Hip pain is a common complaint in women of all ages that occurs for various reasons. If you’re a woman and suffering from hip pain it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis so that treatment can be tailored to your specific condition, giving you the best odds of recovery.
Let’s talk about the hip joint briefly. The hip joint is a ball and socket type of joint that fits together in such a way that allows for smooth movement. The hip joint is a sturdy joint and can tolerate quite a bit of wear and tear. However, even though the hip joint is quite durable, it can still be injured leading to significant pain and discomfort.
Before determining the cause of your hip pain, your physical therapist will want to ensure that your pain is indeed coming from your hip. Typically, hip pain is felt in the groin area or directly over where the hip joint is located.
Now that we know a little bit about the hip joint and where typical hip pain is felt let’s discuss some of the common causes of hip pain in women.
When women experience chronic hip pain, it is often the result of arthritis; in particular, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis leads to joint inflammation and results in a breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the bones of the hip joint. The pain that is experienced by individuals with osteoarthritis of the hip is often felt in the groin area or the front of the thigh, and gradually worsens. Individuals with arthritis of the hip also tend to have joint stiffness and reduced range of motion of the hip joint.
Each hip joint is cushioned by a fluid filed sac called a bursa and this bursa can become irritated and inflamed when overused. Irritation and inflammation of the bursa can cause hip pain with movement, and pain when pressure is applied to the joint. Many patients with bursitis of the hip have difficulty sleeping on the affected side because of pain.
There are various tendons that cross the hip joint that connect the muscles to the joint and these tendons can become irritated, inflamed, and painful when they’re overused.
When a hernia occurs in the groin area (inguinal and femoral hernias) an individual may experience pain in the front of the affected hip. This pain is worsened with lifting, coughing, and/or sneezing. Individuals may also notice a bulge in either the pelvis or lower abdomen as well as a burning or stinging sensation.
Women that are pregnant are particularly susceptible to hip pain because of the added pressure on their abdominal wall from the added weight of pregnancy.
The bones of the body can become weak and brittle with age. Hip fractures are especially common in older women after suffering trauma, such as a fall. Pain from a hip fracture will be most prominent when an individual stands and bears weight on the affected leg, or when they lift their leg.
Certain conditions, such as endometriosis, can lead to tenderness in the pelvic region which some women may describe as hip pain.
If your hips are sore, a visit to one of the physical therapists in Boston at Blue Hills Sports & Spine Rehabilitation can help to get your pain under control. Our physical therapists in Boston, Braintree, Plymouth or Wymouth will take a detailed medical history and perform a thorough physical examination to determine the underlying cause of your hip pain. They will also develop a treatment plan to help minimize your hip pain and improve function of your hip joint, helping you get back to your every day activities as quickly as possible.