Statistically-speaking, chronic pain affects women more often than men, and hip pain is no different. Women, especially after childbirth and due to the physical demands of child-rearing, are prone to various types of pain, including hip pain.
If you are suffering with hip pain, you know how incapacitating it can feel. However, our team at Willamette Pain and Spine are committed to developing treatment plans that help you manage and reduce your discomfort.
Diagnosing Hip Pain
In order to properly treat hip pain, your physician will first need to determine the source and make sure that the hip is indeed the origin of the issue.
Pain on the side of the upper buttock or upper thigh can be caused by a variety of factors, some unrelated to the actual hip joint. Pain originating in the hip can often be felt in the groin or on the outside of the hip over the ball-and-socket hip joint.
Causes of Hip Pain
When women come in with hip pain, physicians consider your build, age, and level of activity when determining the source of the pain and how to treat it. The following are potential causes of hip pain, including:
- Hip fractures: Women over 50 are especially prone to hip fractures, caused by decreased bone density (osteoporosis) which often occurs as a result of menopause and the resulting hormonal shifts. Symptoms include pain when you stand on, lift, or straighten your leg. You may also notice that the toes on your injured side turn out. If so, bring this to the attention of your physician, as this symptom could help with diagnosis.
- Arthritis: Chronic hip pain in women can be caused by arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, which occurs when the ball-and-socket joints wear out. You may notice arthritis pain in the front of your thigh or in your groin, often due to swelling or stiffness at your joint.
- Bursitis or tendinitis: The tendons around the hip connect your muscles to the joint. However, these tendons may become inflamed due to overuse or strenuous activity. Runners may experience tendinitis at the hip joint, known as iliotibial band syndrome. The iliotibial band is a thick extension of tissue running from the outer pelvis to the outside of the knee. Bursitis occurs when fluid-filled sacs, called bursae, become inflamed or irritated from overuse. These sacs cushion the bony areas of the hip and can thus become overused.
- Hernia: Femoral or inguinal hernias commonly cause frontal (anterior) hip pain in women, particularly those who are pregnant and suffering pressure to the wall of their abdomen.
- Back and gynecological problems: Complex hip pain may be due to issues within another system of the body, such as the back or reproductive organs. Endometriosis can cause tenderness in the pelvis, a sensation that can feel like hip pain. Another type of pain that feels like it originates in the hip is sciatica. This condition refers to a pinched sciatic nerve, which can cause pain at the back of the hip that travels down to your buttocks and legs.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Whether your hip pain has been caused by sports injuries, arthritis, childbirth, or wear-and-tear, our team is here to help. Willamette Pain and Spine specializes in pain management and reduction. Our specialized diagnostic procedures and treatment plans will help reduce and manage your pain over the long-haul, so you can start living your life.