Pain in the hip is, well...a pain. From normal everyday life activities like running errands and doing household chores to participation in exercise or sports, if you have a nagging hip issue, it has a way of transcending all of your activities except those that keep you at complete rest. That is a total bummer and no way to live life.
Hip pain can be really frustrating for many people partially because it can be so difficult to appropriately diagnose. Is the pain coming from your hip? Or, maybe the pain starts in your lower back, yet you feel it more in your hip? With so many different causes of hip discomfort and injury, it’s no wonder that this can be a tricky one to treat at home.
The first step to healing is nailing down the actual cause of your pain. Let’s break down some of the most common causes of hip pain and when it’s appropriate to seek treatment.
What Are The Common Causes Of Hip Pain?
The ball-and-socket joint that controls so much of our daily movement is in high demand. So, it’s no wonder that so many people experience various forms of hip pain. However, feelings of discomfort in the hip can really come from a variety of different places. The following injuries are some of the frequent offenders of hip irritation.
Muscle Strain - A muscle strain in the hip flexor can happen during a quick, sudden movement or over time due to overuse. It happens when the muscles supporting your hip are overstretched, or even a bit tore. Many hip strains can be resolved with at-home treatment, though some do require more specific physical therapy and guidance.
Hip Bursitis - The bursa in our hips act to help lubricate the joint so that we can move freely and without pain. Their job is to keep this joint cushioned and healthy! However, when the bursa is overused or undergoes trauma from a fall or other accident, their joint-function job becomes compromised. This means that irritation in the bursa presents as irritation in your hip. Hip bursitis can take around six weeks to heal when treated correctly.
Sports Hernia - Sports hernias happen often with athletes who require a lot of twisting and sudden movements within their respective disciplines. The sudden twisting can cause a tear in the lower abdomen or groin. Trust us, it isn’t a pleasant sensation and leaves your hips a bit worse for the wear. The treatment and timelines for sports hernias greatly depend on the severity of the injury. Though many will go away with several weeks of self-care and specific stretching exercises, some require further medical intervention like surgery.
Stress Fracture - A stress fracture in the hip is another common cause of hip pain. This overuse injury is often seen in long-distance runners or other endurance athletes. Older athletes or those with lower bone density tend to be at a greater risk for a stress fracture and thus should be more careful. Most stress fractures will resolve with an appropriate amount of rest and non-weight-bearing activity, though you should always work within a doctor’s timeline and receive clearance before resuming normal activity.
It should also be noted that some other serious issues can also result in hip pain. Some of these include various forms of arthritis, bone cancer or metastatic cancer that has spread to the bones, and bone infection. If you have been experiencing pain for a significant amount of time without relief, it’s always best to check with a medical professional to be sure that what you’re feeling isn’t more serious than you may think.
How To Tell The Difference Between Hip And Back Pain
In a purely anatomical sense, the hip and the lower back are pretty close to each other. So, it’s not a complete surprise that sometimes an issue or injury in one place can manifest and show pain in the other. After all, they’re basically neighbors.
Discerning between these two can be so tricky that it’s best to seek medical advice. Your unique injury history can help a professional discern where your pain is originating, which can be different from where you feel it, ironically. If you’re experiencing pain in a different area than where the problem has arisen, this is called referred pain.
To treat the actual injury or disease, you need to treat the root of the problem. Thus, figuring out the origin of your pain is a vital part of the healing process and cannot be overlooked. Fortunately, chiropractors are perfectly suited to identify the real cause of hip pain, and if necessary even refer you to the most appropriate medical provider if for some reason it cannot be helped by chiropractic.
How To Use Chiropractic To Overcome Hip Pain
Have you tried treating your hip pain symptoms at home without improvement? Is this an ongoing issue that you’re not sure how to tackle yourself? Or, perhaps you’re looking to be more proactive about your hip and lower body health. If any of these describe your current situation, it’s time to seek professional help.
The good news is that chiropractic care can provide the relief you are seeking. Gentle, chiropractic adjustments of the spine and extremities help to alleviate pressure in your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. Additionally, your practitioner can recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your injury history to perform outside of the office. This can pay huge dividends toward your healing timeline and can be almost as valuable as the in-office treatment as well.
Don’t neglect your health any longer; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (949) 649-8790.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.