When it comes to sharing the load, our hips carry a heavy burden. The largest weight-bearing joints in our body, these sturdy, ball-and-socket synovial joints, formed where the bones of the legs and the pelvis come together, manage most of our movement, while keeping us balanced and bearing the weight of our entire upper body.
Because the hips handle so much of our movement while managing a great deal of our body weight, our hips tend to absorb a lot of damage. Our backs take a lot of damage too, however, each segment of our spine is protected by fluid-filled discs, while the hip is protected by layers of cartilage at the top of the femur (leg bone) and inside the hip joint.
When this cartilage is smooth, the bones move freely, gliding like water over ice in the joint. However, over time, wear and tear rubs cartilage away. This damage leads to joint pain, stiffness and reduced function. And, because our hips are so integral to just about everything we do, these symptoms can have an immediate and lasting impact on our quality of life.
Why Ignoring Hip Pain Only Makes It Worse
Unfortunately, many people choose to delay treatment for their hip pain. They try to ignore the pain, dismiss it as “just getting older” or “feeling a little stiff this morning.” When pretending the symptoms away no longer works, they often try over-the-counter pain reducers or anti-inflammatory drugs.
In many cases, the hip pain just gets worse. Over time, symptoms spread to our back, legs and buttocks. This is often an indication that the underlying joint damage is causing us to try to compensate by putting additional stress on other joints. This is also an indicator that the damage in the joint may be a degenerative joint disease such as osteoarthritis.
The cause of persistent or chronic hip pain could be due to an injury, as well as a variety of medical conditions including bursitis, hernia or tendonitis. Sometimes, hip pain is referred, meaning the real cause of the symptoms is found elsewhere, often in the spine. Spinal conditions linked to hip pain and weakness include Degenerative Disc Disease, Herniated Disc Disease, pinched nerves, Sacroiliac Dysfunction, Sciatica and Osteoarthritis.
Whatever the root cause of your hip pain and other symptoms, any of these conditions can lead to increased joint degeneration in the hip. Degenerative joint disease tends to be progressive, meaning your symptoms will probably not go away on their own. Ignoring symptoms will only make them worse, and they will continue to spread to other joints. As the pain and stiffness increase, your quality of life will continue to decrease. Eventually, some patients find they cannot move at all without severe pain.
Hip Pain and Other Symptoms to Watch For
Hip pain is the most common indicator of joint disease, however, other symptoms include joint tenderness, loss of function, increasing joint weakness and a popping or scraping sound known as crepitus. By the time you hear or feel the joint popping, it’s possible your joint cartilage has worn down to the point where your joints are taking significant damage.
The associated pain can either be direct or referred, and it may show up as either a dull, lingering ache or an intermittent, sharp pain. At some point, even resting the joint will not stop joint degeneration or ease these symptoms.
Treating Hip Pain
Sometimes, conservative treatments such as stretching, low-impact exercise and weight loss can ease the symptoms of degenerative hip pain. Massage, physical therapy or pain-relieving Epidural Steroid Injections may also be recommended.
As the joint disease progresses and the symptoms increase, some patients are advised they have a “bone on bone” situation, requiring surgical intervention. However, even if you have been told surgery is inevitable, you may have a better option. For many years, Dr. Skaliy has been treating joint disease in the hip using minimally-invasive, nonsurgical treatments such as regenerative medicine.
This remarkable medical treatment allows physicians to offer real healing for patients suffering from degenerative joint diseases such as Osteoarthritis. Cell treatment unlocks your body’s own ability to repair and replace damaged cells with new, healthy cells.
“My hip pain was getting progressively worse... I had difficulty standing up for even a minute... Scans showed degeneration in my hip joint, and Dr. Skaliy suggested a regenerative medical treatment might help heal the damaged tissue and relieve a good deal of the pain. In a very short time after the procedure, I was walking without the constant pain and, only a month later, I was pain free. I went from barely being able to stand to hiking in our National Parks, a pastime that I thought I’d never enjoy again… Cell Therapy made a tremendous difference in my life. I’m living again!” – Kathy V.
While results may differ, the majority of my patients who received cell treatment for Hip Osteoarthritis have reported outstanding results, including significant improvement in function and reduction in pain.
Curious to learn more about treatments that can reduce or eliminate your hip pain? Click here to make an appoint with Dr. Skaliy to discuss your options today.