As we grow older, it’s only natural that our bodies don’t quite work as reliably as they once did. Adapting to our changing bodies is an integral part of the aging process, but it can be quite difficult for many people to handle these new aches, pains, and difficulties as they occur.
One of the most common complaints people tend to find as they get older is hip pain, with over 14% of people aged 60 and older reporting severe hip pain on an almost daily basis, and many others having to deal with less severe pains quite often too.
The hip joint is one of the most important in the body, helping us walk around and stay mobile, and it’s quite a tough joint too, able to withstand repeated use with minimal wear and tear for many years. However, over time, issues can develop with this joint that causes it to function less effectively.
When hip pain begins to appear, there can be various possible causes and a range of different treatment options. In the most severe cases, a total replacement may be needed. This can solve the problem, but hip replacements aren’t without their risks. They can lead to various side effects like dislocations and additional pain, and metal particles can even get into the patient’s bloodstream too.
Surgery is sometimes necessary, but it may not always be the right answer. Read on to find out about possible causes of any hip pain you may be experiencing, as well as the possible treatment options available to you.
Causes of Hip Pain
There are many different potential causes connected to hip pain, and it’s not always just a question of ‘natural aging pains’. Here are just some of the most common causes:
● Arthritis – One of the most common causes of hip pain is arthritis. This can come in the form of either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, and these conditions are quite common in older people. Arthritis affects the bones directly, leading to weakening and damage around the hip joint. People suffering from arthritis may notice other aches and pains in other joints and parts of the body too.
● Injuries – Physical injuries may lead to the hip actually getting fractured in some way, which might be causing your hip pain too. As you get older, your bones are less resistant to knocks and bumps, so something like a simple trip or fall could lead to this kind of fracture. If you’re suffering pain after a fall, X-rays will help to find out if any fractures have occurred.
● Tendinitis – Tendons are stretchy pieces of tissue that connect your bones to your muscles, allowing us to move freely. However, tendons can become inflamed, swollen, and irritated over time, leading to a condition called tendinitis, which often results in joint pain and mobility problems. A common cause of tendinitis is over-working the tendons by repeating the same movements over and over again too often.
● Cancer – It is possible that hip pain could be caused by cancer. Bones can be affected by this disease, and bone cancer can be deadly if left untreated. Tumors can build up inside the bones and then grow larger or spread to other parts of the body. This can lead to a range of symptoms, including aches and pains in the hips. If you have any fears of bone cancer, visit a doctor, and get a diagnosis.
● Bursitis – There are very small pockets of liquid that can be found around bones and muscles called bursae. These little liquid sacs help to ease movement, essentially acting as a kind of lubricant for your muscles and bones, but they can get inflamed over time, leading to aches and pains. Often, repeating the same movement too much or working your body too hard can lead to irritation in the bursae, also known as bursitis.
● Osteonecrosis – Osteonecrosis, also known as avascular necrosis, is when parts of the bone actually start to die. This can happen if blood isn’t being delivered to the bones effectively, leading to the bone tissue being cut off and gradually wearing away. It’s actually quite common in the hip, even though it can occur all over the body, and various issues can lead to osteonecroses such as hip fractures and breaks.
Treatments for Hip Pain
When hip pain occurs, there are various possible treatments and remedies that can be turned to in order to help alleviate that pain and soothe the symptoms. Here are some options:
● Stretching and Exercising – One of the simplest, non-invasive options available for dealing with hip pain is to start stretching and exercising the hip more regularly. Doctors can recommend a range of stretches and movements for treating hip pain, designed to strengthen the muscles in this area and help to make you more mobile and flexible as time goes by. These stretches can also decrease your risks of suffering from issues like tendonitis or bursitis.
● Medication – Various medications can be prescribed to people who are dealing with hip pain, and some pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications may be enough to help you handle a case of tendinitis or bursitis, for example. Even just holding ice on the hip can be a great natural remedy, and doctors may also prescribe anti-rheumatic drugs for arthritis sufferers.
● Hip Replacement – If the hip pain becomes too severe or is being caused by a damaged, diseased, or broken hip, a full hip replacement surgery may be required. This operation will involve parts of your hip joint being removed and replaced with artificial joint pieces, typically made from metal.
If you find yourself feeling any kind of pain or discomfort in your hip, the best thing to do is consult a doctor from the pain management clinicas soon as possible and get a professional diagnosis. Your doctor will be able to find the root cause of the problem, which could be something you might not have expected, and prescribe the correct course of treatment, exercise, or surgery, as needed. So don’t suffer in silence and get the help you need.