What are Hip Problems?

The hip joint can withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. This ball-and-socket joint — the bodies largest — fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement.

Whenever you use the hip (for example, by going for a run), a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket. Despite its durability, the hip joint isn’t indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. Bones in the hip can break during a fall or other injury. Any of these conditions can lead to hip pain.

If your hips are sore, here is a rundown of what might be causing your discomfort and how to get hip pain relief.

What Causes Hip Problems

Hip disorders are often due to developmental conditions, injuries, chronic conditions, or infections.

1. Osteoarthritis

Degeneration of cartilage in the joints causes osteoarthritis. This makes the cartilage split and becomes brittle. In some cases, pieces of the cartilage break off in the hip joint. Once the cartilage wears down enough, it fails to cushion the hip bones, causing pain and inflammation.

2. Developmental Dysplasia

This condition occurs when a newborn baby has a dislocated hip or a hip that easily dislocates. A shallow hip socket that allows the ball to easily slip in and out is the cause of developmental dysplasia.

3. Perthes disease

This disease affects children between the ages of 3 and 11 and results from reduced blood supply to bone cells. This causes some of the bone cells in the femur to die and the bone to lose strength.

4. Irritable hip syndrome

The irritable hip syndrome can be common in children after an upper respiratory infection. It causes hip pain that results in limping. In most cases, it resolves by itself.

5. Soft tissue pain and referred pain

Pain in the hip may be due to an injury or defect affecting the soft tissues outside of the hip. This is known as referred pain.

6. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

A slipped capital femoral epiphysis is a separation of the ball of the hip joint from the thigh bone (femur) at the upper growing end (growth plate) of the bone. This is only seen in growing children. Surgically stabilizing the joint with pins is a common, effective treatment.

Symptoms of Hip Problems

The hip is a complicated joint made of bone, cartilage, ligaments, muscle, and lubricating fluid. The symptoms of a hip disorder will differ depending on the cause of the disorder and the part of the hip joint that’s causing problems. 

Common symptoms of a hip disorder include:

  • Pain in the hip
  • Limping
  • Reduced movement in the hip joint
  • Referred pain (may be felt in the leg)
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Pain in the leg when you apply weight on that leg

People with arthritis may experience chronic pain and pain when walking. If you fall or have an accident involving your leg and you develop swelling or pain in your hip, seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms might mean you have a fracture. An untreated fracture can cause serious complications.

Treatment for Hip Problems 

Hip pain can be very difficult to deal with on a day-to-day basis and traditionally requires long-term pain management if the problem is not corrected. Hip surgery, hip replacement surgery, and hip resurfacing are often the only medical options presented to a patient to deal with their debilitating pain.

Surgeries are typically very traumatic and are often followed by months of pain and discomfort while attempting to redevelop strength and mobility. Whereas stem cell treatment is a non-surgical treatment option for many patients who are considering elective surgeries to resolve their hip pain. Stem cell treatment amplifies the concentration of a person’s own stem cells in the problem area, improving the body’s ability to heal itself naturally.