Hip health is so important, isn’t it? How many of us get up in the morning thinking ‘ooo my hips hurt’?
Sadly, hip pain tends to be something we experience as we grow up (although that’s not always the case). The key thing is to make sure your pain is properly diagnosed and managed. Nobody should suffer in silence.
Anatomy of the hip
Yes, it’s that time again !!!
Your hip is a synovial ball and socket joint. The head of the femur (thigh bone) is the ball and it sits in a cup-shaped socket known as the acetabulum. The joint is very similar to that of the shoulder. However, because it’s weight-bearing, it’s bigger, heavier and has a bigger labrum to help keep it in place.
So, what movements can my hip joints do?
Your hip joints are capable of flexion, extension, ad and abduction, inward and outward rotation and modified circumduction (a combination of all the movements). Like any joints, they need lubrication to work properly (think WD40). So, they produce synovial fluid which warms, lubricates and protects all the surfaces to make movement smooth. Sadly, as we grow up, our bodies don’t produce as much synovial fluid and that is where we start to have problems.
Why do my hips hurt?
Hip pain can be caused by a wide variety of problems. The precise location of your pain can provide valuable clues about the underlying cause. Broadly speaking, pain on the inside of the hip or groin tend to be from issues within the joint. Pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround the joint. It’s also important to know that hip pain can sometimes be caused by diseases and conditions in other areas of your body, such as your lower back. This type of pain is called referred pain.
Is it arthritis?
Well, it could be. There are a whole range of conditions that can cause your hips to be painful. Osteo or rheumatoid arthritis, Paget’s Disease, impingement, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis and tendonitis to name but a few. The important thing is to seek medical advice, control your pain and keep the joint mobile and strong.
How do I deal with hip pain?
***IMPORTANT*** – If you’ve had a fall and your hip joint is so painful you can’t move you must call 999 – it’s possible you may have a fracture
If you haven’t had a fall and it doesn’t go away within a couple of weeks with pain relief, you should seek medical advice. Pain is a sign that something isn’t right and there’s no point in suffering in silence! Things to look out for are –
- the pain is getting worse,
- you’re having difficulty with daily activities, for example walking, going up stairs or leaning forwards when sitting
- you feel feverish or unwell, or you’ve been losing weight.
Your GP will probably refer you for xrays and further imaging and blood tests and your treatment will depend on the findings. We know that getting a GP appointment is pretty challenging at the moment, but it is important so please don’t put it off.
If my hip hurts then surely I shouldn’t be exercising?
Well, it depends on what is causing the pain. In general, exercise is an important part of recovery from injury, surgery or maintenance of a long-term condition. Talk to your physio or allied health care professional. And, most importantly, do what they tell you!
Our friends at Versus Arthritis have produced a great booklet on basic hip exercises which may help you get strength and mobility back https://www.versusarthritis.org/media/23179/hip-pain-exercise-section.pdf
You will see that many of the suggestions are things that we do in our FLexercise classes every week. So, as part of your therapy, why not join an FLexercise class? Exercise should be fun as well as functional. https://www.fl-exercise.com/find-a-class/
Meanwhile, join Sarah for some FLexercise exercises on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/flexerciseuk/videos/1069242390481791
Take very good care.