The hip joint can withstand a substantial amount of "wear and tear". As the human body's largest "ball-and-socket" joint, the hip joint is structured and aligned in a manner that permits elevated range of motion and durability. During activities such as walking, running, lateral movement, and lifting, the hip joint relies on a cushion of protective cartilage to minimize friction as the femur bone (ball portion) relocates in the pelvis (socket portion).
While the hip joint can handle a significant amount of stress; it is NOT invincible. Every joint in the body has a breaking point, and the hip is no exception. Below you will find the most common symptoms and potential diagnoses associated with hip pain.
Symptoms Associated with Hip Pain.
Depending upon the condition that's triggering your hip discomfort, you may feel the pain in your:
Buttocks and Glutes
Pain from other areas of the body; most commonly the lower back.
Conditions That Contribute to Hip Pain
1) Osteoarthritis. O.A. occurs when the cartilage that prevents bones from rubbing against each other wears down. Therefore O.A. of the hip occurs when the protective cartilage that prevents the femur and the pelvic bone from rubbing against each other wears down. This can result in stiffness, crackling, swelling, and tenderness throughout the hip joint.
2) Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hip. R.A. is clinically listed as an autoimmune disorder which means that the body's immune system is eliciting immune responses against its own tissue. Essentially the body doesn't recognize its own tissue, which results in inflammation and pain in the joints.
R.A. of the hip joint occurs when the body doesn't recognize the tissues and cartilage surrounding the hip joint. Although it has a different cause, R.A. will present symptoms very similar to Osteoarthritis (listed above) in the form of swelling, crackling, stiffness, and tenderness. It is important to consult with a licensed physician that can determine whether your hip pain is caused by O.A. or R.A.
3)Bursitis of the Hip. Joints in the body are surrounded by fluid-filled sacs called "brusae" that reduce friction and limit bone on bone contact. As these brusae undergo stress, they become inflamed which can lead to hip pain and swelling.
4) Muscle and Tendon Overcompensation. The hip joint is surrounded by muscles that work in conjunction to support the hip joint as it moves. When the hip joint begins to degenerate, these supporting muscle groups are recruited to handle more stress which can ultimately lead to pain, tightness, and swelling which limits the range of motion of the entire joint.
Be sure to seek the advice of a licensed physician when diagnosing the cause of your hip pain. Only then can you put together an appropriate action plan that will stop your hip pain in its tracks!
If you live in the Charlotte, NC or Fort Mill, SC area...
Call Modern Concepts today at 803-802-2225 to find out how we can diagnose and treat your hip pain!