Hip Pain Explained
Shakira was onto something when she sang: “Hips don’t lie”, if something is amiss in the hip area, your hips will surely let you know – in the form of pain. The pain could be dull or sharp, continuous or periodic, aching or severe depending on the particular problem, but the culprit of hip pain will almost always be the hip joint.The hip joint is the largest ball and socket joint in our bodies, that makes it possible for us to move our legs in every way with differing speeds yet stay stable. Cartilage and liquid lubricant line both the ball and the socket in the joint thereby preventing friction and absorbing shock that could happen with movement. Also helping the joint do its job are, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The hip joint is an extremely hard working joint so it’s no surprise that it experiences wear and tear from a lifetime of use which can lead to developing conditions, and despite its durability can, in fact, get injured.The main culprits of hip pain are cartilage degradation and damage, bone damage or breakage, and ligaments, tendons, and muscles damage. The damage described above can result in various longer term conditions, some of the most common are:Arthritis – the types of arthritis to affect the hip the most are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis, these also happen to be the main causes of hip pain. As we know, the many forms of arthritis are characterized by inflammation of the joint and breakdown of cartilage. Hip fractures – bones get weaker as we age so it becomes easier to break the hip in a fall. Bursitis – is the inflammation of the Bursae, the liquid that lubricates the hip joint and the surrounding soft tissue, and is caused by repetitive movements that irritate the hip joint. Tendinitis – the inflammation of the tendon tissues that attach the hip bones to the supporting muscles. This too is caused by the irritation that is caused by overuse. General Soft Tissue Strain – this pain is the result of muscles, tendons, and ligaments being overused and becoming inflamed.As you will notice, most of the above conditions have a unifying theme – inflammation! And the symptoms are pretty similar as well:
- Pain – chronic or short-term, strong or just aching
- Reduced range of motion
- Referred pain (may be felt in the leg)
If you experience hip pain a doctor can diagnose the underlying issue through an examination, tests, and imaging results, and of course, prescribe a course of treatment for hip pain relief. As with most other ailments, one can also try to help relieve the pain and other symptoms outside the prescribed treatment, as long as it does not conflict or interfere. Below are the proposed, non-intrusive or conflicting, treatments for hip pain:Rest – since most of the time the pain is due to inflammation that is a result of overuse, try to rest your hips to give your hip joint and the surrounding soft tissue time to heal. Interchange Ice and Heat therapy – apply ice packs and after some time heat packs (or a hot bath) to the hip area throughout the day for 15-minute sessions. Do Low Impact Exercises in the morning – stretching, yoga, resistance training, and swimming can reduce pain and improve joint mobility. The benefit of doing these in the morning is that the exercise will get the muscles activated and ready for the day. Use Laser Energy Therapy – such as Solio Alfa Plus, provides both immediate alleviation of joint pain as well as offer treatment for the underlying cause. It combines 3 energy sources for the treatment – RF, LLLT, and IR energy. Bipolar RF energy deeply penetrates the hip joint promoting blood circulation, which increases collagen production that shrinks and tightens cells to improve joint stability and healing. LLLT energy helps muscle spasms, increases protein production to reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair. IR heat energy effectively treats stiffness and reaches deep for cell activation and repair. Strengthen inner thighs – do exercises specifically designed for inner thigh strength, these muscles can take the pressure off of the hips by providing additional support. Strengthen outer thighs – do exercises specifically designed for outer thigh strength. As with the above, these muscles can take the pressure off of the hips by providing additional support. If applicable, lose extra weight – hips support the entire body so by slimming down you are taking some pressure off of the hip joint and its supporting soft tissues.