Hip pain can be a right nuisance. It can prevent you from doing what you want to do, whether that be your general daily activities, work, exercise, or sports, which can be highly frustrating.
Hip pain can come on gradually, often due to repetitive exercise, walking, running, crouching down, sitting for long periods, or even getting up out of bed in the morning.
Hip pain can also come on after a specific incident, such as twisting awkwardly, a fall, or kicking a ball.
The most common sources of hip pain are either wear and tear of the hip joint, a muscular strain, ligament sprain, tendinopathy, bursitis, labral tear, or a hip fracture.
Wear and tear of the hip joint is a natural process that happens as you age. There are 4 stages of wear and tear. The first stage is where the cartilage in your hip joint starts to thin. The second stage is where the joint space in the hip begins to narrow, and the cartilage begins to break down. The third stage is where the joint space becomes even narrower, and gaps in the cartilage can appear. The final stage is where the joint space is greatly reduced, the loss of cartilage reaches beyond 60%, and large bony spurs form.
A muscular strain happens when a muscle is overstretched. Minor injuries may only overstretch a muscle, while more severe injuries may involve partial or complete tears in the muscle.
A ligament sprain happens when a ligament is overstretched. Minor injuries may only overstretch a ligament, while more severe injuries may involve partial or complete tears in the ligament.
A tendinopathy is where the tendons attaching to your hip become overloaded, resulting in certain changes to the tendon, including swelling, stiffness, inflammation, micro-tears and a reduced blood supply. This can typically affect your gluteal, hip flexor, or hamstring tendons.
Bursitis is where the trochanteric bursa, a fluid sac within your hip which is supposed to stop friction, becomes inflamed.
A labral tear is where the labrum, a protective cushioning within your hip joint, becomes torn, or detached from the bone.
A fracture is where you break a bone in your hip. This can typically affect either your femur, or pelvic bone.
Due to the complex structure of the hip, hip pain can often radiate into the groin or the back, present with clicking or locking, and it can even lead to pins and needles, numbness, or weakness, running down your leg.
As I’m sure you’re beginning to realise, there are such a wide range of potential causes for your hip pain.