Hip pain is a relatively common condition that can be anything from a slight annoyance to debilitating. Like most conditions, there is a spectrum that ranges from mild to severe and treatment options match that range. Hip fractures, for example are almost certainly a surgical condition which this blog post does not apply.
We are talking about the more common and less severe, although not necessarily less painful hip problems that can spell bigger problems down the road if left unchecked.
Hip pain comes in a couple typical forms that I see quite often. Fixing or correcting these problems typically takes time and patience so preventing these problems from getting bad is a much better option.
The 2 main type of hip pain I see often in my office are:
#1 - Bursitis - The most common type of hip pain
#2 - Anterior hip pain - common in those who sit a lot
#1 - Bursitis
Bursitis of the hip can range from a mild nuisance to horribly debilitating where even walking up and down stairs becomes a daunting task. Hip bursitis can come from trauma (ie. a hip pointer in football or hockey), or from imbalanced wear and tear over time.
The pain pattern for hip bursitis is pain on the outer part of the upper thigh. People will usually point right at the point of tenderness and can feel exactly where it is.
Typically the best early course of action is to avoid any painful activity, ice, and light stretching. The goal is to remove irritation and decrease inflammation. The bursae that gets inflamed is quite close to the surface so icing works very well.
#2 - Anterior hip pain
Anterior hip pain is pain that is felt in the front of the hip and or the groin. There are a number of reasons for this type of pain that range from tight muscles, bursitis, to hip fractures.
Many times the cause of Anterior hip pain is imbalances in the hip muscles that put pressure and/or irritation to sensitive structures around the hip joint. Those who sit a lot during the day are much more likely to develop this type of hip pain.
Sitting with the hip joint closed creates tightness in the hip flexor muscles. Doing stretches/activities that encourage 'opening' of the hip joint will typically help greatly. Siting 'closes' the hip joint and standing upright 'opens' the hip joint. Moving to a standing desk and doing hip flexor stretches will help to resolve this problem and/or prevent it from getting worse.
Obviously, this blog cannot and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific problem. The above suggestions are a good place to start for both of the above mentioned hip problems. Like is talked about in the blog 'Pro Tips From The Real World', every condition comes in the three forms mild, moderate, and severe.
I typically see people with the moderate to severe category of hip pain and will generally do a combination of stretching, adjusting, and Laser therapy to address these problems. If the above mentioned self care does not help, feel free to give me a call at 651-430-3229.