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What Are the Different Hip Pain Causes?

Hip tendonitis is a common cause of hip pain.
Hip pain can be due to loss of bone density, or osteoporosis.
Severe cases of hip pain may only be relieved through hip replacement surgery.
Article Details
  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Different types of hip pain causes include hip bursitis, hip injury, and arthritis. In addition, hip pain can also be related to osteoporosis, which causes thinning of the bones. Sometimes hip pain is related to a broken bone. Generally, most hip pain causes can be treated effectively with medication, hip rehabilitation and hip physical therapy. Generally, treatment for hip pain causes is dependent upon medical evaluation and severity of the pain.

Typically, osteoporosis affects women of menopausal age because during this time bone-protecting hormone estrogen is decreased. The ovaries produce a significant amount of estrogen and when ovarian function declines, as it does during menopause, circulating levels of estrogen decline. Estrogen generally keeps bones strong and hard, decreasing the risk of a broken hip or hip injury. Supplementation with calcium can often mitigate post-menopausal bone loss and promote strong bones.

Typically, hip pain causes are related to hip inflammation. When the hip joint becomes inflamed as a result of arthritis, it causes significant swelling of the joints and surrounding tissue, causing pain. Bursitis is similar to arthritis because they both cause hip pain. Bursitis, however, causes inflammation of the bursa, where arthritis causes joint inflammation.

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Sometimes, hip swelling presses on local nerves and tissues, which can increase discomfort. As swelling decreases, pressure is alleviated from surrounding tissues and pain is decreased. Although anti-inflammatory medications are effective in treating hip pain, severe pain may not be completely resolved by them. In these cases, the physician may recommend prescription pain relievers or muscle relaxants.

Occasionally, the physician will recommend hip physical therapy for the patient who complains of hip pain. Most all hip pain causes can benefit from physical therapy because these sessions can improve strength and mobility of the surrounding structures of the hip. Physical therapy also improves range of motion and improves ambulation.

Sometimes, hip pain causes are due to a broken hip. Although rare, broken hips can occur in the absence of falls of injuries. These are referred to as pathological fractures. Frequently, pain from hip fractures can be eliminated after hip replacement surgery. Broken hips are generally in the elderly population, however, they can occur in patients of any age, especially those who participate in sports, or who have other predisposing medical conditions, such as brittle bone disease.

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