Hip painpainAn unpleasant sensation associated with actual or potential tissue damage, and mediated by specific nerve fibe... can make everyday tasks like walking, getting in and out of a car or climbing stairs very difficult. What causes hip pain? It helps to know a little about the anatomy of the hip itself.
The hip jointjointThe junction or articulation of two or more bones that permits varying degrees of motion between the bones. is made up of two main parts: the head of the thigh boneboneThe hard tissue that provides structural support to the body. It is primarily composed of hydroxyapatite cryst..., or femurfemurThe long bone of the thigh.; and the pelvic boneboneThe hard tissue that provides structural support to the body. It is primarily composed of hydroxyapatite cryst... socket, or acetabulumacetabulumA cup-shaped depression on the external surface of the hipbone into which the head of the femur fits. The sock..., in which the femur swivels. Pain can either come from the jointjointThe junction between the ends of two adjacent bones. itself or from tissues surrounding the joint.
The most frequent cause of hip discomfort and chronic hip pain is arthritisarthritisJoint inflammation, which is also the leading source of disability in the United States. By far the most common cause of hip arthritisarthritisInflammation of a joint or joints resulting in pain, swelling and stiffness. is osteoarthritisosteoarthritisArthritis characterized by erosion of articular cartilage, either primary or secondary to trauma or other cond..., a condition that leads to the degeneration of the bones over time.
TraumaTraumaPhysical injury. can also be a source of hip pain, such as a fall or bruise to the hip area, leading to inflammationinflammationA local response to injury due to a physical reaction (such as abrasion), or to chemical or biological agents,.... In older adults, osteoarthritisosteoarthritisArthritis characterized by erosion of articular cartilage, more common in older people. is often the culprit, sometimes leading to hip fractures. However, any source of inflammationinflammationA localized tissue response initiated by the injury or destruction of vascularized tissues. Inflammation Heat,... can potentially result in hip discomfort, including a variety of illnesses, which can cause systemicsystemicSynovial fluid. inflammation in the body.
Hip pain can also be caused by other medical conditions. This type of hip irritation is called referred painreferred painFelt distant from its origin (e.g., bursitis in the shoulder produces pain in the lateral arm, and sciatic lik.... It can be the result of such conditions as a hernia, inflamed nervenerveA whitish cordlike structure composed of one or more bundles of myelinated or unmylelinated fibers, or more of... branches and sciatica, a disorder in which the spinal cordspinal cordThe spinal cord is a column of millions of nerve fibers that run through your spinal canal. It extends from th...‘s nerve roots become inflamed.
Since there are so many different cause of hip pain, it is important to have a doctor diagnose the problem.