By Dr. Nandan Rao, Orthopaedics
The hip joint is an important joint of the body that is used to withstand continuous motion, stretching and wear and tear. There is a cushion of cartilage in the hip joint, which prevents friction of the bone ends. The wear and tear of the cartilage occur primarily due to aging or overuse.
Despite its durability, the hip joint isn’t indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. The hip bone itself can be fractured during a fall or other injury. Any of these conditions can lead to hip pain.
The various causes of hip pain are:
- Arthritis: Arthritis is a disorder that causes wear and tear of the cartilage and inflammation of either one or more joints of the body.
- Hip Injuries: Dislocation, broken femur and acetabulum are some injury related problems of the hip that might lead to severe hip pain.
- Avascular necrosis of femur head: This may occur in patients with prolonged alcohol intake, chronic smoking and some blood disorders.
- Femoro-acetabular impingement: This leads to hip pain in adults between the age of 25 to 40 years. It is due to faulty structure of the hip joint. In long term it leads to hip arthritis
- Cancer: Bone cancer and leukemia are cancer-related disorders that can lead to hip pain.
The symptoms of hip pain are:
- You may experience pain and discomfort in the muscles of the thighs.
- Intermittent pain in the hip joint and limp during walking, climbing stairs
- Difficulty in squatting, using Indian toilet and sitting cross-legged.
- The treatment for hip pain involves diagnosing the underlying cause and then prescribing treatment accordingly.
- The pain can be temporarily controlled by administering NSAIDs. (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
- Physiotherapy is an essential component for improving mobility and strength.
Get medical help right away if:
The hip pain came on suddenly or if the pain lasts for more than 2 weeks. A fall or other injury triggered the hip pain. You heard a popping noise in the joint when you injured it. The pain is intense or you limp while walking. You can’t put any weight on your hip. You can’t move your leg or hip.