Your hip is one of the largest joints in the body. It is a major weight-bearing joint that endures considerable stress during everyday activities like standing, running, and walking. While the hip joint is built to withstand these stressors, it is not indestructible. Hip pain is a common concern, affecting nearly everybody at some point in life.
Although most cases of hip pain are acute and resolve in a few days or weeks, there are some instances where pain can last for months or even longer. To effectively manage chronic hip pain, it is crucial to understand the underlying causes. Continue reading to learn more.
Arthritis is a prevalent cause of chronic hip pain, especially in adults. Arthritis causes swelling of the hip joint and the breakdown of the cartilage covering the hip bones. Various types of arthritis can trigger hip pain, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious arthritis. Typical signs of arthritis include stiff and tender joints, pain, and problems walking.
2. Trochanteric Bursitis
Trochanteric bursitis happens due to the swelling of the bursa, which is a liquid-filled sack near the hip joint. Common causes of trochanteric bursitis include joint overuse, hip injury, and posture issues. Repetitive activities may overwork or irritate the hip joint, causing swelling of the bursa. While individuals of all ages can suffer from this condition, it is more common in middle-aged and elderly persons.
3. Labral Tears
The labrum is the cartilage ring that keeps the thigh bone ball in position. Labral tears are prevalent in ballerinas and athletes due to the repetitive motions of the hip joint and cause chronic hip pain that restricts movement. If you have a labral tear, you will likely feel like your hip is clicking, or locking.
Degeneration or inflammation of the tendon is also prevalent in elderly persons and can result in chronic hip pain. Individuals suffering from tendonitis experience mild inflammation, tenderness, and pain, particularly when moving the affected hip. Some common causes of tendonitis include poor posture, forceful exertions, and repetitive motions, especially during sporting activities.
5. Hip Fracture
Hip fractures are breaks and cracks in the femur, the thigh bone near the hip joint. A fall or injury to the side of the hip is the most likely cause of a hip fracture. However, you may also experience hip fractures because of underlying health conditions, such as osteoporosis or cancer, that weaken the bones.
Hip fractures cause sudden and serious hip pain, often requiring immediate medical attention. In most cases, patients might need surgery to fix the hip fracture and alleviate the pain.
6. Bone Cancer
Bone cancers stem from the unusual development of bone cells in the body. Chronic hip pain is a primary symptom of bone cancer affecting the hip. However, some patients also report experiencing a swelling or mass in their hip. Hereditary factors and radiation exposure are the primary risk factors of bone cancer affecting the hip joint.
Numerous conditions can cause hip pain. Some conditions are more severe than others. For this reason, it is crucial not to self-diagnose, and seek treatment from a specialist, especially if you experience chronic pain that disrupts your everyday activities. Your doctor will perform an extensive evaluation to determine the root cause of your chronic hip pain and suggest appropriate treatment. While some conditions, like a mild hip fracture, could be treated with conservative therapy, other causes, like bone cancer, require surgery. Talk to your provider to determine the right solution for you.