The hips are an amazing and critical part of the body. When working properly, the ball-and-socket joint moves smoothly. The cartilage that cushions the joint is a vital element in eliminating friction caused by movement. The hip joint is the largest in your body, and is made to be durable.
Unfortunately, durability has its limits. Hip pain can be the result of a variety of problems. Repetitive motion, age and over-use can cause the cartilage to wear down or become damaged. Hip bones can fracture or break. Muscles and tendons in the hip area can become fatigued with overuse. Certain health conditions like arthritis can affect the joint as well, causing discomfort and pain.
Identifying the Source
It is important to find the source of your hip pain before deciding on a course of treatment. Location is often a good indicator of the cause. If you feel pain in your groin or the inside of your hip, you may have a problem with the actual joint. Problems with soft tissues, muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the hip often produce pain on the upper thigh, outer buttock or outside of your hip.
Referred pain can seem like it is located in the hip area when the source is actually a different area of the body, such as the lower back. Some health conditions and diseases can also cause referred pain.
The Last Resort
There are situations in which hip surgery is the treatment of choice. Fortunately, for most, there are alternative treatments to try before deciding on surgery. If your hip pain is due to a health condition like arthritis, managing the condition may also decrease the pain. For example, a diet of whole foods and eliminating or minimizing foods that cause inflammation can have a great impact on arthritis suffers. For obese patients, weight loss could make a considerable difference.
Discuss options with your doctor and you may find that hip replacement surgery may not be necessary. There are many treatments for relieving or minimizing pain that do not involve replacing the hip joint. Contact Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians for a consultation appointment and more information regarding your options for relief of hip pain.
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