Joe Robach knows that hip pain is major complaint for our senior community. For this reason Joe Robach wants seniors to be aware of the causes of hip pain and what to do about it if you have it (information provided by Web MD).
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. The hip bone itself can be fractured 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 find hip pain relief.
Arthritis. Arthritic conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common causes of hip pain, especially in older adults. Arthritis leads to inflammation of the hip joint and the breakdown of the cartilage that normally cushions your hip bones. The pain gradually gets worse as the arthritis progresses. People with arthritis also feel stiffness and have reduced range of motion in the hip.
Hip fractures. Fractures of the hip are a particular problem in elderly people. With age, the bones can become weak and brittle. Weakened bones are more likely to fracture during a fall. Bursitis. Inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs (called bursae) that protect muscles and tendons is usually due to repetitive activities that overwork or irritate the hip joint.
Tendinitis. Tendons are the thick bands of tissue that attach bones to muscles. Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of the tendons. It’s usually caused by repetitive stress from overuse. Muscle or tendon strain. Repeated activities can put strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the hips. When these structures become inflamed from overuse, they can cause pain and prevent the hip from functioning normally.
Cancers. Tumors that start in the bone (bone cancer) or that spread to the bone can cause pain in the hips, as well as in other bones of the body. Avascular necrosis (also called osteonecrosis). This condition occurs when blood flow to the hip bone is reduced and the bone tissue dies as a result. Although it can affect other bones, avascular necrosis most often occurs in the hip. It can be caused by a hip fracture or dislocation, or from the long-term use of high-dose steroids (such as prednisone), among other causes.
If your hip pain is caused by a muscle or tendon strain, osteoarthritis, or tendinitis, you can usually relieve it with an over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Rheumatoid arthritis treatments also include prescription anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids, or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like methotrexate and sulfasalazine. Another way to relieve hip pain is by holding ice to the area for about 15 minutes a few times a day. Try to rest the affected joint as much as possible until you feel better. If you have arthritis, exercising the hip joint with low-impact exercises (swimming is a good non-impact exercise for arthritis), stretching, and resistance training can reduce pain and improve joint mobility. Physical therapy can also help increase your range of motion. When osteoarthritis becomes so severe that the pain is intense or the hip joint becomes deformed, a total hip replacement (arthroplasty) may be a consideration. People who fracture their hip sometimes need surgery to fix the fracture or replace the hip.
Call your doctor if your pain doesn’t go away, or if you notice swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint. Also call if you have hip pain at night or when you are resting. Get medical help right away if:
• The hip pain came on suddenly.
• A fall or other injury triggered the hip pain.
• Your joint looks deformed or is bleeding.
• You heard a popping noise in the joint when you injured it.
• The pain is intense. • You can’t put any weight on your hip.
For more information seniors should contact their doctor or the office of Joe Robach.