Why Hip Function is Foundational to a Healthy Life
We all know we need to keep active to stay healthy, but when you’re dealing with hip pain, staying active can really hurt. For many people suffering from hip pain, just thinking about exercise, or even working around the house, is enough to make us wince … especially when our hips don’t work like they used to.
Most of us accept that, with age, come a few new aches and pains. Hip pain, stiffness, and occasional weakness are the price we pay for enjoying a full and long life, right? Maybe, but what if those “aches and pains” are not just a sign of getting older… What if the pain, stiffness and weakness are a sign of a significant, progressive medical issue… And what if you didn’t have to put up with those aches and pains anymore?
How Your Hip Works … And Why, Sometimes, It Doesn’t
The hip is a sturdy, ball-and-socket synovial joint formed where the femur (thigh bone) comes together with the bones of the pelvis. The femur is topped by a ball-shaped knob covered by a thick layer of cartilage. The structure and musculature of the hip allow us incredible freedom of movement.
When a hip becomes diseased or damaged, the associated pain and stiffness reduces movement and negatively affects nearly everything we do. In fact, hip pain can travel, causing pain and weakness in the back, legs and buttocks.
Injuries to the joint, whether sudden trauma or poorly healed older injuries, may lead to a variety of painful medical conditions including: bursitis, dislocation, fracture, hernia, tearing and tendonitis. Untreated, many of these conditions lead to progressive disease in the hip joint.
Sometimes, other conditions, caused by long-term wear and tear can lead to pain and weakness in the joint. These include spinal issues like Degenerative Disc Disease and Herniated Disc Disease, Pinched Nerves, Sciatica and Osteoarthritis.
Of these conditions, Osteoarthritis of the hip is one of the most common causes of pain, tenderness and stiffness in the joint. Pain related to Osteoarthritis in the hip may be either a dull, lingering ache or a sharp pain that comes and goes. Ignoring this pain as if it were a sore muscle or an overtaxed ligament will not make the pain go away. Because Osteoarthritis degeneration is progressive, ignoring the symptoms will just make it worse.
Hip Osteoarthritis Symptoms
While increasing stiffness and pain are two of the most common symptoms of hip Osteoarthritis, there are a few other signs to lookout for, including joint tenderness, difficulty standing from a sitting position and a cracking or popping sound.
This sound, called “crepitus,” indicates that the protective cartilage in the joint has been worn down to the point where the joints are beginning to suffer significant damage.
Causes of Hip Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the result of inflammation or injury in a joint causing a breakdown of protective cartilage in that joint. Cartilage is a strong, elastic covering over the ends of the bones that protects joints from “wear and tear.” Over time, that protective coating is worn down, reducing the “shock absorbing” function of that cartilage. This progressive degeneration may continue for years before you notice symptoms like pain, stiffness or “popping.”
While injuries and even some genetic conditions can lead to Osteoarthritis, the most common cause is repetitive stress. Because the hips are involved in everything we do physically, these joints tend to take a great deal of wear and tear over time.
Most cases of Hip Osteoarthritis have two factors in common: inflammation and loss of water in the cartilage. The first creates less room for the joint to work, and the second causes more rapid breakdown of the protective coating on the bones. Loss of cartilage leads to bones scraping and may cause painful bone spurs.
Treating Osteoarthritis in the Hip
If you catch the symptoms early enough, you may be able to reduce hip Osteoarthritis symptoms and relieve the associated pain through stretching, low-impact exercise and, if necessary, weight loss.
You may also try massage, physical therapy, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs or Epidural Steroid Injections, as directed by your doctor.
In some cases, doctors may tell patients they require surgical correction to either repair or replace the joint. However, even if your physician suggests that you have a “bone-on-bone” situation, you may have a better option, other than surgery. For many years, I have been successfully treating Osteoarthritis of the hip, as well as other joints, with minimally-invasive, non-surgical treatments such as SCT – Regenerative Medicine.
Why SCT – Regenerative Medicine may be the Best Solution for Hip Pain
Hip joint repair or replacement surgery comes with significant risks, extensive and painful recovery time, and uncertain results. SCT – Regenerative Medicine, on the other hand, is a minimally-invasive treatment that actually heals and repairs the affected joint.
SCT treatment encourages your body’s own healing ability to repair damaged cells and replace them with new, healthy cells, including hip joint cartilage.
The majority of my patients who have received SCT – Regenerative Medicine treatment for Hip Osteoarthritis report outstanding results, including significant improvement in function as well as a marked decrease in pain after a month, and ongoing improvement even years after the initial treatment. The SC kept working, making these patients feel better and better over time.
“Because Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, and SCT – Regenerative Medicine progressively improves function and reduces pain over time, this is one of the best solutions medical science offers to treat joint damage without the risks of surgery.” – Dr. Skaliy
To learn more about how SCT can relieve your hip pain, click here to request an appointment with Dr. Skaliy today.