Treatments for Chronic Hip Pain

Hip Pain Causes and Treatment Options

 The hip joint is a incredibly resilient ball and socket structure . hip jointIt fits together in such a way that it enables our bodies to perform fluid and complex movements usually with relative ease.

Whenever your body moves and you begin activating the hip, there’s a cushion of cartilage that helps to prevent friction while the hip bone moves within its socket.

While this is an incredibly durable piece of anatomy, it is not invincible, unfortunately. Over time, the cartilage can break down and this deterioration can eventually result in hip pain.

Hip Pain Symptoms

You may experience pain or discomfort in the thigh, the knee, within the hip joint, the buttocks and outside of the hip joint.

What are common causes of chronic hip pain?

Overuse

Sometimes when people participate in a sport, work a job or even practice a hobby that causes the repetitive use of the hip joint, they often are prone to developing chronic hip pain from inflammation.

Fractures

If you have slipped on a set of stairs or fallen from a patch of ice, you may have at some point in your life fractured or broken your hip. Quite understandably, this can also be another frequent source of pain. Interestingly, many athletes develop stress fractures which are the product of repeated, as opposed to, sudden stress incidents.

Bone cancer

Albeit a bit rarer, bone cancer can cause an extremely out of hip pain. Another condition called osteonecrosis can also be the source of chronic hip pain. In the case of this condition, tissue in the hip area begins to die because it is not receiving adequate blood flow, usually as a result of a serious injury like a fracture or dislocation.

Chronic Hip Pain Treatment Options

It’s important to first understand the cause your chronic hip pain before seeking out a treatment solution. Consult with your primary care physician first if you are experiencing pain. Your doctor will be able to give you greater insight into your situation, and help you develop a treatment regimen that will be effective for you. That said let’s take a look at some of the common treatment options available.

Over-the-counter pain medication

Aspirin and ibuprofen are typical anti-inflammatory medications that you can purchase at your local CVS or Duane Reade. As well, there are some pain creams and pain relief for sprays that also can be effective in providing some relief.

Prescription painkillers & steroids

If you’re not experiencing sufficient pain relief from an over-the-counter option, it might be worthwhile to speak to your physician about receiving a prescription for a more potent option. Steroids are typically used to reduce inflammation and decrease and immune system’s activity. As well, an opioid painkiller can also be a temporary solution to your troubles, but it is not wise to rely on them for a long-term solution.

Hot and cold ice packs

This is a more traditional home remedy and is certainly worth a try.

Ice is good to apply to areas that are suffering from a recent and acute injury, like an ankle sprain. While heat is a better solution for that chronic, throbbing pain that is not the result of a fresh injury. Try applying either hot or cold packs to your body for 20 minutes at a time and see what effect it has.

Try stretching

Test out your range of motion and see what you were able to do. If your hip pain is not severe and particularly compromising, there are many stretches you can perform at home that will bring you some relief.

However, it would probably be best if you are experiencing chronic hip pain to consult with a Pilates or Yoga instructor, somebody with deep expertise, who can customize a stretching regimen for you and will specifically target relieving the pain in your body. Oftentimes, if you engage in vigorous stretching without a full knowledge of the underlying anatomical issues that are causing you pain, you can do potential reaggravate your condition.

So, walk into the next yoga studio you see, perhaps you’ve passed by one on the way to work, and figure out if it’s the right solution for you.

Hip replacement surgery

In particularly severe cases, other alternatives have been tried and failed, replacing your hip might be the highest and best option. While certainly a daunting sounding surgery, ongoing medical advances have made this a less serious intervention.

In most cases people that receive hip surgery spend 3 to 5 days in a hospital and typically are completely mobile within 3 to 6 months. These figures are also affected by the state of your pre-existing health and the amount of time and effort that you put into recuperating from the surgery.

Hip surgery complications

If you do opt for hip surgery, there are some risks that you should be aware of. There is always the risk of infection and development of blood clots, these are generic to any type of surgery, however.

Dislocations can also occur because replacement hips are typically not as large, which means the ball pops out of the hip socket more frequently.

Thirdly, since the artificial hip is a foreign element, there is a chance that the body will have an adverse reaction to it. It typically results in swelling and pain. All of that said, trained medical professional’s are well aware of these common complications, and they have two pools at their disposal to both prevent and treat these potential occurrences should they arise.

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Summary

Since the hip is integral to our whole body movement any, sort of pain in the area can be incredibly disconcerting. That said, depending on the severity of the pain and your physician’s recommendations, there is a range of different treatment options available to you.

You might be able to treat or least manage your pain, depending on its origin, by stretching and taking natural anti-inflammatories like fish oil. Or if your pain is more severe and chronic, you might require a hip replacement. It’s important to remember that while it might be in terrible pain now, there are solutions that can address your suffering.

As always, the best solution is to combine an integrative approach with a medical professional’s guidance, ensuring that you don’t opt for surgery too soon, but at the same time, you do not leave any stone unturned.

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