My mother used to call me a ‘pain in the butt.’ It was an endearing term even though I often did things that left her frustrated. Hip pain can be a literal pain in the butt and can leave you with a lot of frustration just like I did to my mother. All jokes aside, hip problems can really limit your lifestyle. Whether bending over to pick up the kids becomes difficult or not being able to go on your Saturday golf outings because you don’t want to ‘pay for it’ the next day, suffering from hip pain is no fun.
The thing about hips is that when you have a problem with your hips you can experience pain in different areas. Often you may think you have a groin issue or maybe you are having knee pain, but never realized the source of the pain was coming from your hip joint. Most people do not know where in the body the hip joint lies. Ask someone to point to their hip joint and they point to the outside area of their upper thigh where they can feel their ‘hip bone’ sticking out. That’s part of the femur, but the joint is actually really deep inside the upper thigh. The hip is a problematic area for a lot of people, and it is no wonder since most of us sit most of the day. The population is one of ‘stiff hips.’
When there is an issue with your hip(s) you may have pain or discomfort in different areas. It’s important to understand that when you have pain in those areas it might be your hip that’s the issue. Below we will discuss some issues associated with dysfunctions in the hip and how they present themselves.
Bursitis: A bursa is a fluid filled sac that reduces friction. These sacs can become inflamed and thickened causing irritation both to the bursa and structures that rub against them. The most widely known bursitis of the hip is trochanteric bursitis. Remember the ‘hip bone’ on the outside of the thigh that was mentioned earlier? That’s the area where one will have pain with trochanteric bursitis. People will often have pain with walking or lying on the side of that hip. Another area where people can have hip bursitis is in the front of the hip where the iliopsoas bursa lies.
Arthritis: An arthritic hip often causes a dull, aching pain in the groin, buttocks, outer thigh, or knee. Symptoms are often worse in the morning or after sitting or resting for a while. The symptoms lessen with activity.
Impingement: This pain is caused by a deformity in either the ball or socket of the hip joint. It often goes unnoticed for years. Pain is typically experienced in the groin with walking or flexing the hip.
Muscle Imbalance: When muscles are not strong enough and or are not coordinating hip pain can result. Sometimes this is muscular where weak and tight muscles, or weak and long muscles become sore and achy. Tension in the muscles can compress the hip joint and lead to impingement and/or increased wear of the joint (arthritis).
These are a few issues that can cause pain in the hip region. It is important to know that knee pain can be caused from the hip and that hip pain can be caused by the back. Even an issue with different organs can refer pain to the hip region. It’s a wise choice to see an expert in hip joint problems like a physical therapist who can help you determine if your hip really is the problem.
Don’t wait any longer to take care of your hip pain. See an expert now so you can get back to playing with the kids or that Saturday golf outing.
Please give us a call to see how we can help you get rid of your hip pain and get back to your active, healthy lifestyle.
I'm just a guy helping active adults and athletes frustrated by nagging aches and pains naturally return to a healthy lifestyle.