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Every step you take, every move you make, the hip joint is the one of the most important in the human body

The hip is the biggest ball and socket joint of the human body that allows the thighs to move in different directions. This joint along with muscles and tendons, help hold up the weight of the body so we can walk, run and jump. There is also cartilage in the socket of the joint to ensure smooth movements and to prevent friction.

Causes

Since this joint holds up so much weight, hip pain is not uncommon.

There are many causes of hip pain including;

  • Cartilage wear down
  • Muscle and tendon strain
  • Arthritis
  • Lower back problems
  • Fractures
  • Inflamed tendon
  • Infection
  • Pinched nerves
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica (inflammatory disorder)

Symptoms

It is common to feel discomfort in other areas of the body from hip pain. So you might feel discomfort in;

  • Thigh
  • Groin
  • Buttocks
  • Legs (when applying weight on it)

Other symptoms include;

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Reduced movement in the hip

Diagnosis

You see a doctor right away if;

  • The pain is sudden/ intense
  • Result of an injury or fall
  • Swelling or bleeding

When you see your doctor or physiotherapist, they will ask you about your pains, physically examine you and see how you stand and walk. It is possible they might want a blood test or X-ray to do some further investigation.

Treatment

Since there are so many different reasons for hip pain, treatment can vary. Some treatments include;

  • Occupational therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory, pain- killing medicines or creams
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Weight loss and exercise
  • Stretching, strengthening exercises or resistance training