According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7% of American adults suffer from hip pain. That number more than doubles for senior citizens, even though lower-back pain and headaches are still more common.
Hip pain has many causes and many different ways to treat it. This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything that can cause hip pain, but these are some common reasons for it. Remember to ask your doctor about any chronic or severe pain that you’re facing.
Arthritis is a common cause of hip pain in older people or active younger people, especially if they’ve put off seeing a specialist regarding chronic hip pain. Arthritis is the wearing down of cartilage over time, which is the protective lining that stops your bones from grinding against one another at the joints.
Symptoms of arthritis include:
- Dull ache
- Burning sensation around joint
- Shooting pain
- Soreness when waking
- Low-grade fever
- Grinding pain
- Throbbing pain
- Swollen joints
Be aware that arthritis won’t produce all of these symptoms in all sufferers. Also, when arthritis is the culprit for your hip pain, you may not notice swollen joints since the hip is a very muscular joint that also tends to store a lot of fat.
Treatment for arthritis is varied depending on the severity. Some arthritis pain can be treated through the use of alternating between cold and heat packs to reduce inflammation. Omega-3s can also reduce inflammation and can be used to put off the need for prescription anti-inflammatories.
Doctors usually prescribe steroids or other anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and fight flare-ups. They may also encourage the use of a brace and cold compresses to both further fight the inflammation and prevent further damage to the joint.
Patients with severe arthritis may also qualify for surgery. Surgery for arthritis involves transplanting healthy cartilage to the affected joint and reestablishing some of the lost cushioning.
As medicine continues to improve, some procedures are now being tested for regrowing cartilage. Though testing is only being performed in the knee joint, the hip could also become a candidate in the future.
When Should You Consult Your Doctor
If you have chronic pain or any kind of pain that is interfering with your daily activities, you should schedule an appointment to see your doctor. Hip pain can severely limit a person’s mobility and should be dealt with before tissue damage occurs.
Your doctor will best guide you toward a more pain-free life.