Common Causes of Hip Pain

Hip Pain

Common Causes of Hip Pain

When they experience pain in their hips, many people assume it is arthritis and simply shrug their shoulders and do their best to manage the pain on their own, thinking that there is nothing that can be done.

Arthritis is a common cause of hip pain, but it is not the only cause.

Unfortunately, many people wait to see a doctor until the pain reaches the point where they can no longer control it with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. Following routine x-rays and an examination in the doctor’s office, they may then be surprised to find the diagnosis isn’t arthritis as they expected but bursitis in the hip.

Is the pain in your hip really arthritis?

Osteoarthritis of the hip, which is the result of the wear and tear on the joint over time, is a common complaint. According to the health experts at John Hopkins Medicine, “With hip arthritis, the pain is mainly felt in the groin, and occasionally in the outer thigh and upper buttock area. Pain can get worse after standing or walking for long periods of time or after a period of rest (waking up in the morning).”

Other symptoms may include:

  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Difficulty rotating your leg
  • Audible cracking, grinding or clicking sounds associated with movement

What is bursitis of the hip?

Before we can talk about hip bursitis, we need to understand a little bit about the way the hip joint works.

As the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains, “Bursae, are small, jelly-like sacs that are located throughout the body, including around the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. They contain a small amount of fluid, and are positioned between bones and soft tissues, acting as cushions to help reduce friction.”

When those little sacs become inflamed, you have a very painful condition called bursitis. There are two bursae in the hip that are susceptible to inflammation. The most common form of bursitis in the hip affects the one located at the bony point of the hip. It’s called the greater trochanter bursa and is most likely to become inflamed.

According to the AAOS, “The main symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain at the point of the hip. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. In the early stages, the pain is usually described as sharp and intense. Later, the pain may become more of an ache and spread across a larger area of the hip.”

Traditionally, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, like ibuprofen, and steroid injections have been used to treat bursitis of the hip. But now, low-intensity shockwave therapy offers patients another option.

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