How to correctly interpret hip pain

Pain in the hip is often attributed to a hip osteoarthritis, especially in older people. But there are a variety of causes for hip pain. Not always the hip joint itself causes the pain - not infrequently, the hip pain from tendons, muscles or other joints in the hip area go out. Find out how to interpret hip pain correctly and what to do about it.

Diagnosis of hip pain sometimes difficult

Conversely, pain in diseases of the hip joint often radiates in the back, groin and leg. In addition, generalized diseases of the skeletal system - such as rheumatic diseases - among other things cause discomfort in the hip. In order to make it easier for the doctor to diagnose, it is therefore important to accurately characterize the type, appearance and duration of the pain.

Acute hip pain after injury

If hip pain suddenly occurs, it is often the cause of a hip muscle strain. No trauma must have taken place in the sense of an accident - often a wrong jerky movement is sufficient, for example during sports.

You should then spare a few days and cool the affected area. If the pain is severe or there is no improvement, you should consult a doctor as a precautionary measure to rule out a muscle tear or bony injury.

Femoral neck fracture rarely causally

Although fractures of the pelvis or hip joint are usually the result of a severe fall or accident, but especially in the elderly with osteoporosis, even a slight trauma may possibly lead to a femoral neck fracture. This manifests itself then by very severe pain in the hip, walking and standing is usually impossible.

Bursitis: pain when walking

An inflammation of the bursa (bursitis trochanterica), which sits as a cushion between tendons or muscles and thigh bone, can lead to pulling or stabbing pain in the hip. The hip pain occurs initially only during exercise - such as when walking - on, it also comes to pain in peace.

Cause is often an overload that leads to irritation of the bursa. But even with infections, gout or after hip surgery can cause bursitis.

"Onset pain" in hip osteoarthritis

In a hip osteoarthritis (coxarthrosis) over a period of several years, a gradual destruction of the articular cartilage, which is usually caused by the age-related wear. However, injuries, circulatory disorders, metabolic disorders or congenital misalignments of the hip joint can cause a hip osteoarthritis.

Typical symptoms include a morning "onset pain" that improves after exercise, and a feeling of stiffness in the hip. In the later stage it can lead to a restriction of mobility and to rest pain - the symptoms may occur even at night.

Hip inflammation: Unilateral pain

Inflammation of the hip (coxitis) can be caused by bacteria and usually occurs after a hip operation or a hip puncture. But also a bone marrow inflammation (osteomyelitis) can lead to a hip inflammation by the propagation of the bacteria.

A so-called aseptic hip inflammation, ie without the involvement of bacteria, can occur, for example, in the context of rheumatic diseases or arthritis.

Regardless of the cause manifests itself a hip inflammation by usually one-sided pain in the hip, which can occur under stress and at rest. In addition, there is often swelling, redness and overheating in the area of ​​the joint.

Hip cold after infection

A special form of the hip inflammation in children is the so-called Hüftschnupfen (Coxitis fugax). This refers to a temporary inflammation of the hip joint, which often occurs about one to two weeks after a common cold or a gastrointestinal infection.

Symptoms include sudden pain in the groin and in the hip joint. This pain can even drag to the knee. Hüftschnupfen is usually harmless and disappears after about seven to ten days by itself.

Affected children should protect themselves and, if necessary, take anti-inflammatory analgesics such as ibuprofen or diclofenac for pain relief.

In children: exclude Morbus Perthes

Hip pain in children can often occur as a result of growing pains and are then usually harmless. However, a Perthes disease can be the cause: In this disease, it comes to a death of the femoral head bone due to a circulatory disorder.

Symptoms of Perthes disease include hip and knee pain, which is often unilateral. Affected children take a restraint and limping while walking.

The treatment initially consists of a relief of the hip joint using rails and crutches and special physiotherapy. It is important that the children avoid jumps and shocks. In the advanced stage surgery may be necessary to prevent malformation of the femoral head.

Epiphysiolysis: emergency in adolescents

Occur in adolescents suddenly so severe hip pain that walking and standing is no longer possible, may possibly be a slipping of the growth plate on the femoral head (Epiphysiolysis capitis femoris) are present. Most often affected are overweight boys after the age of nine.

If epiphysiolysis is suspected, you should immediately take your child to an emergency room, because if left untreated, the death of the femoral head may result. In order to prevent this, in many cases, an operation is necessary in which the slipped growth gap is fixed.

Wrong footwear while jogging

Occur hip pain, especially during or after running training, sometimes wrong or mismatched running shoes are the cause. Because if the shock load is not properly cushioned and the shoes do not optimally support the foot, the joints will be subject to incorrect loading. Even hard or uneven running surfaces can cause hip pain while jogging.

It would be best to consult a specialist shop for optimal footwear and the right running technique. In addition, you should be careful to warm up before running with stretching exercises and to avoid intensive training. Under certain circumstances, a gait analysis in an orthopedist may be useful to rule out a malposition of the feet.

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