One of the largest weight-bearing joints in the body, the hip consists of a ball (femoral head) at the top of the thigh bone (femur) that fits into a rounded socket (acetabulum) in the pelvis. Bands of tissue called ligaments connect the ball to the socket and provide stability to the joint. Hip pain affects much of the elderly population. Overweight individuals also are more prone to hip pain.
How does hip pain develop?
The most common disorder associated with hip pain is osteoarthritis, although other forms of arthritis can be culprits as well, including rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic arthritis and gouty arthritis. Osteoarthritis afflicts most of us as we age, steadily wearing away the smooth and resilient cartilage that caps the ends of our long bones and is essential to normal joint function. Other conditions associated with hip pain include bursitis, avascular necrosis, joint infection, muscle cramps, hip fracture, stress fractures of the femoral neck or pelvis, spinal stenosis and congenital defects such as congenital dislocation (CDH) and congenital hip dysphasia. Referred pain, which occurs when a ligament injury or weakness in one part of the body causes pain in another part, may also be involved.
What are the symptoms of hip pain?
Individuals with minor hip pain, clicking or giving way usually are experiencing the earliest symptoms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can begin in those as young as thirty, and may progress for many years before symptoms appear. Acute hip pain usually occurs as a result of an injury or a temporary flare-up of chronic osteoarthritis.
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Conventional medical treatments may help relieve the symptoms of hip pain but they do not address the root of the problem. By strengthening structural weaknesses in the hip, as natural medicine therapies like Prolotherapy do, chronic hip pain may be alleviated permanently.