Hip pain can develop for various reasons and often occurs when the supporting structures are overworked, joint surfaces are placed under too much load, or are simply not strong enough.
If you have hip pain, then you may also experience discomfort around the groin, thigh, outside or inside of the hip joint or buttocks. Sometimes pain originating in the back can also refer into the hip region.
Discomfort can be made worse with activity, which can be related to damaged muscles and tendons around the hip, arthritis, or tears in the cartilage lining, which not only results in pain, but sometimes the loss of movement around the hip.
Night pain is also relatively common with hip problems. It’s often as a result of bursitis, which is irritation of the ‘bursa’ which sit in between the bony surfaces and the muscle’s tendons; or gluteus muscle tendon issues, as well as arthritis related issues.
The hip joint is lined with cartilage which allows the transfer of weight across the joint surfaces and is designed to take a reasonable amount of load. Whilst it was thought the hip joint was relatively stable it has now been shown that this might not be the case, and that the lining in the socket of the joint can be quite easily torn, causing both pain, loss of movement and function. For the most part these injuries can settle down with the help of physiotherapy, but in some cases a cortisone injection or surgical intervention may be required.
Post-menopausal women tend to be more susceptible to gluteus medius and minimus tendonopathies around the hip which causes bursal problems and pain. This can be quite debilitating as well as very uncomfortable during the night. Physiotherapy can help with these problems by strengthening of the tendons and muscles as well as working on the soft tissues – helping to ease discomfort and pain.
In younger active people, it’s more common to get problems around the bony prominences where tendons attach. Often the growth plates are still present and these can become disrupted causing serious problems.
Changes in joint spaces and joint health affect both men and women. Narrowing of the joint spaces, spurring and thinning of the cartilage lining the joint can be identified by x-ray. Often these changes can occur over a period of time, then something like a fall or slip might set off the joint pain. Physiotherapy is important in this situation to help maintain joint mobility as well as helping to strengthen the muscles around the hip region. If degeneration of the joint is significant and a hip replacement is required, then it is beneficial for that person to build up as much strength around the hip, pelvis and thigh region as possible prior to surgery as well as continuing rehabilitation post surgery.
Physiotherapy can be very helpful in maintaining or regaining range of movement and helping to strengthen muscles and tendons around the hip and surrounding areas.
If you are suffering pain around the hip or pelvis area, come and see us and we can advise you on the best treatment and rehabilitation plan.
Book your appointment at Ponsonby Physio
Ph: 09 378 6890