Symptoms
Keep in mind that its possible to have hip osteoarthritis and hip bursitis at the same time. It is also possible to have hip osteoarthritis or hip bursitis alongside another condition, such as a tight IT band, a hip labrum tear, or low back arthritis. A doctor can provide you with a definitive diagnosis and recommend treatment.
Luckily, the pain and symptoms of both hip bursitis and hip osteoarthritis can be treated. Common nonsurgical treatments for both conditions include ice or heat therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, therapeutic injections, and physical therapy. Occasionally, severe cases are treated with surgery.
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How Your Hip Works
Your hip is a very stable and strong joint.
Its known as a ball-and-socket joint. This is because the top of the thigh bone is shaped like a ball. This ball sits inside a hollow socket in your pelvis.
Ball-and-socket joints give the most movement of all the different types of joints in the body.
The hip joint is held together by a covering of muscles which are secured to the bones by strong cords called tendons.
These muscles and tendons form a capsule around the joint and support its movements. They help move the joint, supporting your leg and upper body movement.
Inside the capsule is the synovium, which lubricates the joint with synovial fluid and keeps the cartilage healthy. The cartilage sits between the bones of your hip joint to stop them rubbing together and reduces any impact when you walk or move your hip.
With all this support, it is unusual for the hip to become dislocated, even after a high-impact injury.
Stage 1 Hip Osteoarthritis
You may not even know if you have Stage 1 osteoarthritis because many people have no symptoms. If anything, you may have a little pain or stiffness, and there may be small bone spurs in your hip joint.
At this point, prevention is the best medicine. Your doctor may recommend the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. It is also advisable to stay active, engaging in regular exercise to strengthen your muscles and to stabilize and improve the flexibility of your joints.
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Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Hip
Common symptoms of hip arthritis may include:
- Pain in the hip joint, which may include pain in the groin, buttock, or outer thigh
- Pain that radiates down the inside of the leg
- Occasional knee pain, usually on the inside of the knee
- Locking or sticking of the hip joint
- Grinding noise when you move its caused by loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue that interfere with the motion of the joint
- Difficulty walking or decreasing distance that you can walk
- Walking with a limp
- Difficulty walking up or down stairs
- Difficulty getting in and out of a car
- Difficulty bending over, such as to put on socks and shoes
- Difficulty sleeping or pain that wakes you up at night
- Pain that worsens with vigorous or extended activity
- Stiffness in the hip or limited/decreased range of motion
- Limited ability to do everyday activities
- Pain comes and goes as it progresses, good days decrease and bad days increase
- Leg on the affected side may become shorter
It aches all the time especially when I move my hip left or right, of if I bend down for something, CreakyJoints member Joyce F., who has rheumatoid arthritis, shared on Facebook. The hip pain affected her ability to walk far or lift her foot to use stairs. Sleeping at night is a painful agony as I cannot stay in one position for very long without pain waking me up, she added.
Alternative Remedies And Treatments
Nutritional supplementation is helpful to some patients though the science on this is not entirely supportive of their effectiveness.
There are some studies to suggest that acupuncture can decrease the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip.
Although there is little hard science on this point, most hip surgeons and rheumatologists believe that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip should consider avoiding impact sports such as running in order to avoid increasing the rate at which the disease progresses.
It is important that patients with osteoarthritis of the hip avoid decreasing their activity level and it is important that they remain fit. However this often does require some modification of exercise programs running and walking programs are usually poorly tolerated by patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. Stationary bike, swimming and water aerobics usually are well-tolerated and they are recommended.
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What Is Bursitis Of The Hip
Bursitis of the hip or of any joint occurs when the jelly-like sacs positioned between bones and soft tissue are irritated and inflamed. These sacs, called bursae, act as a cushion for your joints. Bursitis, put simply, is the inflammation of bursa anywhere in your body.
There are two types of hip bursitis: trochanteric bursitis and iliopsoas bursitis. Trochanteric bursitis is caused by the bursa on the outside point of the hip, on the greater trochanter of the femur. The second type of hip bursitis is when the iliopsoas bursa, which is located on the groin side of the hip, is inflamed. While trochanteric bursitis is more common than iliopsoas bursitis, both are treated similarly.
Does Hip Arthritis Always Develop With Old Age
Most people never develop hip arthritis, no matter their age. That said, everything in the body wears down with age, and hip cartilage is no exception. Those who need hip replacement surgery generally have a faster progression of hip arthritis because of injury, underlying inflammatory problems, genetic predisposition to arthritis or a congenital abnormality of the hip joint.
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Move Of The Month: Seated Pretzel
Stretches the buttocks, hips, and outer thighs.
Hold: 1030 seconds
Starting position: Sit up straight in a chair and rest your left ankle on your right thigh above your knee. Place your hands on your thighs.
Movement: Keeping your spine neutral, slowly hinge forward from your hips until you feel a stretch in your left hip and buttock. Hold. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat with your right ankle on your left knee. This is one rep.
Tips and techniques: Keep your spine neutral, not rounded, and your chest lifted as you lean forward. Keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears, as you stretch. For a deeper stretch, gently press down with the hand on your bent leg.
What Causes Hip Arthritis
is the most common type of arthritis to affect the hip. This is simply wear and tear of the joint over time, and it usually occurs in people aged 60 and older. Most people will experience some form of osteoarthritis as they age.
The joints that become affected, how badly, and at what age vary from person to person, depending upon other factors specific to each individual, such as:
- anatomic structure of the hip
Other underlying conditions can cause of hip arthritis in younger patients. These include:
- autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as:
The likelihood of getting hip arthritis increases with family history and advancing age. Patients who are overweight and those who have undergone trauma to the hip joint may also experience increased wearing out of cartilage.
Unfortunately, once the arthritic process begins, progression is almost always inevitable. The end result of all these processes is a loss of the cartilage of the hip joint, leading to bone-on-bone rubbing in the hip. However, the degree of pain and disability experienced by people with arthritis varies considerably.
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Describing Painful Symptoms To Your Doctor
To determine whether your pain is due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or another type of arthritis, your doctor will ask you many questions about your pain, how it affects your life and body, when it occurs, and how bad it gets. Your doctor may ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10 .
Before you speak with your doctor, think about the words you want to use to describe your joint pain. Here are some terms that will help your doctor get the full picture. Choose the ones that best describe how your arthritis pain feels:
- Grinding or grating
People with arthritis should keep their doctors informed of their symptoms, and Dr. Ruthberg suggests that family members can often be helpful in keeping up with information, such as when and how symptoms began.
Symptoms Of Hip Arthritis
Hip arthritis may cause any of the following symptoms:
- Hip pain thats worst in the morning.
- Hip pain that worsens after long periods of inactivity.
- A feeling of locking, sticking, grating, or grinding when moving the upper leg.
- Stiffness and inflexibility in the hip joint. May cause limping.
- Pain that starts from within the hip socket and radiates outward. It can be felt in the buttocks, groin, and thigh.
Osteoarthritis is the culmination of many years of joint deterioration. Age, obesity, and frequent strenuous activity all contribute to cartilage breakdown and can lead to the disease.
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What Is Arthritis Of The Hip
One of the most common causes of hip pain, arthritis is a wear and tear degenerative disorder that gets worse over time. Osteoarthritis the most common arthritis of the hip occurs when the cartilage within the hips ball-and-socket joint wears down. With less or no cartilage for cushion, the femoral head of the thigh bone rubs against the acetabular socket .
Less common, but still prevalent, is inflammatory arthritis of the hip. Rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and systemic lupus erythematosus are the three types of inflammatory arthritis that affect the hip joint.
What Is Hip Arthritis
Hip is where cartilage in the hip joint wears down or is damaged, leaving the bone surfaces of the joint to grind together and become rough. This causes pain and stiffness, making it difficult to move the leg.
There are different forms of hip arthritis, but all involve a loss of cartilage in the hip joint that eventually leads to bone rubbing on bone and destruction of the joint.
X-Ray of an arthritic hip
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What Is Hip Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and the older you are, the more likely you will have some degree of the disease especially in your hips and knees. Simply put, it is usually caused by the wear and tear on your joints from years of use, from overuse and repetitive motions, or from injury. Your weight-bearing joints are particularly vulnerable to developing arthritis, because they must absorb the physical stress and impact of your active lifestyle. Your knees and hips bear the brunt of every step, leap, jump, or stride you perform in your lifetime.
Luckily, our joints are made to handle this stress. In fact, the cartilage inside of your joints consists of a smooth surface that acts as a shock absorber. The synovial fluid in this same space acts as a lubricant. All of this works together to protect the bones that make up your joints that is, until these protective tissues wear down and stop working as well as they used to.
Lets take a look at the different stages of hip osteoarthritis in order to help you understand some of your symptoms and possible treatment options.
What Are Some Home Remedies I Can Try For Hip Pain
If you are experiencing hip pain, you try several things at home, including rest, applying ice packs or heating pads to the hip, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen to help with swelling in the joint. Your primary care doctor may also be able to recommend at-home exercises you can try to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip.
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Tests For Groin And Hip Pain
At the appointment with your doctor, they will probably:
- feel your abdomen, leg, or hip to determine the exact location of your pain
- move your leg or hip in various positions
- test your strength by having you resist as they try to move your leg
Your doctor may order imaging tests to get further information. These might include:
- X-ray. Fractures or worn-down cartilage can be seen with X-rays.
- MRI.Magnetic resonance imaging shows soft tissue injuries, such as ligament, muscle, or tendon tears.
- Ultrasound.Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your bodys organs, such as your ovaries. There is also a therapeutic form of ultrasound that is used to increase blood flow, relax muscles, and speed healing.