The article presents the most common causes and symptoms of hip pain, as well as ways to treat it, including pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods of pain reduction. Familiarize yourself with the basics and fight the pain in a quick way.
What is the hip joint?
The hip joint is one of the largest joints in the human body, which consists of two main elements: the acetabulum of the hip joint of the pelvic bone and the head of the femur. It is protected by a strong and resistant joint capsule.
The main purpose of the hip joint is to allow the transfer of body weight from the trunk to the lower limbs and to ensure the mobility of the legs in different directions, such as bending and straightening, adduction and abduction, and internal and external rotation.
Causes of pain in the hip – what causes it?
Common causes of hip pain are osteoarthritis of the hip, which causes damage to joint structures and functions, inflammation of the hip joint, which can have various causes, and hip fracture, most common in seniors.
In addition, mechanical injury, excessive body weight and spinal disorders can also cause pain in the hip area.
Symptoms of hip overload
The most commonly reported problems associated with excessive load on the hip joint are:
- Sharp pain in the hip when walking, which disappears during rest.
- Pain in the groin that can spread to the knee.
- Discomfort in the buttock area.
- Complaints may affect both hips or only one side, depending on the type of activity performed.
Characteristic is the feeling of pain in the hip joint during sleep on the side. If the pain occurs at night and is not associated with a load, this may indicate inflammation. This condition may be related to osteoarthritis of the hip, sacroiliac joints or spine.
How to relieve hip pain in a simple way?
Hip pain can have a variety of causes, such as inflammatory joint diseases, injuries or overload. If you suffer from hip pain, it is worth using natural methods of alleviating ailments that not only bring relief, but also improve the condition of the joints. Among them are, m.in exercises stretching and strengthening muscles, the use of ice packs or heat, massages or supplementation with nutrients.
Exercises for hip pain – what to do and what to avoid?
Hip pain can be very bothersome, but there are some exercises that can help relieve it. Here are some of them:
- Stretching exercises: Squat on one leg with the other bent and the foot adjacent to the thigh. The second leg should be straightened at the hip joint. Then, holding the foot of the other leg, pull it towards the buttock.
- Strengthening exercises: Squat with raising the legs sideways alternately. In this position, the legs should be slightly bent, and the feet should be set hip-width apart. Keep your arms in front of you and then raise one leg sideways.
- Ball exercises: Lying on your back, bend your legs at the knees and place the ball between your knees. Then begin to slowly bend one leg towards the chest, and slowly straighten the other leg.
However, avoid exercises that require a lot of twisting or bending the hip joint, such as running on uneven terrain, jumping from a height, or squats with too much amplitude. These exercises can increase pain and exacerbate symptoms.
Hip pain in athletes – how to prevent and treat?
Hip pain is a common problem in athletes, especially those who practice disciplines that require a lot of physical effort, such as running, football, basketball or gymnastics. Here are some ways to prevent and treat hip pain in athletes:
- Regular stretching and warm-up: Before starting training or competition, you should take care of proper warm-up of muscles and joints, as well as regular stretching, which will avoid hip pain.
- Proper exercise technique: It is important to do the exercises correctly and according to the rules to avoid overloading the hip joint. In case of uncertainty, it is worth consulting a trainer or physiotherapy specialist.
- Body weight control: Excess body weight can increase the load on the joints, which can lead to hip pain. Therefore, it is important to maintain a proper body weight.
- Changing eating habits: Unhealthy eating habits can lead to inflammation in the body, which can affect hip pain. Therefore, it is important to take care of a proper diet, rich in healthy products.
- Pharmacological treatment: In case of hip pain, analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs can be used, after consulting a doctor or pharmacist.
- Physiotherapy: Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for hip pain. Depending on the cause of the pain, the physiotherapist may recommend strengthening exercises, stretching, massage, electrostimulation or other forms of therapy.
- Surgical treatment: In cases of severe injuries or chronic medical conditions, surgical treatment of the hip joint may be necessary.
Treatment of hip pain – what methods are the most effective?
Methods of treating hip pain without surgical intervention include a variety of ways. In the event that hip pain is annoying and hinders daily activities, analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended, most often non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, gently relaxant preparations may also be used.
A diet rich in vitamin D and adequate protein is crucial in the fight against hip pain, as excess protein can lead to weakened bones. Specialists also recommend oral supplements containing chondroitin, hyaluronic acid or glucosamine, which are referred to as “joint vitamins”. In some cases, therapy with local injections of platelet-rich plasma or preparations containing hyaluronic acid can bring effective results, not only for hip pain, but also for leg pain.
Diagnosis of hip pain – what tests are necessary?
Pain in the hip area can be caused by various diseases or health conditions. Most often, older people complain about this problem, because the aging of the body is associated with natural changes in the musculoskeletal system.
An orthopedist deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hip pain. To diagnose the cause of the complaint, the doctor must conduct a thorough interview, including information about previous health problems, the nature of the pain, the circumstances of its appearance and the accompanying symptoms.
Diagnosis of the condition of the hip joint includes various tests, such as analysis of the patient’s movement, examination of the hip area, assessment of the symmetry and length of the lower limbs, examination of muscle strength and the range of motion of the joint.
To accurately determine the cause of hip pain, imaging studies such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound or computed tomography are necessary. Sometimes blood tests, such as assessing inflammatory markers, are also recommended to help diagnose the disease.