Pain in your hips can be an infuriating and frustrating problem as there can be several causes. One of the most common, however, is tendonitis (sometimes tendinitis). This condition refers to the inflammation of a tendon. A tendon is a band of flexible yet tough fibrous connective tissue found in your body, which is used to connect your muscles to your bones. The muscles which surround your skeleton are responsible for you being able to move, run, walk or jump.
Any time that you move, the muscles along your bones contract causing your actual movement. None of this is possible without your tendons, as it is the tendon itself which controls the force by which the muscle contracts. Because of this, your tendons play a vital role in your day to day movements, and this activity can also lead to them becoming inflamed. This makes the movement of any muscles particularly sensitive, and areas such as the hip joints can take severe strain from inflamed tendons.
While it’s most common for one to develop tendonitis in the upper or lower limbs, there are many areas of the body in which the tendons can sustain damage. Because tendons come in so many shapes and sizes, you’ll find them throughout your body and based on things liked occupational strain, you find that certain people develop tendonitis in specific areas. For instance, rock climbers may develop tendonitis in their rotary cuffs, while musicians may have problems in their hands.
Track athletes also quite commonly sustain injuries to the Achilles tendon in their ankle. While it is slightly less common, tendonitis of the hips can be incredibly painful and quite tricky to diagnose. Medically, when tendonitis occurs in the hips, it is known as Trochanteric bursitis, and is considered to affect between 18% and 35% of adults. The condition is also common between the ages of 40 and 60, and tends to affect more women than men, although the latter fact has been contested in recent years.
– Tenderness in the area of the tendon.
– Localised joint stiffness.
– Pain caused by movement of muscles and tendons.
– Swelling/inflammation of the tendon.
– Visible knots surrounding the tendon.
– Pain which increases with physical exertion.
– Pain which increases with repetitive motion.
– Heat and redness around the tendon.
– Loss of motion in the area.
– Occupation factors, such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or any type of daily strain on one particular group of tendons – often seen in athletes.
– Other repetitive tasks can have serious long-term effects on the condition on your tendons. Activities like gardening, typing, sewing, raking, golf, tennis, painting etc. can easily cause injury over a prolonged period of time.
– Tendons with a poor blood supply usually are unable to heal themselves as effectively as they once could.
– Tendons which have been deprived of oxygen.
– The natural aging process has also been linked to an increase in tendonitis, as individuals continue to exert the same type of pressure on their bodies while their tendons have begun to lose elasticity.
– Genetic predisposition: simply having a blood relative with the condition can greatly increase your chances of developing hip tendonitis, or any form of tendonitis, later on in life.
– Chronic inflammation can be caused by several other factors from another illness, problems with your immune system or reactions to medications for pre-existing conditions. Any inflammation caused by such a problem can easily lead to an individual developing tendonitis over time.
– Degenerative disk or joint disease. If you suffer arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia or any other rheumatoid illness, the chances of developing tendonitis are substantially greater.
– Previous surgery can affect the body in numerous ways, especially causing swelling once you’ve opened a joint area up to surgical intervention.
– Acute or repeated physical trauma can manifest the condition. Having a sling bag held over only one shoulder, for instance, can easily injure many areas of your back. The same holds true for problems with maintaining good posture.
Isolating the exact area of the tendonitis which is causing you pain can be a rather complicated process. The first step is to consult with your doctor, who, after determining the likelihood and type of tendonitis, will probably want to send you for X-rays or an MRI. Although a little pricey, this is the quickest and most effective means of determining the exact location of your inflammation. After this, there are several possible options for treatment:
Rest: sometimes the tendonitis will not be fully developed, and quite often the best means of treating your injury is to simply keep you from exerting any pressure on the area for a few days. This could mean some strict bed rest for you.
Ice-packs: a simple home-remedy, ice-packs are the quickest way to instantly reduce swelling of the joint. While this is very helpful for when you’ve just noticed your injury, if you have a very severe case of tendonitis, this most likely will not help with the deepest of the swelling.
Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: As they are commonly called, NSAIDs are like your typical aspirin and are available over the counter. These are also useful for reducing the swelling at home, and often your doctor will prescribe a stronger one once you’ve had a proper diagnosis. Be careful not to overdo the NSAIDs as they can make you drowsy and some of them are not intended for long periods of use.
Low-energy extracorporeal shock wave (ECSW) therapy: is one of the more serious treatment options, especially considering that not everyone is very keen on the idea of using shock waves as a means of treatment. Still, if your doctor suggests it, bear in mind that it isn’t as painful as it sounds and the results tend to be quite good.
Surgical intervention: Usually the last resort for a reason, it is best to avoid having surgery to tamper with your tendons. Again, your doctor will be best able to advise you on your particular situation, and sometimes this treatment option can yield a lifetime of benefits.