Chances are, if you want to do anything, your hips are involved. These strong, durable joints form a fundamental part of our physical foundation, at rest and at play.
Watch this video about one of our patients who suffered daily but now lives a full life!
Chances are, if you want to do anything, your hips are involved. These strong, durable joints form a fundamental part of our physical foundation, at rest and at play. They keep us stable and protected while sitting, and help control our movement during any physical activity.
Because our hips are so integral to everything we do, we depend on them to work properly and operate pain free. We may try to compensate for a sore arm, shoulder or knee, but when our hips start hurting or stop working as they should, our quality of life is immediately reduced.
And that’s just the beginning of why ensuring your hips are healthy and pain-free is so important. In addition to helping us move, our hips protect some of our most important internal organs. Part of our abdomen, bladder and reproductive organs are all housed within the pelvis, protected by our hips.
A Closer Look at the Hip
Your hip is a ball-and-socket synovial joint formed where the femur (thigh bone) meets the three bones of the pelvis: the ilium (rear), ischium (lower front) and pubis (upper front). While both the hip and the shoulder are the hip tends to be much more stable due to the shape of the socket and the strong connective tissue.
The femur has a ball-shaped knob at the top which fits into the Acetabulum (socket) in the hip. The head of the femur is covered by a thick layer of slippery articular cartilage that allows the bones to move in the joint without pain. A series of ligaments, tendons and muscles connecting the hip bones together keeps the bones in place and allows the hip to operate properly.
LIGAMENTS: Strong ligaments completely surround the hip joint, creating the joint capsule. These ligaments include the iliofemoral ligament, which is the strongest in the body.
MUSCLES: Muscle groups in the thigh and lower back work in concert to achieve stability and movement. These hip muscles are classified into three groups, based on location: anterior (front), posterior (rear) and medial (outer).
Injury or damage to any of these bones, ligaments or muscles can cause pain and reduce joint function or stability. While minor aches may heal on their own, if you are experiencing persistent or increasing pain, it’s likely the condition causing the pain will continue to worsen. If any of these muscle groups are weakened or damaged, the other groups are forced to carry that load. This is why injury to one area of the hip can lead to increased stress, and subsequent damage, in another area of the joint.
Why Does My Hip Hurt?
Hip joints can be damaged by disease, traumatic injury and wear and tear over time. Thanks to the muscles protecting and supporting our hip joints, it takes a significant amount of force to seriously damage a hip in a single incident.
Because of the force necessary to seriously damage the hip, stress over time is a much more common cause of hip pain. In fact, from overuse is one of the leading causes of hip pain and reduced function. Cartilage loss from hip Osteoarthritis increases friction and promotes joint degeneration.
Hip pain can be caused by damage to the hip itself or by referred pain radiating from another area of the body.
If the issue is with the hip itself, the symptoms tend to be localized on the inside of the hip or groin.
Hip pain can be a persistent ache or a sharp, stabbing pain that worsens after physical activity. When you are hurting, take note of where your pain is, what you were doing and how long it hurts afterward. Answers to these questions will help Dr. Skaliy accurately diagnose the cause of your pain.
In addition to hip pain, other signs of hip disease or damage may include joint stiffening or loosening, as well as “popping” in the joint, known as crepitus.
Conditions Related to Hip Pain
Injuries to the hip joint can cause several different painful conditions, including: Bursitis, dislocation, fracture, hernia, tearing and tendonitis.
In addition to traumatic injury, there are many factors that may lead to disease in your hip joint. Some of these include:
Poor posture, which adds stress to joints
Lifting heavy objects improperly, which can cause injury that does not heal properly, leading to additional joint degeneration
Being overweight, which puts additional stress on the bones and connective tissue of the joints
Improper footwear, which can lead to poor posture and added stress
Degeneration due to aging
Bone loss or weakness (Osteoporosis)
Conditions Associated With Hip Pain
One of the most common causes of pain in your back, knees, hips and other joints is a progressive degenerative condition known as Osteoarthritis. Symptoms include increasing stiffness, tenderness and weakness in the affected joints. As it progresses…
A pinched nerve (Radiculopathy) is a nerve that has become constricted by surrounding tissue. This nerve compression can disrupt regular function and cause pain, numbness, weakness or a ‘pins and needles’ sensation, beginning …
Degenerative Disk Disease
Our spinal vertebrae and spinal cord are protected by fibrocartilaginous discs that act as shock absorbers, helping our spines move, flex and support our weight. Over time, the outer shell of these discs can be damaged by injury or simple wear and tear. As these tears increase, without healing, the result can be debilitating chronic pain…
Sciatica is pain caused by a medical problem in or around the sciatic nerve. Because the Sciatic Nerve runs from the lower back down into each leg, the associated pain may be referred…
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Irritation or arthritis in this joint can cause pain, stiffness and loss of function in the joint, as well as lower back pain.
Diagnosing and Treating Hip Pain
For minor hip pain or stiffness, a treatment protocol including rest, light stretching and over-the-counter medications may reduce pain and inflammation, allowing your hip to more freely. Be sure to read the warning on all medication and avoid even small amounts of over-the-counter medication if you have sensitivity or allergies to these drugs.
When you choose to visit our office , Dr. Skaliy will complete a patient interview and physical examination. Further diagnostics may include medical imaging (X-rays, MRI or CT scan). These tests will help Dr. Skaliy determine the location, type and severity of the issue causing your pain.
If over-the-counter pain relievers, therapy and other preliminary treatments are no longer effective, Dr. Skaliy may recommend Epidural Steroid Injections to reduce pain and inflammation in and around the joint.
In some cases, when initial treatments are no longer effective, physicians recommend surgery. Depending on the severity of the injury or damage, different surgical procedures may be recommended, from relatively minimal Arthroscopic surgery to highly-invasive Arthroplasty (total joint replacement).
Hip replacement is a highly-invasive surgery involving general anesthesia and an extended recovery time. When you consider the amount of work the hip joint does and how much we depend on our hips for everything we do, it’s important to understand a hip replacement may relieve your pain, but the new joint will not function as smoothly as healthy, natural joint. In addition to the standard risks of surgery, recovery from hip replacement includes:
● Up to six days in the hospital after surgery, almost completely immobilized
● Physical therapy for six to 12 months
● Restriction to limited movement even after returning home from the hospital
● Any refusal to follow the strict instructions of physicians and therapists could dislocate the artificial joint, requiring another surgery.
Because of the potential side-effects, complications and other risks related to all surgical procedures, Dr. Skaliy recommends minimally-invasive, nonsurgical options to treat hip pain, including Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy and SCT – Regenerative Medicine.
Better Solutions for Hip Pain
Atlanta Spine Specialists have been offering regenerative medicine to help patients with hip pain get back to living a full life. Not all patients are candidates for this treatment but we are happy to provide you with a consultation to see if you are a candidate for this procedure. Please call our office to schedule your consultation today.
At Atlanta Spine Specialist we are dedicated to helping people live a pain free life. In addition to these treatments we offer other minimally invasive treatments to heal your body.
Please call our office to learn more about these options (770) 844-3242.