Why does my hip hurt?

The hip is a very complex area of the body with many structures that could lead to pain and dysfunction.  Similar to the shoulder, the hip joint is a ball and socket, which gives it a lot of freedom to move in many different directions. However, hip pain arises if we are unable to effectively control the movement of the hip.  Structures in the hip become stressed and overworked, leading to breakdown. A good maintenance program of hip mobility and strengthening can help prevent much of the breakdown that occurs in daily life.

What are some of the causes of hip pain?

The hip is made of a ball and socket joint connecting the femur (thigh bone) to the pelvis.  Breakdown can occur at the joint itself, wearing down cartilage in the joint. This is the case in arthritis, which is an inflammation of the joint itself. There is also a ring of cartilage around the joint called the labrum. This structure helps stabilize the femur in the pelvis. If the labrum is damaged, instability occurs, leading to more rapid breakdown of the joint. Muscle weakness surrounding the joint potentially leads to hip pain as well. Similarly to the labrum, the muscles work to stabilize the hip and prevent excessive and uncontrolled motion. There are many other reasons why you may have hip pain, but these are just a few.

What can be done for my hip pain?

Fortunately pain in the hip does not have to completely limit us from living fulfilling and active lifestyles. Physical therapy is a great solution if you are looking for a way to reduce hip pain without the need for medications, injections, or surgery. At Thompson Physical Therapy we recommend regular hip maintenance for counteracting the stresses of life and of long periods of sitting. Don't wait to contact us if you are having hip pain that is keeping you from the activities you love.