Hip pain is not hip. It’s actually very uncool. It can be uncomfortable at best, and very painful at worst. It’s also highly demobilising. It can affect all ages, and as we see at our clinics right around Auckland, it has many causes. Whatever is causing your hip pain, you don’t need us to tell you that it really hampers your mobility – and that is why we are so keen to treat it for you.
In our experience, one of the most common causes of hip pain is a condition known as Trochanteric Bursitis, or Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. Both terms describe the painful inﬂammation of a small sac called a bursa; this sac is a bit like a fluid-filled cushion and it exists to reduce friction between muscles, tendons and bone in the hip area and facilitate easy, pain-free movement. Inflammation can occur when these tissues rub against the bursa and cause friction, as well as pain. This can occur through sporting injuries so it is common in younger people, or through falls and repeated stress when carrying out activities over a prolonged period of time, such as walking, running and cycling. Symptoms of Trochanteric Bursitis can include pain at the hip that extends down the thigh, swelling at the side of the hip, pain on standing after you’ve been sitting for a considerable period, and increased pain when doing a repetitive movement for any length of time e.g. walking.
Other common causes of hip pain include a labral tear involving the ring of cartilage (labrum) around the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. The labrum cushions the hip joint and is a bit like a rubber seal helping to hold the ball in the socket – when torn, the discomfort would be considerable as you could well imagine. Osteoarthritis is another source of hip pain, as well as in the hands, knees and spine. And let’s not forget referred pain where pain in one part of the body is felt in another part close to the original pain site. With this in mind, hip pain can be referred pain from the lower back or spine.
Hip pain is complex. Hip treatment can be just as involved. In many cases, physiotherapy treatment is the answer, depending on what is causing the pain. However, there might be times when other treatments are required. For example, surgical repair for torn cartilage. But whenever you feel hip pain of any sort, make us your first point of contact and we can decide on the next steps to recovery.