Shoes can cause hip pain

Hip Pain - Four Common Causes and Their Symptoms

Hip pain is by no means always the same as osteoarthritis - even if this cause is a widespread one. In fact, there are a number of very different, sometimes easy-to-treat causes of hip pain that can be accompanied by different symptoms. For this reason, a thorough examination and medical history by a specialist or orthopedic surgeon is particularly important for treating hip pain.

In this article, we would like to help you classify hip pain more easily and provide a brief overview of possible causes, their symptoms and possible treatments.

The different causes and which symptoms can mean what

In medical terminology, hip pain is collectively referred to as coxalgia. This term can cover very different types of hip pain, the most common of which we would like to present below. Possible causes of hip pain include: B .:

  • age-related wear and tear (hip arthrosis or coxarthrosis)
  • Inflammation
  • rheumatic diseases
  • Metabolic diseases (e.g. gout) and metabolic circulatory disorders (e.g. femoral head necrosis)
  • Tension caused by misalignments or poor posture
  • Overwork from training or work
  • Traumas, fractures, injuries
  • Diseases of the bone system (e.g. osteoporosis, osteomalacia, Paget's disease)
  • congenital changes in the shape of the hip joint

Hip osteoarthritis: The most common cause of hip pain

One of the most common causes of pain is osteoarthritis of the hip. The degenerative disease is a chronic change in the joint. In most cases, it arises from the aging of the cartilage or from the breakdown of healthy articular cartilage with increasing age. In many of those affected, the sliding and buffer layer in the joint is sometimes so destroyed that finally bone meets bone. And that can cause deep-seated, one-sided pain in the lumbar spine, muscle tension and restricted mobility in the area of ​​the affected hip joint.

Hip osteoarthritis often only leads to more severe pain at a later stage. Typical signs of osteoarthritis in the hip can be:

  • in the early stages only pain in the morning, which disappears after a few steps
  • Hip pain on one side after exercise
  • Groin pain (sometimes radiating)
  • Pain at rest (e.g. at night)
  • Increasing stiffness
  • Pain when turning the leg on its own axis
  • Limp

In addition to age-related wear and tear and degradation processes, hip joint arthrosis can also be triggered by accidents or injuries to the joint, congenital deformities or the effects of metabolic diseases.

To relieve hip pain, to protect the cartilage and to improve joint function, those affected can, for example, use a hip or hip joint orthosis. This can be prescribed by the doctor after a prior diagnosis and is available from the medical supply store.

Another treatment can include injecting hyaluronic acid, which is supposed to replace the missing synovial fluid. However, this therapy is not one of the health insurance benefits. If the wear and tear is very advanced, an artificial joint can be used.

Hip pain due to inflammation

Another common cause of hip pain can be inflammation. They often sit in the bursae, which are filled with fluid and act as a cushion between the bones and muscles or tendons. Bursitis can be divided into acute or chronic inflammation. Both forms arise either from overstressing the joint or the gluteal muscle or from the nesting of bacteria.

If the bursa is inflamed, the hip pain occurs primarily on the outside of the hip, less often, e.g. when climbing stairs, on the outside of the thigh. They are often perceived as pulling or stabbing and usually start after straining and moving the leg, but can also occur in a state of rest in the case of chronic inflammation. In the case of bursa irritation, pressure pain is also possible.

On the other hand, an infectious inflammation of the hip joint itself rarely occurs. This is a bacterial infection directly in the joint, which causes severe pain in the hip joint and in the groin in combination with a rocking gait pattern. In addition, accompanying symptoms such as fever, fatigue and accelerated heartbeat occur.

If inflammation is the reason for the hip pain, treatment is primarily provided with medication.

Hip pain from poor posture and misalignment

In addition to inflammation and diagnosed clinical pictures, hip pain can also occur due to tension in the thigh muscles, shortened muscles in the lumbar and thigh area or because of a wrong gait.

Tension often arises from a permanently incorrect posture or an incorrect load on the hip: For example, when constantly standing on only one leg that is loaded. Or when mothers carry their children predominantly on one side of the hip.

If it occurs due to such tension, the hip pain is usually one-sided on the outside of the hip or on the thigh muscles. A targeted body therapy with special exercises can correct the incorrect posture and relieve tension. In most cases, the hip pain will go away when the improper stress on the hip is corrected.

For those affected who sit a lot or generally too little exercise, the symptoms can also occur due to shortened muscles in the loin and thigh area. In this case, too, special exercises and more movement can help.

Ultimately, bent feet, flat feet and splayfeet can also be reasons for hip pain. If the foot kinks inwards or outwards due to a misalignment, the hip joint is put under incorrect strain. Here, for example, orthopedic insoles that have been prescribed by a doctor after a prior diagnosis and adapted in medical supply stores can provide a remedy.

The civilization disease of femoral head necrosis as a pain trigger

Another cause of hip pain can be femoral head necrosis (hip bone infarction), which affects several thousand people in Germany every year.

Necrosis is a typical "civilization disease" and is triggered by the death of living bone tissue. This can happen, for example, when the blood flow to the hip bone decreases (circulatory disorder), the bone demineralizes and loses its stability. The triggers or main risk factors for this process include smoking, excessively high blood lipid levels and too much alcohol.

Initially, hip pain in femoral head necrosis is described as a creeping pulling in the groin or as a suddenly shooting in groin pain. As the disease progresses, the hip joint can no longer tolerate everyday stress and the range of motion when turning inside is restricted. However, femoral head necrosis often only becomes really painful when the dead femoral head collapses, which is why the correct diagnosis and treatment often come quite late.

Femoral head necrosis can be treated, among other things, by conservative therapies such as physiotherapy, weight relief, protection or by immobilizing the hip joint with the help of a hip orthosis. In addition, various types of operations, including artificial hip replacement, are possible.

Bottom line on hip pain

Hip pain, also called coxalgia, can have a variety of triggers. Often, osteoarthritis of the hip or bursitis is the cause. A specialist should always be consulted, especially in the case of severe, regular or persistent pain.

The sooner the cause of hip or hip pain is identified, the faster and better it can be treated. Particularly in the early stages of the symptoms, good results can be achieved with medication, various conservative therapies or special aids, such as orthoses or orthopedic insoles from the medical supply store.