Our hip joint is designed in a way to avoid wear and tear even with repetitive motion. But at the same time, it can wear down with age and other factors. The hipbone can be damaged upon injury, and further lead to hip pain. Common symptoms are discomfort in the joint areas such as thighs, buttocks, and groin. The hip pain can worsen while undertaking certain physical activities. You may notice that you develop a limp as you attempt to move or have reduced range of motion.
Having hip pain is not at all pleasant, but if you become aware of what is causing it, you will have a better chance of reducing your discomfort. So knowing exactly what causes hip pain in women is important to help suggest healing tips.
Here is an overview:
Symptoms Of Hip Pain In Women
The symptoms for hip pain in women can differ depending on the causes, but the most common symptoms are accompanied by discomfort and pain in thighs, buttocks, hip joints, and groin areas. If you suffer from back pain, then the pain can exude in the hip areas as well. Those women suffering from chronic hip pain can experience reduced range of motion and limping.
Here are few common symptoms:
- Limping- causes abnormal discomfort in the joint areas, including knee, ankles, and back.
- Pain- is felt majorly in the outside and front of hips, and even extending to buttocks area.
Causes of hip pain in Women
Most causes of hip pain in women can depend on age, but here are few common causes:
A number of the chronic hip pain in women is often caused by arthritis, especially osteoarthritis. It affects women of any age and is one of the main reasons for hip pain in women. Arthritis is caused with wear and tear of joint sockets. The symptoms of hip pain are accompanied by thigh and groin pain, stiffness, inflammation, and damaged joint cartilage.
Explained below are few common arthritis-related hip problems.
- Osteoarthritis- one of the common forms of hip arthritis is osteoarthritis and is caused by the breakdown of cartilage that cushions bones. It is often accompanied by groin pain in women and front of the thigh.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis- RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) is a chronic inflammatory disease which results when the body’s immune system attacks thin membrane that outlines the joints. When left untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to hip joint, loss of function, damage, and disability.
- Lupus-a chronic autoimmune disease, it creates antibodies that attack and damage healthy tissues which causes inflammationin joints, skin, heart, kidney, and lungs.
2. Hip Fractures
Hip fractures may be a medical emergency and can cause life threatening complications. This is the reason why hip fracture might call for immediate surgery. Its risk can worsen with age because of bone thinning and weakening. This health risk mostly affects women.
Young people are also susceptible to hip fractures. These fractures are tiny cracks in bone and are caused by repetitive high-impact activities. These types of fractures are accompanied by pain in anterior hip or groin that worsens with more activity.
To get accurate diagnosis, you might need to go for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone scans.
Several tendons around hip area connect the joint muscles. These tendons get easily inflamed if we indulge in repeated high-impact activities. One of the main causes of tendinitis at the hip joint is iliotibial band syndrome. Such bands are thick tissue span that connects from outer rim of pelvis to the outside knee. All these factors result in hip pain in women.
Hernia takes place when the intestine part sticks out from the weakest point of the abdominal wall muscles. The common hernia types occur in the inner and outer groin, surgical incisions, and belly button. Hernia occurs due to heavy lifting, obesity, chronic coughing or sneezing, and strain during bowel movements. Majority of hernia cases need surgical attention.
There are other hernia conditions referred as sports hernias and athletic publagia. Such types of hernia cause chronic anterior hip and groin pain in athletes.
5. Gynecological and Back Issues
Hip pain in women is also associated with gynecological causes. It is essential not to conclude that the pain is caused due to arthritis and tendinitis. Rather the pain in your hip might result from your health issues and age factor.
Here are few conditions to explain it:
- Endometriosis– takes place when the uterus lining develops elsewhere and causes pelvic tenderness. Most women can relate this with hip pain. Other symptoms can also include back pain and spinal discomfort around hips and buttocks.
- Sciatica– is a pinched nerve, which normally affects one body part and causes pain in the right side of back, and left hip. This pain can also travel all the way to lower back, buttocks, and legs. The symptoms of sciatica usually take place on one side of the body. Most women do not require surgery and rather heal within six weeks.
Bursitis is an inflammation of small fluid-filled sacs that cushions bones, muscles, and tendons near joints. Such sacs are referred as bursae. These bursaes are located near large joints such as shoulder, elbow, ankle, and hip. This can help to reduce friction around joint areas. It is the most common causes of hip pain in women.
There are two major bursae in the hip that becomes inflamed- tronchanteric bursitis and iliopsoas bursitis. This condition is characterized by anterior hip and groin pain.
Tendonitis is caused by tendon inflammation. A tendon is a tissue that connects muscles to bones. When tendonitis affects body tendons, pain can occur around shoulders, wrists, elbows, knees, and hips. An inflamed tendon may also require surgical attention.
It can affect ballet dancers, athletes, gymnasts, and older individuals with unsteady gait. This condition is often accompanied with anterior hip and groin pain. There is an audible pop when hip gets flexed or extended.
8. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Most low back pain is not relatable with discomfort with lumbar region alone, but it can be a bacterial infection like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can lead to symptoms such as stomach pain, abdominal pain, back pain, fatigue, diarrhea, fever, and unusual vaginal discharge. Pelvic inflammatory disease is related to an infection of the female reproductive system. When PID is left untreated, it can lead to damage to the female reproductive system. The treatment of PID can be treated taking antibiotics or surgery, depending on severity.
Pancreatitis is a condition that leads to abdominal and lower back pain in women. This condition is also referred as pancreas inflammation. It may develop all of a sudden, and is sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, smelly stool, and indigestion. The lower back pain can commonly worsen after eating. Women suffering from pancreatitis can seek medical attention. They can be advised pain medications and fluids. However, surgery might be suggested if there are other complications.
10. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can cause leg, butt, back, hip, and groin pain in women. This is especially common with pregnant women. An SI joint dysfunction can be stabilized by using an SI joint belt.
11. Kidney Infection (pyelonephritis)
Kidney infections also known as pyelonephritis can cause abdominal, lower back, and groin pain in women. This type of infection can cause fever and frequent urination. It can be accompanied with a burning sensation or passing out blood through urine. The treatment of UTI can be treated with antibiotics and in few cases, hospitalization.
Obese or overweight women often suffer from hip pain than those compared with normal weight. Excessive weight can put pressure on hips and lead to pain. This is the reason why obesity is one of the leading reasons for hip problems in women. The connection between hip pain and obesity is clear, and even if hip pain is caused due to another condition, losing extra weight can reduce strain on injuries. Losing weight can reduce pain, and makes surgery process simpler.
Remedies to Improve Hip Pain in Women
Here are few remedies to improve hip pain in women:
Make use of heat therapy to reduce the discomfort leading to hip pain. You can try a hot shower or heating pads to soothe your joint areas. But using heat is not recommended if your hip pain is caused due to bursitis. This can worsen the inflamed areas.
You can try over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. Or, you can use a stronger dose as suggested by a medical professional.
3. Low impact Exercise
You can try low impact activities like bridge exercises to keep your muscles working, engaged, and supportive. For trying this routine, you can lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground, hips-width apart. Press down your ankles and buttocks off the ground while tightening your abdominal muscles. You can keep your knees aligned using your ankles while maintaining a straight line from knees.
Try a massage therapy to reduce muscle discomfort and hip pain. Light massaging methods can relax your muscles and reduce all strain.
5. Hip Replacement Surgery
If all these approaches fail, then you may be advised to undergo a surgery.
6. Ice Compression
Like heat therapy, ice compression is another remedy to help with hip joint pain. You can apply ice on an inflamed joint to help with hip pain. Depending on pain severity, make use of ice four to five times a day. For making an ice pack, you can wrap a cloth or towel with ice cubes, and press lightly around the painful area.
You can try light stretching exercises to relieve stiff hip muscles or hip joint, related to bursitis pain. Here is one stretching routine you can try at home:
- Kneel on the leg that is causing discomfort. Hold on to something for balance.
- Tilt your pelvis to the front, while tightening gluteus muscles.
- Lean away from the side of hip.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat twice.
You will be able to feel a stretch from hip bone to the side of your legs and knees. Repeat this routine once or twice depending on the pain severity.
8. Water Sports
Try swimming and water sports to ease your hip pain. Exercising in the water can allow you to strengthen your muscles without causing injury or putting stress to your joint areas.
9. Lose Weight
Gaining few pounds can put pressure on joint areas and lead to hip pain. This is especially common with arthritic patients. Losing weight can actually offset pressure from painful joint areas.
When to see a doctor:
If all these approaches fail, then you may need to seek medical help. You can see a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Hip pain remains persistent with no signs of improvement even after one week of rest
- Hip pain accompanied with fever or rash
- Sudden hip pain
- Hip pain accompanied by other joint pain
- Stiff muscles without severe hip pain
- Bruised and deformed hips
- Pain caused by accidents or fall
- High temperature and fever
If you are suffering from chronic hip pain, then you can consider taking rest or try over-the-counter painkillers. But if your hip pain is not showing any signs of improvement after one week, it can be something serious. In this case, you should refer your case to a medical professional.
Hope these simple approaches to improve hip pain are helpful. Do share about your experiences in the comment box below.
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