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What are the Most Common Causes of Hip Pain When Walking?

Article Details
  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Hip pain when walking can cause a great deal of stress to the patient suffering from this symptom. There are a variety of potential causes of this type of pain, including conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis. Certain blood-flow disorders, such as osteonecrosis, may also cause hip pain when walking. Treatment is geared toward the originating cause of the pain but often includes the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications, rest, and lifestyle modification.

Arthritis is a common cause of hip pain when walking. Arthritis is a medical condition that causes inflammation and swelling of various joints of the body, often causing pain and difficulty moving. This condition is often a common part of the aging process. Treatment usually involves over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. Physical therapy is sometimes helpful as well. Surgery is typically only used as a last resort if more conventional therapies do not provide sufficient symptom relief.

Bursitis is another medical condition that often leads to hip pain when walking. Bursitis involves the inflammation of a fluid-filled sac called a bursa. Bursa are located between tendons and bones or tendons and skin and act as shock absorbers. Injury, infection, or natural disease processes are common causes of bursitis. Rest and the use of ice packs are common treatments for bursitis; pain medications and steroid injections may be used in more severe cases.

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Tendinitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue that attaches muscles to bones. When the tendons in the hip area are affected, the patient may experience hip pain when walking. Overuse of muscles is a common cause of tendinitis. Treatment options include resting the injured area and applying ice or heat therapy as needed. Medications may be used to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Osteonecrosis, a medical condition causing improper blood flow, may cause hip pain when walking in some patients. Osteonecrosis may be caused by a variety of factors, including prolonged use of steroid medications, chemotherapy, and problems with the hip joint. Treatment for this condition is dependent upon finding and treating the original cause of the abnormal blood flow.

With the potential causes of hip pain when walking being so varied, it is important to schedule an appointment with a doctor in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Some conditions may worsen over time, leading to an increase in pain and a decrease in mobility. If detected early, more invasive treatments such as surgery can often be avoided.

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