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5 Common Causes of Hip Pain After 50

Oct 01, 2022

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5 Common Causes of Hip Pain After 50

You might be worried that a painful hip means it’s time for joint replacement surgery if you’re older. But a lot of hip pain can be treated conservatively, without surgery. 

At Body Balance Chiropractic & Wellness Center, our team uses a holistic, “whole-patient” approach to hip pain in our Houston, Texas, patients, tailoring therapy to each person’s needs and lifestyle for optimal pain relief. If you’re over 50, here are five possible causes of your painful hip symptoms.

1. Arthritis

Arthritis is perhaps one of the most well-known causes of hip pain, perhaps because osteoarthritis (OA) becomes much more common as we age. OA is the most common type of arthritis, affecting about 32.5 million adults in the United States. 

OA happens when the joint surfaces break down over time, typically due to years and wear-and-tear, but sometimes due to a traumatic injury or surgery. In addition to pain in and around the joint, people with hip arthritis tend to have joint stiffness. Symptoms also typically feel worse after spending a long time standing or walking, or getting up in the morning.

2. Bursitis

Bursae are tiny, fluid-filled sacs in many areas of your body, including your hips. These small sacs act as buffers between bones and soft tissues and help your hips move freely, without pain or friction.

Sometimes, the bursae get irritated and inflamed, causing pain and tenderness in specific parts of your hip. The cause of hip bursitis isn’t always clear, but possible factors include: 

  • Overuse injuries
  • Falls or other traumatic injuries
  • Bone spurs

Sometimes, a problem with your spine will “throw off” your gait, affecting how your hips move and subsequently causing bursitis.

3. Tendonitis

Tendonitis is another problem that tends to be associated with overuse or repetitive use of your hips. Your tendons connect your muscles to your bones, and when you use your muscles a lot, your tendons can wind up inflamed and irritated. 

Hip tendonitis can develop slowly, or if a tendon is directly injured, it can occur very suddenly, typically in front of your hip. Because your tendons are attached to your muscles, most people find their symptoms are much worse when moving their hips or putting weight on them for long periods.

4. Spine problems

You might not think a problem with your spine could cause hip pain, but it can. That’s because your spine contains the nerves that transmit pain sensations to and from your hips. If these nerves are compressed or pinched, you can wind up with chronic pain in your hips.

Several spine problems become more common as we get older, including:

  • Disc degeneration
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Bone spurs

Typically, these causes of hip pain also cause symptoms in or near your lower back or buttocks and your hip.

5. Knee problems

Considering your knees are “connected” to your hips by your leg bones, it’s probably not surprising that knee issues can wind up causing hip pain. If your knees are sore, it can cause changes in the way you walk and the way you bear your body weight. Those changes can also cause strain in your hips — and over time, that can lead to a surprising amount of hip pain.

Treating hip pain

Our team focuses on relieving your current symptoms and treating the underlying cause, so we can help you prevent those symptoms from returning. Many types of hip pain respond very well to conservative treatment options, such as:

  • Activity modification
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Assistive devices to relieve strain on the hip
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Special stretching and exercises to improve hip function
  • Medicine to treat pain and inflammation

We may also recommend lifestyle changes, like losing excess weight or increasing your level of physical activity to improve your hip’s mobility.

The key to feeling better is seeking treatment at the first sign of hip pain or hip stiffness. Delaying treatment could result in worse symptoms and the progression of an underlying medical problem. 

To learn how we can help relieve your hip pain, call 281-890-5599 or book an appointment online with the team at Body Balance Chiropractic & Wellness Center today.

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