Aching Hips

Causes and Treatment for Aching Hips

Do you have aching hips? Does hip pain often make it difficult for you to walk or even sleep? If so, then you are not alone. Ironically, although aching hips can be painful, the pain itself is not always caused by problems in the hip.

Leg pain can actually result in hip pain, as well as pain in the feet and knees. It can be caused by circulatory problems or even inflammation of the veins. Arthritis can also cause aching hips and leg pain. In later stages, rheumatoid arthritis can affect the hips, ankles, and feet.

Of course, injuries can also be the culprit as well. Injuries can result in muscle strains, bone fractures, ligament tears, and joint dislocations. Sometimes, contusions that can occur during contact sports can result in aching hips, too. Other causes include aseptic necrosis which is an insufficient amount of blood flow to the hip.

A hip fracture is very serious. In fact, even with treatment the quality of your life can be affected. There are also complications that can develop when you are recovering from a hip fracture such as blood clots and pneumonia. Both of these are caused by the inactivity that one must go through after having the surgery that is required to fix the fracture.

As people get older, their bones become less dense and individuals with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer injuries from ordinary everyday activities. Therefore, you don’t have to be playing sports or have a traumatic fall in order to suffer a hip injury. In fact, you might not even know what caused the injury in the first place.

On the other hand, aseptic necrosis can occur if you have used steroids for a number of years or if you have a condition known as sickle cell anemia. Using alcohol on a regular basis and injury can increase your chances of hip injury and pain in these instances.

Sometimes, you might feel hip pain in your groin or in the middle of your thigh. Occasionally, you might even feel pain in your hip that is not related to your hip at all, but is actually being caused by something in your lower back or upper legs. Lower back pain like sciatica is one type of condition that can be felt in the hip, for instance.

If you are experiencing aching hips, then it’s important not to participate in activities that make the pain worse. Taking over the counter medicines such as Ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and inflammation and should help the pain in most non-serious cases. Sleeping with a pillow between your legs might also be helpful.

However, a hip fracture is an emergency and should be treated right away by a physician. In addition, you should also see a doctor if your pain is caused by an injury or if your hip appears swollen or bruised. If after a week you still feel pain, then you should see a doctor then, too.

Your doctor will probably take an X-ray of your hip and might give you a prescription to an anti-inflammatory medication. In some cases, he might even recommend hip replacement surgery. Recovery time is around 6 weeks, but the hip should last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Later, a physical therapist might be able to help you learn exercises that can help you with the pain.

As far as prevention is concerned, you should avoid any activities that force one of your hips to rise above the other. You should also ensure that you are warming up before you exercise and that you stretch properly. For contact sports, wearing hip pads can be helpful, too.