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Common Causes of Hip Pain (and How to Treat Them)

For many sufferers, hip pain is just what it takes to put the body in a rut and keep you out of your element. Even more so for older Americans and women, who are significantly …

For many sufferers, hip pain is just what it takes to put the body in a rut and keep you out of your element. Even more so for older Americans and women, who are significantly more likely to experience pain from osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and hip injuries.

When it comes to hip problems, only your chiropractor or physician can accurately diagnose the causes and determine an appropriate course of treatment. However, with that in mind, we’ve listed a few of the most common culprits, coupled with a basic discussion of the treatment options available for each.

  1. Arthritis

Chronic hip pain is more prevalent among women than men, and the number one cause of hip pain in the United States is arthritis (most commonly osteoarthritis), a condition that disproportionately affects women and the elderly. Essentially, osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage around the joint deteriorates, causing bones to rub against one another. Common symptoms include pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Rheumatoid arthritis, which involves inflammation of the joints, is another possible culprit.

Though there’s no cure for arthritis, the condition is treatable both by physicians and chiropractic care. At PMR, we employ a holistic approach to reduce or eliminate arthritis pain while working to restore range of motion.

  1. Sprains, Strains, and Injuries

Though somewhat less common that arthritis-related pain, many patients experience hip pain from an injury. In fact, for many adults, the hip area becomes increasingly vulnerable to injury with age. Part of the reason is that osteoporosis, which is common in older women, can weaken the hip, meaning it may break more easily from minor incidents such as falls.

The ligaments in the hip joint can also be sprained or strained, and cartilage may be torn. Dislocations are also possible. In some cases, surgery may be required. At PMR, our physical therapy and chiropractic care, among other modalities, can be helpful in reducing pain and improving movement for patients recovering from hip injuries. Physical therapy may also help prevent these injuries in older adults. 

  1. Sciatica, Spinal Stenosis, and Nerve Problems

Two other possible sources of pain in the hip area are sciatica and spinal stenosis, which can be differentiated from other causes by their unique sets of symptoms. Spinal stenosis—specifically the lumbar type, which affects the lower vertebrae—causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the lower back and leg area. Sciatica causes pain that radiates from the lower back down through the buttocks, thigh, and leg. Both conditions vary in intensity and may disappear for stretches of time.

Other nerve-related problems, including herniated disks, can also be the cause of pain in the hip area. For a thorough and accurate diagnosis, it’s essential that you see your chiropractor or physician. Though each of these conditions will require different treatment plans—and at PMR, treatment plans are always individualized according to the needs and concerns of each patient—modalities employed may include spinal manipulation, cold laser therapy, physical therapy, ultrasound, acupuncture, and massage.

Don’t let hip pain hold you back—call a chiropractor at PMR today!

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