The human body is built in an amazing way. From head to toes, we, humans, work as perfect structures. This is why when something goes wrong in our body, this entire system is shaken.
Every kind of pain in the human body has its own job and, unlike with cars, most of the times, human body parts cannot simply be replaced. Taking good care of your health is thus more important than anything else.
Hips are among those body parts that most of the people do not even notice sometimes. However, they bear the important role of sustaining and helping humans move.
This little “ball and socket” system in the human body is, for example, extremely important when people run, because it helps making the movement fluid.
Hips are, generally speaking, “built” to resist. However, they are far from being indestructible, precisely because, in time, the cartilage connecting the bones and the wholes get “worn out”.
This is why hip problems will be more encountered in people older of age, rather than with those that are younger.
There are a lot of symptoms when it comes to hip problems, and some of them may be very painful. For instance, the discomfort one may experience in his/her thigh may be a result of hip problems.
Other commonly encountered symptoms include discomfort in one’s buttocks and groins, pain on the inside and on the outside of the hip joint, and so on.
If the pain appear all of the sudden, if the pain in your hip is very intense, if you fell and this is what caused the pain, if your joint looks odd and if you heard noise coming from your hip right before that pain started, go to see a doctor immediately. These cases can be very serious and only a professional may be able to help you.
Knowing the cause of your hip problem is essential in treating it. For instance, in case your hip problem is caused by osteoarthritis, tendon strain or other similar conditions, hip pain can be relieved with the help of the traditional over-the-counter pain medication.
Still, in the case of rheumatic diseases, the patient will be given a prescription that also contains pain relieving medication.
Here are some of the most common causes that may lead to hip problems
1- Arthritic conditions (such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, for instance) are among the most commonly encountered causes for hip pain.
Arthritis usually appears with older patients and it makes the hip joint get inflamed and the cartilage which cushions between the hip bone and the “socket” gets worn down. Eventually, this leads to hip pain that increases in intensity as the disease progresses.
2- Also common more with older people than with the younger ones, hip pains that are caused by a fall can be quite frequent. As age gets farther, the bones become more likely to break when they are put under stress, thus hip fractures are also a very common cause for pain in the area.
3- Osteonecrosis (or Avascular Necrosis) is another cause of hip pain. This is a condition in which the blood simply stops reaching a particular area.
This eventually leads to the death of the bone tissue and pain. Osteonecrosis can appear in a lot of places around the human body, but hips are the most frequent ones.
Furthermore, this medical condition can be caused by a lot of things, including using steroids for a long time.
4- Tendinitis is another common cause for hip problems. If the tendons sustaining the hip are stressed and overused for a long time, they can get inflamed, which automatically leads to hip pain.
5- Bursitis is also a cause for hip problems. Bursae are small sacs filled with fluid that have the purpose of protecting the muscles and the tendons.
When they are overused, they can get inflamed, which can lead to hip pain (as well as pain in any other area of the body the inflammation may occur).
6- Cancers are also a cause for hip pain, in case they spread to the area, but they do not occur on the hip area only.
7- Labral Tear is also quite frequently encountered as a cause for pain that appears in the hip area. The labrum is the cartilage that is meant to surround the hip joint. When hip labral tear occurs, it can cause a lot of pain and one of the solutions applicable is hip arthroscopy.
There are a lot of other causes that can lead to pain in the hip, but the above-mentioned ones are among the most frequently encountered.
There are even hip problems that may appear in childhood, such as Developmental Dysplasia (a medical condition in which hips may be out of position during a person’s infancy, which is not painful for the actual child, but for the future adult who may suffer from Arthritis). Another hip-related disease that may appear in childhood is called Leg-Calve-Perthes and it is similar to Osteonecrosis.
There is a series of treatments and solutions for hip problems, some of which will be explained shortly.
However, bear in mind that only a medical professional will be able to tell precisely what is happening, what is causing the hip pain and what is the best advised method of treatment.
For instance, applying ice or hot pads on the painful area has been known to relieve pain for a long while (ice is usually used for inflammations, while heat pads are used in the case of more chronic conditions).
Another way of treating hip pains may be exercising and physical therapy. Stretching, low-impact resistance exercises, swimming, as well as other sports can help improve the elasticity of the joints and relieve hip pain in time.
Complete hip replacements are quite rare and they are usually performed when the patient suffers from osteoarthritis that has reached a high level.
Other than that, most of the times the doctors will simply prescribe one of the previously-mentioned treatments.