Hip pain is a very common complaint and has many possible causes but is mostly prevalent in people over 40 and hip fractures are more common in women than men.
If we start to look at what causes hip pain we can see that there are a number of reasons why someone might be feeling discomfort in that area and strangely enough it isn’t always to do with the hip.
Sometimes the pain can be ‘transferred’ from where the real problem is happening such as in the lower back or foot which causes an imbalance when walking and consequent discomfort in the weight bearing hip
Some symptoms of hip joint pain to look out for might include the following: having difficulty walking on one side with maybe sharp or jagged pains on each step, not being able to stand in one place or position for too long without pain, pain in the hip joint when lifting a leg to go up steps.
You may be experiencing hip pain while sleeping or discomfort at night when lying on your side or difficulty in changing positions. Other signs might be feverish symptoms with redness or swelling in the area or ‘referred’ pains in the back, knee or ‘restless leg syndrome’. Of course if you have a hip fracture you would soon know it and would need immediate remedial surgery.
Burning hip pain and fevers could be indicative of rheumatoid arthritis which is a chronic inflammatory disease. A further cause of chronic hip pain could also be the degenerative condition, osteoarthritis and these conditions would require further investigation by your doctor or specialist. Osteoarthritis explained in a nutshell is that it is generally down to the wear and tear of the ball joint of the hip and it can wear down more quickly in people who do excessive amounts of exercise, running or fast paced walking.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bone density in the skeletal system has declined and this can put you at risk for bone fractures such as a hip fracture. It is more likely to occur if you smoke, drink high levels of alcohol and have a diet low in calcium. The risk is also higher if someone else in the family has had it or if you have had a fracture earlier in adult life or if a woman has had early menopause which results in low estrogen levels since estrogen levels have an impact on bone density. It is important to make an early accurate diagnosis of this condition, as with any hip pain problem so that measures can be taken to either prevent or limit the damage.
Another common cause of hip pain is bursitis or tendonitis and small tears in the muscles in that area and these often occur amongst people who are very athletic, such as tennis players or in people who do a lot of running or jogging.
Pain in the hip can also arise as a result of long term use of cortisone injections which lead to a deterioration of the bone due to a condition known as avascular necrosis linked to restricted blood supply to the bone. Or chronic pain may be due to Pagets disease which is a metabolic bone disorder of unknown origin. It is a chronic bone disease that affects bone growth, both deforming and weakening them, often in the pelvic area.
Congenital hip dislocation, otherwise known as hip dysplasia is a problem that some children are born with and if left unchecked can result in a painful limp and early risk of arthritis.
So, when confronted with hip pain it is important to be aware that there may be a number of possible causes as explained on AMMC portal, and these need to be investigated as soon as possible so that appropriate treatment can be applied.