You may not realize it until you experience hip pain, but it affects just about everything you do from walking to tying a shoe, and even rising from a chair. People often avoid going to the doctor to have their hip examined because they’re concerned it will mean surgery. While certain situations do call for hip surgery, a lot of patients with hip pain can be treated with rest, ice, and chiropractic care.
Common Conditions That Cause Hip Pain
Osteoarthritis in the Hip Joint
Sometimes called degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is very common. The cartilage in the hip joint gradually wears away, resulting in bone rubbing on bone. And that rubbing causes a lot of pain that progressively gets worse as time goes on.
Osteoarthritis is usually found in the joints as people age, which is why it’s more commonly seen in people over the age of 50. However, there are other things that can increase your risk of developing this condition, including:
- Being obese
- Past hip injuries
- Family history of osteoarthritis
- Improper formation of the hip joint at birth, a condition known as developmental dysplasia of the hip
A hip joint affected by arthritis is usually painful and inflamed. Generally, the pain develops gradually over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Common symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip can include:
- Pain in your groin or thigh that radiates to your buttocks or your knee
- Bursts of pain that occur after vigorous activity
- Stiffness in the hip joint that makes it difficult to walk or bend
- A feeling of “locking” or “sticking” during movement, accompanied by clicking, snapping, or grinding sounds
- Decreased range of motion that may cause a limp
- Soreness or a dull ache during rainy weather
The labrum is a piece of connective tissue around the rim of the hip socket (acetabulum).It helps keep the head of the femur (thigh bone) inside the acetabulum (hip socket), providing stability to the joint.
Injury (running, twisting, slipping) is a major cause for labral tears. Abnormalities in the shape and structure of the acetabulum, labrum, and/or femoral head can also lead to tears.
Bursitis is irritation or swelling of the bursa — a small, fluid-filled sac found on the outside of your femur. It acts as a cushion for a thick tendon in your leg.
Hip bursitis is more common in women and middle-aged or elderly people. It is less common in younger people and in men. However, there are other things that can increase your risk of developing this condition, including:
- Repetitive stress
- Spine disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bone spurs
Pain at the point of the hip is the main symptom of bursitis. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. Early on, the pain is generally sharp and intense. Later, the pain may become more of an ache and spread across a larger area of the hip. The pain can make it difficult to sleep, sit, and walk.
When tendons in the hip become inflamed or damaged, it is known as tendonitis.
Hip tendonitis is generally caused by the repetition of a particular movement over time. Most people develop tendonitis because their jobs or hobbies involve repetitive motions, which can put stress on the tendons.
Some symptoms associated with hip tendonitis include:
- Decreased range of motion
Sacroiliitis (say-kroe-il-e-I-tis) is an inflammation of one or both of your sacroiliac joints, which are located where your lower spine and pelvis connect.
Causes for sacroiliitis include:
- Trauma, such as a fall or car accident
- Infection of the sacroiliac joint
- Urinary tract infection
- Added weight and altered gait that comes with pregnancy, as well as the stretching of the sacroiliac joints during childbirth
The most common symptoms of sacroiliitis include some combination of the following:
- Pain in the hip, as well as pain in the lower back and buttock regions
- Pain that is worse when sitting for a long time, and worse when rolling over in bed
- Stiffness felt in the hips and lower back, especially after getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting still for a prolonged period
Osteonecrosis, also called avascular necrosis (AVN), refers to the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Without adequate nourishment, the bone in the head of the femur dies and gradually collapses. As a result, the articular cartilage covering the hip bones also collapses, which can lead to disabling arthritis.
Several things can interrupt the blood flow to a section of bone including:
- Injuries, such as hip fracture and dislocation
- Excessive alcohol use
- Corticosteroid medicines
- Medical conditions such as Caisson disease (diver’s disease or “the bends”), Crohn’s disease, myeloproliferative disorders, Gaucher’s disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, arterial embolism, sickle cell disease, thrombosis, and vasculitis
Hip pain is typically the first symptom of osteonecrosis. Generally, the pain feels like a dull ache or throbbing pain in the groin or buttock area. As the disease progresses, the pain increases, making it difficult to move, stand, and put weight on the affected hip.
Chiropractic Treatments for Hip Pain
At Village Chiropractic we use a few different methods for treating hip pain. Depending on the condition of the hip and the type of injury, we can use: