Common causes hip pain

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Hip pain is a common problem, and it can be confusing because there are many causes. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the symptoms so that appropriate treatment can be directed at the underlying problem.

If you have hip pain, some common causes include:

•Arthritis is among the most frequent causes of hip pain, and there are many treatments available. With the Baby Boomer demographic increasing in number, this will eventually be one of the most common causes of hip pain. Many types of arthritis can affect the hip including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.
•Trochanteric bursitis is an extremely common problem that causes inflammation of the bursa on the outside of the hip joint. Other types of bursitis can also cause hip pain.
•Tendonitis can occur in any of the tendons that surround the hip joint. One of the more common is gluteus medius tendinopathy which causes pain on the outside of the hip and is often mistaken for trochanteric bursitis.
•Osteonecrosis is a condition that occurs when blood flow to bone is inadequate. Bone cells die and the bone collapses. One of the most common places for osteonecrosis to occur is in the head of the femur.
•Back and spine problems can cause symptoms around the buttocks and hip. The most common problems that refer pain to the hip region are herniated discs and sciatica.
•Snapping hip syndrome is used to describe three distinct hip issues. The first occurs when the iliotibial band snaps over the outside of the thigh. The second occurs when the deep hip flexor (iliopsoas) snaps over the front of the hip joint. Finally, tears of the labrum- the lip of the hip socket- can cause a snapping sensation.
•Strains of the muscles around the hip and pelvis can cause pain and spasm. Pyriformis muscle strain in the back of the hip can cause a sciatica-like pain.
•Hip fractures due to insufficiency are most common in elderly patients with osteoporosis.

Common causes of hip pain in athletes:

•The most common injuries of the hip and groin region in athletes are muscle strains. Muscles around the hip joint are prone to this injury because they contract eccentrically. Eccentric contractions exert much force in the muscle and can lead to a muscle strain. Muscle strains around the hip include groin pulls and hamstring strains.
•Inflammation of the bursae over the outside of the hip joint, the trochanteric bursitis, can cause pain with hip movement. The iliopsoas bursa in the front of the hip can cause pain when inflamed. And the ischiogluteal bursa in the buttocks area can also become injured and literally cause a "pain in the butt." Treatment of hip bursitis is often effective, but the condition can become chronic.
•A hard blow to the outside of the hip causes an injury to the ileum, a part of the pelvis. Bruising of the ileum is referred to as a hip pointer.
•Stress fractures of the hip can be seen in runners. They are more common in women than in men. These injuries may be more frequent in athletes with nutritional deficiencies, osteopenia, or eating disorders.
•Osteitis pubis is inflammation of the cartilage connecting the symphysis pubis. Pain is worse with activity and is seen in runners, soccer players and hockey players. This usually gets better with rest and anti-inflammatory medications.
•Sports hernias are a problem due to an imbalance between the thigh and abdominal muscles. This injury is seen when alot of torque is generated in the trunk muscles while running

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