The hip is prone to several types of injuries. Sometimes these happen in otherwise healthy joints. An automobile accident or a fall or forcing the femoral head out of its socket.The following are some of the more common hip injuries.
A broken hip, or hip fracture, can occur at any age, but they are most common in people age 65 and older, particularly women, with osteoporosis. In a younger person with healthy bones it may take a serious injury, such as a car accident, to break a hip, but when osteoporosis weakens bones, even a minor fall can result in a fracture.
Bursitis is swelling and inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs – the bursae – that cushion and lubricate the joints. Inflammation of a bursa situated between the bony bump on the side of the hip (the greater trochanter) and the tendon that passes over it causes pain and aching in the hip and on the outside of the thigh. Referred to as trochanteric bursitis, it is aggravated with walking or any activity that causes the tendon to move over the bone.
A dislocation occurs when the ball at the top of the femur slips out of the socket, causing severe pain and inability to move the leg. It usually takes a strong force – from an automobile accident or severe fall, for example – to cause a dislocated hip. Being born with a shallow hip socket or hip displasia (a congenital deformation of misalignment of the hip joint).Often the ligaments about the hip are damaged if a hip becomes dislocated.
A hip labral tear is damage to the cartilage that surrounds the bony edge of the socket in the pelvis. This can occur as the result of repetitive use of the hip and can be seen in the early stages of osteoarthritis or can be caused by an injury such as a fall or accident that causes twisting of the joint.
Snapping hip syndrome.
This condition is characterized by a snapping sensation in the hip, with or without an audible noise and pain, when the hip is extended. Snapping hip syndrome may occur when bands of connective tissue that support the hip thicken and catch as they slide back and forth across the top end of the femur. Often, the bursae underneath also become inflamed and painful. Snapping hip syndrome may occur in athletes such as ballet dancers, gymnasts, runners, weightlifters and soccer players due to be the result of repetitive, vigorous use and injury.
Hip Injury Rehabilitation
Medications and injections don’t always completely relieve hip pain. And if you have surgery, you’ll likely need some help getting around while you heal. At times when you need extra help with pain relief or mobility, here are some techniques and devices worth trying.
If placing weight on your hip causes pain, your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a cane. There are many different types of canes.
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation around the hip may be useful for strengthening the muscles that support the joint.
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to stimulate the deep tissues within the body. It is believed that vibration of the sound waves stimulates deep tissues, to relieve pain, increase blood flow and, thereby, possibly promote healing.
Cold and Heat.
Warming tissues eases arthritis pain by increasing blood flow to affected areas, which can help decrease inflammation, relax tight muscles and eliminate waste products, such as lactic acid, that cause stiffness and soreness. Cold therapy, applied in the form of cold packs, ice packs, or fluids work by decreasing blood flow to reduce swelling, slowing the transmission of pain signals through nerves and inhibiting inflammatory chemicals. Cold application is also helpful to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation after an injury.
- Maintaining a healthy weight – or losing weight if you are overweight – is good for your joints. Excess weight stresses the weight-bearing joints, such as the hip and knee, contributing to cartilage damage.
The following tips can help:
• Stretch and warm up before exercise. Cool down afterward.
• Don’t overdo it. If you experience pain when exercising, stop and cool down.
• Wear properly fitting shoes.
• Avoid running on hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete when possible.
If you experience an injury to your hip, rest, elevate it and apply ice. If pain is severe or persists more than a day or two, call your doctor.