Hip pain is a common problem, but not always a straightforward one. Pain that you feel in your hip can actually be caused by a problem in your back. Similarly, pain in the hip can sometimes be felt as pain in your groin or even in the middle of your thighs. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be sought to solve the underlying problem.
Causes of pain
• Arthritis – the most frequent cause of hip pain is arthritis although pain is often felt in the front part of your thigh or groin
• Burstitis – an extremely common problem where the bursa over the outside of the hip joint show signs of inflammation. This causes pain when you get up from a chair, walk, climb stairs or drive
• Tendinitis – caused by repetitive activity and can occur in any of the tendons that surround the hip joint
• Sprain – from strenuous activity
• Osteonecrosis – a condition that occurs when blood flow is restricted to an area of bone, most commonly in the hip area
• Sciatica – causes referred symptoms from the lower back
• Fracture – the most serious case of sudden hip pain. A hip fracture is directly related to age as not only do bones become thinner with age, but people are also more likely to experience a fall. However, osteoporosis sufferers can even experience a fracture through everyday activities. There are also several possible life-threatening complications with a hip fracture and the necessary surgery involved. These include pneumonia and blood clots due to lack of movement. Unfortunately, less than half of people with a hip fracture manage to return to their usual level of activity and so quality of life can be significantly impaired.
Hernia, gynaecological and back issues factors also cause hip pain especially in women.
If the hip is actually broken then surgery may be required to either replace or repair it with a metal plate. The most effective ways to manage most ‘everyday’ hip pain is to try and avoid those activities that seem to aggravate it and to take over-the-counter pain medication when necessary. Obviously, if your pain is caused by a serious injury or fall then you should go immediately to your local hospital emergency department. Also For other problems that persist more than a week, then you should contact your GP to discuss further treatment options.