Hip Pain Symptoms and Treatment
The hip is one of the largest joints in the body and it acts as a hinge between the pelvis and thigh bone. We use our hips for a wide variety of movements, including walking, running, sitting and bending, but all this use means that hip pain is common, especially in older adults.
If you’re suffering from hip pain, you’re not alone! It’s estimated that around 50% of older adults experience hip pain at some point, but you don’t just have to put up with it. If you’ve been experiencing hip pain and want to know more about potential causes and treatment, read on for our handy guide.
What are the symptoms of hip pain?
Hip pain can vary in severity, depending on the cause and whether it’s brought on suddenly (e.g as the result of an injury), or if it’s a chronic pain that’s built up over time. Hip pain can be dull or sharp and common symptoms include:
- Tenderness or pain in the hip joint
- Pain that spreads to the groin, outer hip, thigh or buttocks
- Difficulty moving your hip or legs
- Discomfort when sleeping on your affected hip
- Snapping or clicking noises
- Swelling and bruising.
What causes hip pain?
Hip pain can arise for a number of reasons, from a one-off injury, to conditions like arthritis, or simple overuse. We’ll explore some of the most common causes of hip pain in more detail, below.
A fall, sports injury, or injury from overuse can all cause and exacerbate hip pain symptoms. Common injuries that lead to hip pain include stress fractures; which can be caused by repetitive movements, such as running. Over time, this can weaken the joint and cause an injury. You may also experience what’s known as a ‘true fracture’, which occurs when the femur bone breaks during a fall or hard knock.
Cartilage is crucial to keep our joints moving smoothly, but it can wear away as we get older. This wear can lead to painful inflammation and stiffness in the hip joint and surrounding area (such as the groin). Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to ‘reverse’ this degeneration, but there are plenty of ways to slow the progression and prevent symptoms from worsening.
Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sac on the outside of your hip, known as a bursa. Bursas help to reduce friction between the tendon and bone, but they can become inflamed and irritated due to overuse or injury. Bursitis often causes a sharp pain which is worse when moving, standing for long periods of time, or lying on the affected side.
Our tendons connect muscle to the bone, but they can become inflamed if overused, leading to tendonitis. Tendons in this area are attached to both the hip and the muscle in the groin, so it’s common to feel pain in both areas. This type of pain usually begins gradually, worsening with prolonged activity and improving during rest periods.
Hip pain treatment
Hip pain can make day to day life difficult, but all is not lost! There are plenty of treatments available for hip pain, to help relieve your symptoms and improve ease of movement. The most suitable treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your hip pain, but some common hip pain treatments include:
- Can we add in Chiropractic, either in this bullet point or a separate one. Also as a clinic we offer soft tissue therapy and massage which might be good to promote in this instance.Physiotherapy – Your GP may refer you for physiotherapy, or you can seek it out privately. A physiotherapist can help by providing a bespoke programme of stretches and exercises to relieve the pain.
- Painkillers – Over the counter painkillers may not be strong enough to relieve your hip pain symptoms, but a GP might prescribe you stronger pain relief.
- Steroid injections – This is an option if you’ve found little relief from over the counter or prescribed pain medication. You’ll first be referred to a specialist who can talk you through your options.
- Surgery – If your hip pain is extreme and severely interfering with your day to day activities, you may be referred for surgery. A specialist will often perform a scan first before discussing potential treatments.
Exercise for hip pain
There are also specific exercises and gentle stretches for hip pain which you can perform at home. Gentle squats, hip extensions, leg raises and hip rotations are all great exercises to improve mobility and relieve pain by gently stretching the hips. You don’t need any additional equipment either (except perhaps a chair or table for balance).
N.B Consult your doctor or health professional first if you’re unsure about any exercises to avoid any further damage or pain.
Should I see a chiropractor for hip pain?
You might be wondering whether a chiropractor can help with hip pain – and yes, they can! Chiropractors don’t just treat your symptoms either – they’ll perform a thorough examination to pinpoint the source of your hip pain.
They’ll then develop a personalised treatment plan to help relieve you of your hip pain symptoms, improve mobility and get back to doing what you enjoy. Chiropractic treatment often includes a combination of chiropractic adjustments, exercises, stretching and massage, to help reduce inflammation and strengthen weakened muscles.
Book a consultation at Kasa Chiropractic today
If you’re looking for a Bristol Chiropractor to help manage your hip pain symptoms, we can help. To make an initial appointment with one of our skilled practitioners, or to manage an existing appointment, click here to use our online booking system. We look forward to welcoming you to our Southville or Clifton chiropractic clinic very soon!