Whether you’re hurting because of an injury, an accident, an illness, or the normal wear and tear that comes with aging, one thing is for sure; when you’ve got hip pain, you just want it to stop. While hip pain has a number of different causes, determining the cause is key to receiving the most appropriate treatment. Today, we would like to look at the two most common causes of hip pain, explore ways to prevent it and learn how physical therapy can help.
Most Common Cause # 1: Arthritis in the hip region results in pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion. The most common type is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is the excessive wearing of cartilage between the ball and socket, and the bone-on-bone contact causes significant pain and loss of motion.
Most Common Cause # 2: Injuries. The most common hip injuries include tendonitis, bursitis, contusions and sprains. These can be caused by a particular activity, repetitive stress, overuse injuries or some type of trauma. All result in inflammation of the tendons and ligaments causing painful movements, swelling, discomfort while resting at night, or possibly a dull ache and stiffness. The joint cannot function properly and without pain when there is swelling or inflammation associated with these injuries.
While there are factors that you may not be able to control, here are 4 powerful steps you can take to reduce or prevent the hip pain:
Maintain a healthy weight throughout your life. Extra weight puts added stress on the joints and can cause osteoarthritis.
Maintain strong bones. It’s important to make sure you’re eating calcium rich foods and getting the recommended amount of vitamin D. Those of us who live in states (like Michigan) where sunshine can be scarce for at least a portion of the year, can likely benefit from supplements that help. Be sure to talk to your doctor about this.
Educate yourself on fall prevention. Falls become more likely as you age. Being aware of the risks and taking measures to prevent falls can certainly help you avoid injuries that result in hip pain.
Seek care early. Whether arthritis or injuries are at the root of what is causing your hips to hurt, , your doctor and/or physical therapist can help you make a plan to manage the symptoms.
Physical therapy aims to reduce pain and help you regain mobility by building strength and increasing flexibility. It’s all about reducing the amount of stress placed on the joints. By strengthening the muscles around the hips, the joints get extra support and absorb less stress. Increasing and maintaining flexibility avoids any abnormal and unnecessary stress on your joints that often goes hand in hand with the loss of elasticity.
To learn more about how physical therapy, we encourage you to contact us with your questions.