What Causes Hip Pain?
Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint. You may not feel pain from your hip directly over the hip area. You may feel it in your groin or pain in your thigh or knee. Hip pain may be caused by problems in the bones or cartilage of your hip, including:
• Osteoarthritis – This condition occurs after bone cartilage is worn away or damaged and hip bones no longer move smoothly. This is very common among those over 50 years of age and causes pain in the groin area and the front side of the thighs. This is a chronic condition that causes pain and stiffness and is usually worse after activity. Due to friction, swelling, and stiffening, the hip joint may become deformed. In severe cases, a total hip replacement is a common treatment.
• Fracture – Older people, especially those suffering from osteoporosis, can fracture their hips during simple daily activities. Surgery is required for hip fractures.
• Muscle strains, tendonitis, or bursitis – Overusing the hip muscles can results in small tears, although strains can happen in the lower back after quick turning, twisting or pulling of the spinal column muscles. Tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to hipbones and joints, and inflammation of the tendons can occur from frequent strenuous activity. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints and bursitis is the painful inflammation of these sacs.
• Certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or polymyalgia rheumatica – Early diagnosis is vital as some conditions are treatable and can prevent more serious complications.
• Infection or malignancy – Acute infections need urgent diagnosis and care because they can cause joint destruction, as well as an overabundance of harmful bacteria and toxins, if untreated.
Anatomy of the Hip Joint
The hip joint is one of the largest joints of the body and plays a critical locomotive role as the tight moves forward and backward. The hip joint also rotates when sitting and when changing directions while walking.
The hip joint is where the ball of the femur joins the pelvis at a socket called the “acetabulum”. There is cartilage covering both the bone of the femur and the acetabulum in the hip joint. A joint lining tissue, called synovium, surrounds the hip joint.
This synovium tissue produces a fluid that lubricates the joint providing nutrients to the cartilage of the joint. The ligaments around the hip joint attach the femur bone to the bony pelvis. There are a number of muscles and tendons that glide around the hip joint. Tiny fluid-filled sacs, called bursae, provide gliding surfaces for muscles and tendons around the hip joint. Major arteries and veins pass the front of the hip joint. The largest nerve of the body, the sciatic nerve, passes behind the hip joint.