Your hip is a ball and socket joint that bears your body’s weight while allowing you to walk, run, and jump simultaneously. The unique anatomy of the joint makes the hip stable, strong, and flexible enough to support your movements, however, it can still be affected by various problems due to overuse, physical activities, or injuries.
While it is true that hip pain becomes increasingly common in people aged 50 and above, hip conditions in young adults are not out of the ordinary. The causes of these hip problems in younger men and women often vary greatly from those of an older individual meaning that they result in different symptoms and require different treatments.
Signs and Symptoms
Pain is the most obvious indicator of a hip condition, however, pain can come and go. The signs you may experience will vary depending on your hip condition, and you may have other symptoms, such as the following:
- Swelling and tenderness of the hip
- Electric shock-like pain or numbness
- A snapping sensation around the hip joint
- Muscle stiffness
- Reduced movement in the hips
If these symptoms persist and/or start affecting your daily activities, it may be time to seek treatment. Understanding the causes of your hip discomfort will help you get on the road to recovery.
Common Hip Conditions
- Labral Tears – The hip joint is covered by cartilage called the labrum. The primary function of the labrum is to deepen the socket and provide stability to the hip joint. A tear in the labrum can be caused by an injury or overuse and often results in sharp pain in the hip that gets worse with activity.
- Proximal Hamstring Tear – The hamstrings are the group of muscles located in the back of your thigh. These muscles work to flex your knee and extend your hip. A proximal hamstring tear is a tear in the part of the muscle that attaches to the hip bone. This type of injury is often caused by overstretching or forceful contraction of the muscle and results in pain in the buttocks that gets worse when you try to extend your hip.
- Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) – FAI is a condition in which there is abnormal wear on the hip joint. This wear can be caused by a misalignment of the hip bones or a change in the shape of the hip socket. FAI can lead to the development of hip arthritis and is a common cause of hip pain in young adults.
- Athletic Pubalgia – Athletic pubalgia is a condition that affects the muscles and tendons around the hip. It is often caused by overuse or repetitive motions and results in pain in the groin or lower abdomen.
- Hip Instability – Hip instability is a condition in which the hip joint is not stable. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including hip dislocation, hip dysplasia, or hip impingement. Hip instability often leads to pain in the hip and groin area that gets worse with activity.
If you have experienced a hip injury or are experiencing any hip pain, it’s best to seek treatment right away. Having your hip condition diagnosed properly and promptly will put you on the right path towards effective treatment and, ultimately, a faster recovery.
Most problems can be treated conservatively through over-the-counter pain medicines, physical therapy, and rest. If these options do not work, Dr. Larson may recommend a minimally-invasive procedure called hip arthroscopy. This procedure can treat hip issues without making large incisions through the skin. Ultimately, if you have a severe hip condition, Dr. Larson will discuss your surgical options with you and help you determine the best one for you and your needs.