Hip Pain: Where Do They Come From?

Hip pain can manifest itself in various ways, locally or more diffusely, and thus become embarrassing. Are you feeling pain in your hip? Discover in this article the cause of your hip pain and how to relieve it. 

How do you define hip pain?

hip anatomy

The hip is the largest joint in the body. It corresponds to the junction between the head of the femur (thigh bone) and the pelvis and it contains many ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Hip pain can manifest itself in various ways, locally or more diffusely.

Very often, pain related to a hip disorder will be “misleading”, localized for example, in the groin, in the buttocks, or even in the leg or the knee.

Conversely, the pain can be felt in the hip and actually come from a more distant point (in the back or the groin, in particular).

Given the disabling nature of hip pain, it is important to consult your doctor without delay to benefit from adequate follow-up and rapid treatment.

What causes hip pain?

Hip pain has various origins. However, people over 50, are most often linked to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis of the hip or coxarthrosis affects approximately 3% of adults.

To better understand the cause of the pain, the doctor will be interested in the following information:

  • History (has there been a trauma? A fall? Has the patient practiced a sport intensively?);
  • the location of the pain (is it radiating to the buttocks, the leg, the lower back?);
  • its character (mechanical, inflammatory, nocturnal, etc.);
  • associated signs (stiffness, discomfort, and impact on daily life, etc.).

Hip osteoarthritis

There are several risk factors for hip osteoarthritis, including:

  • Known family history;
  • the intensive practice of certain sports or certain professional movements;
  • known hip malformation.

Inflammatory rheumatism

Different types of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis can also affect the hip.

Other possible causes include:

  • osteonecrosis (partial destruction) of the femoral head, itself potentially due to several factors, such as prolonged use of corticosteroids, dyslipidemia, sickle cell disease (blood disease), gas embolism, etc. ;
  • the invoice of the neck of the femur, often related to age, osteoporosis, or even the prolonged intake of corticosteroids;
  • other traumatic pains such as a dislocation or dislocation, a tear in the labrum, psoas tendonitis (the iliopsoas is a muscle that attaches to the front of the spine at the lumbar level and on the anterior aspect of the thigh ), gluteus medius tendonitis;
  • an inguinal or crural hernia;
  • a “pinching” of the nerve, due to a herniated disc, sciatica, spinal stenosis, etc. ;
  • cancer (bone metastases, leukemia, etc.).

An X-ray or MRI can help the doctor, if necessary, to make the diagnosis

How to relieve hip pain?

Solutions and treatments depend on the cause of hip pain. 

arthrosis

In the event of osteoarthritis, analgesic treatments based on paracetamol (acetaminophen) are recommended during crises.

It is important to continue gentle physical activities, such as walking, water aerobics, stretching, etc. These physical activities help maintain mobility and strengthen the muscles in the area.

Physical therapy or physiotherapy exercises can help move the joint without hurting it.

If the joint is too damaged, surgery to replace the joint with a prosthesis can be performed.

Inflammatory rheumatism

In the case of inflammatory rheumatism, drugs such as corticosteroids, methotrexate, or sulfasalazine will be prescribed.

Finally, if the pain is caused by an injury or shock, rest and rehabilitation sessions may be required.

The consequences of hip pain

Because of their impact on walking, hip pain is quickly disabling.

Hip pain can interfere with daily activities and should therefore be taken care of by a doctor as soon as possible.

Image Credit: Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya pexels.com

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