The hip joint is where the thigh bone (ball) joins to the pelvic bones (socket), being the largest ball and socket joint in the body. The socket allows the thigh bones to swivel around, being the primary source of movement in the upper leg. There are a number of structures surrounding and making up the hip joint. This includes the hyaline cartilage (allows smooth gliding and a shock absorber), joint capsule, synovial membranes (lubricate the joint capsule), ligaments, tendons and muscles (hold the hip joint together).
So what actually causes hip pain? Hip pain may be a result of structures within or surrounding the joint.
The hip joint capsule, has very little space to hold fluid. Any form of inflammation will fill the capsule with fluid or blood causing a stretch in the hip capsule, and therefor resulting in hip pain.
Commonly, overuse injuries of muscles, tendons and ligaments are the cause of hip pain (excessive/unaccustomed walking, jumping, running or lifting). These structures may become inflamed due to repetitive activity that causes significant stress to the hip joint.
The labrum is the main cartilage within the hip joint. Wear and tear of this cartilage may result in arthritis in the hip joint, being another common source of pain. Hip osteoarthritis is most common in those over the age of 50. X-rays are used to diagnose this or rule it out.
Bursa (fluid filled sacs) surrounds the hip which allow muscles and tendons to glide more easily over bone. Overuse or trauma may cause the bursa to become inflamed, resulting in pain and hip bursitis.
Hip fractures are commonly seen in the elderly after having a fall. Bones tend to be weaker in the elderly, whilst also having a decrease ability to balance. It is possible for the bone to be so thin (osteoporotic) that it causes the hip to fracture first, resulting in a fall. Younger individuals are less likely to fracture at the hip joint itself, however slightly down the thigh bone (femur) is more common. Major trauma such as a car crash, would be more likely to cause a true hip fracture (within acetabulum).
Bruises from trauma can cause very painful hip pain. Sprained ligaments or strained muscles can be very painful when inflamed, as the hip is a major weight bearing joint. Any weight passed through it when inflamed will be significantly painful.
Referred pain from outside the hip joint is another possible cause of hip pain. This can be due to inflammation of the sciatic nerve that passes the hip region down to your legs. Other inflamed nerves may also present as hip pain, for example in pregnant women the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve commonly becomes inflamed. Inguinal or femoral hernias may also present as hip pain.
Hip pain is a common condition affecting individuals, interfering with work and even your everyday life. It is important to identify whether the source of your hip pain, as the treatment approach is very much different depending on the cause.
Here at Lakeside Chiropractic, our chiropractors are working out and differentiating the exact cause of your hip pain. After identifying the exact cause of your hip pain our chiropractors use a variety of treatment modalities best suited to you and your needs. This includes chiropractic adjustments, mobilisations, soft tissue therapy, dry needling, trigger point therapy, interferential, ultrasound, specific rehabilitative exercises and stretches, education and advice on lifestyle factors.
If you are suffering hip pain and don’t know what is causing it, our chiropractors may assist you in identifying the trigger. Our chiropractors Dr Linda Schiller and associates in Joondalup – Perth will then treat your hip pain, considering it is within a chiropractor’s scope of practise.
Located in Joondalup – Perth Lakeside Chiropractic is central to northern suburbs- Currambine, Kinross, Iluka, Banksia Grove, Carramar, Tapping, Clarkson, Butler, Mindarie, Ocean Reef. Call us on 9300 0095 or visit our website www.lakesidechiro.com.au to book an appointment and see one of our friendly chiropractors. With HICAPS on site we can claim immediately from your Private Health fund so no running around for you. We are a Medibank preferred provider but can also process BUPA, HBF, HIF, AHMG plus many more. Just ask when booking in your appointment.