Hip pain can affect anybody and at any time of life, and whilst hip pain and the need for surgery or hip replacement is more prominent during later life, it is not solely an age related concern.
The hip is a ball and socket joint at the top of the leg and is the joining point of the femur (thigh bone) and the pelvis. The joint allows for a wide range of movement and amongst other things controls the way we walk, run, jump off, and use the stairs.
The hip is durable and can withstand a huge amount of pressure, as such the connection between the femoral head (the ball joint at the top of the femur) and the acetabulum (the socket in the hollow of the pelvis) very rarely dislocates. However, due to use, the wear and tear on the joint caused by friction can lead to a multitude of problems, the most common of which are:
Osteoarthritis – This is the most common cause of hip pain in adults, it is often linked to an injury to the hip, trauma or a childhood problem although it can just occur randomly. The condition causes a lot of pain and in the most serious circumstances can shorten the leg or fix the bone in an awkward position.
Paget’s Disease – Paget’s disease is a disruption to the normal cycle of bone growth and regeneration which weakens the bone and can cause them to break, splinter or deform. There can often be a genetic link to Paget’s disease and anybody concerned with pain in the pelvis should contact their GP.
Paget’s disease often goes undiagnosed as there are no other symptoms but for the pain and it is only usually confirmed through tests on the body or whilst investigating a break in the upper leg or pelvis. The pain caused by this condition is usually worse when lying down or trying to sleep.
Hip fractures – Most fractures in the hip are excruciatingly painful and can be among the most dangerous breaks in the body, if you hear or feel the break immediate medical attention is required, especially if it is a break in the femur, this bone could tear the femoral artery which can lead to excessive blood loss or even death. Any pain as the result of a fall should still be consulted as a fracture, and no matter how small could still lead to mobility issues further down the road.
Avascular necrosis – This is a condition faced by young and middle aged adults and is a pain often referred to as idiopathic, meaning that the causes are often unknown. The most common cause of avascular necrosis occurs when the blood supply is cut off to the top of the leg, poor circulation can cause the bone tissue to die and weaken the joint, if this is the suspected problem then it is always best to consult your doctor and request an MRI scan to aid diagnosis.
Other potential causes could be attributed to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, steroid use, sickle cell disease or radiotherapy.
When should I see a doctor?
If a pain in the hip lasts for more than a few days or is severe enough that over the counter painkillers do not aid then it is always best to consult your doctor. Any pain in the immediate aftermath of an accident should be checked out, hairline fractures may not heal properly and another fall could result in a far more serious injury.
You should also see your GP if the pain is getting worse, you feel weak or feverish or you are having increased difficulty with your movement.
What are the treatments for hip pain?
There are several treatments available to those who suffer from hip pain and they vary depending on the condition of the patient, they are:
Drugs – There are three main types of drug used to assist hip pain, steroid injections, bisphosphonates and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Steroid injections – ;are used best when treating soft-tissue damage to the hips and are nearly always given with a local anaesthetic although technology now means it is possible to have an ultrasound-guided injection.
Bisphosphonates – are given to slow down bone loss and reduce the likelihood of fractures. They are commonly given in the treatment of Paget’s disease.
NSAIDs – may be prescribed by your GP as a strong painkiller but will be done so only if the doctor is confident that there will be little or no side effects, and that they don’t conflict with any existing medication.
How Adjustamatic can help
With around one million people contacting the NHS for effective hip pain relief every year and around 15% of those patients going on to have a hip or knee replacements, the call for adjustable beds and riser recliner chairs has never been greater.
At Adjustamatic we offer the best possible solutions to assist those who are looking for hip pain relief, we are also confident that our range of hip pain mattresses and hip replacement chairs will provide excellent after care and aid recovery.
Those who suffer from osteoarthritis or other hip problems can use our products to help take the weight of their feet and hips as will as use built in massage technology to both relax and promote healthy circulation.
The pain caused by hip problems can leave people feeling vulnerable and frustrated at their lack of mobility. Our NHC Cyclo-Therapy products can help relieve this pain by gently relaxing muscles and joints thanks to our unique vibration therapy technology.