What is chronic hip pain?
Chronic hip pain is a common symptom that often reflects a deeper issue with the joints. The joint works closely with the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons. For the hips, these joints are made up of the pelvic bone, femur and connective tissues that help with regular motion. An injury to the bones or surrounding soft tissue can cause severe pain near the inner or outer part of the hips. Your level of pain and other symptoms can help to indicate what part of the joint is problematic. Chronic hip pain may have a major impact on your quality of life.
Is it chronic pain in the hip?
The hips are a ball and socket type of joint. Anything from overuse to weak bones can be the cause of chronic hip pain. Sometimes, the cause of chronic hip pain can be a radiating symptom coming from your low back, though you may not be experiencing pain there. A thorough evaluation is crucial in determining the origin of your pain.
Pain relief is more successful when the chronic hip disorder has a specific diagnosis and treatment. Patients who find an accurate diagnosis for their chronic hip pain, can go on to find an accurate treatment as well. Imaging techniques such as an x-ray, CT scan, and MRI of the hips will help to determine a correct diagnosis. An MRI of the low back may be ordered as well if it is suspecting that you are experiencing radiating symptoms from the lumbar spine
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What are some causes chronic hip pain?
Unfortunately, all individuals are at risk of chronic hip pain. Even at birth, patients may be vulnerable to chronic hip pain symptoms. These causes can grow and evolve into full disorders that disable the hips, such as:
- Avascular Necrosis (AVN)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Hip Impingement
- Hip Osteoarthritis
- Hip Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Labral Tears
- Hip Fractures
Some risk factors are more serious than others. At every age and stage of life, patients should be aware of their overall health. The following factors can directly cause patients to suffer from chronic hip pain:
- Level of Activity
- Medical History
- How to treat chronic hip pain
How to Treat Chronic Hip Pain
Patients who stay cautious and self-aware may be able to prevent chronic hip pain. Usually, there are initial symptoms that warn the patient of joint problems. Hip pain is one of the first warnings, but the hip pain may come and go over time. A healthy lifestyle can limit painful symptoms and reverse early onset conditions. Chronic hip pain prevention involves:
- Always let the body rest after intense physical activity
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy size for your body
- Warm up properly before engaging in strenuous activity
- Strengthen the muscles around the hips
- Maintaining good posture at all times
The ultimate form of chronic hip pain relief depends on how far the condition has grown. Patients with lighter symptoms can benefit from simple hip pain tricks while patients with daily pain may need professional care. At home, patients can ease their chronic hip pain with some of the following relief tips:
- Sleep on the side of your body opposite of the hip pain
- Slowly stretch the hips out when feeling stiff
- Ice the hip to reduce pain and swelling
- Use a heating pad before going to bed
Remember, at-home treatment can only do so much. If you believe your chronic hip pain is more serious, consult Dr. Burke Orthopedics, who is trained in caring for chronic hip pain conditions.