Hip pain is a common ailment and studies have indicated that it is seen more in women as compared to men. It is a chronic pain and there are different causes due to which it occurs. Athletes playing certain types of sports like running, walking, and jumping are prone to hip pain. It is usually seen that women above the age of 30 suffer from hip pain due to muscle tear. Pain in the hip in women can be due to many reasons and depending on the reasons, the symptoms can vary. Usually hip pain in women is experienced in thigh, groin, buttocks, and outside and inside the hip joint. Treating the pain involves identifying the reasons. Physical examination, blood tests and scans are requested by doctors for detecting the underlying cause of hip pain in women.
Various Causes of Hip Pain in Women
There are many reasons for which women suffer from hip pain. The reasons can vary from an injury to the hip to some other underlying medical condition. Some of the common causes for hip pain in women are –
Hip fractures: Those suffering from hip fractures experience pain when they are straightening, standing on one leg or lifting things. Hip fracture is common among older women, especially those who have decreased bone density.
Hernia: Femoral and inguinal hernias along the groin area can cause hip pain in women. Pregnant women can also suffer from inguinal hernia, due to the extra pressure on the abdomen wall leading to hip pain.
Tendinitis and bursitis: There are several tendons around the hip that connect the muscles to the joints. Due to overuse and regularly doing strenuous activities these tendons can become inflamed and cause pain in the hip joints.
Arthritis: It is the most common cause of hip pain in women and it becomes worse with age due to the constant wear and tear that the body suffers from. Arthritis pain is usually felt around the front portion of the thigh or groin due to stiffness and swelling in the joint.
Gynecological problems: Sometimes hip pain is caused due to some underlying gynecological condition that a woman might be suffering from. Endometriosis could be a very probable cause of pain felt in the hips. Consulting a doctor will clear up the reasons for the pain.
Cancer: Advanced stage of cancer can spread to the bone and cause hip pain. Leukemia and other disease can cause damage to the bone marrow leading to hip pain.
What are the Treatment Options Available for Hip Pain in Women?
There are several treatment options available for hip pain in women including medical and home remedies. To successfully treat hip pain, the first step is to identify the cause of the pain. Once that is done, doctors use medication in combination of therapy to treat the condition. Pain is often treated with over the counter pain medications like – ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen. The painkiller medicine prescribed will depend on the specific reason for the hip pain. In case of hip fracture, which is one of the common causes of hip pain, a patient might require surgery to treat it. The patient’s overall health is considered before surgery is recommended and done by the doctors.
Due to age, hip pain is seen in many people. Hip pain suffered due to a fall does not cause immediate pain. However, after sometime the injured area becomes stiff and sore. Applying ice pack to the injured area works well to treat minor pain and stiffness in the hip from a fall. Walking with a crutch to support the hips and legs eases the pain for a while. Usually hip pain from a fall gets better in a few days, however if it persists it is suggested to consult a doctor immediately.
How Can Hip Pain be Prevented in Women?
The body requires timely rest and relaxation to function properly without any pain. One of the ways of preventing hip pain in women is to maintain a balanced body weight so that the hips are not strained too much. The easiest way of doing this is to eat healthy and work out regularly. Other ways of preventing hip pain in women is to prevent the underlying conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis and gynecological issues from occurring. Osteoporosis or thin bone density can be prevented by getting bone mineral density screening done regularly and with healthy dietary habit. Doctors can prescribe preventive medicines as required.
It is important for older women to prevent the risk of injuries and falls that lead to pain in the hips. Simple measures like wearing well-fitted footwear, keeping the room clutter free and using a cane to walk with proper support can help. Avoiding the use rugs and carpets in the house’s walking area can also help in reducing the risk of falls that lead to hip pain. Pain suffered due to strain and sport injuries can be prevented by proper rest, exercise and using the appropriate clothes and running shoes.
Exercises for Women to Get Relief from Hip Pain
Exercises are a great way to ease hip pain in women. While treating a hip pain, doctors always recommend some exercises to treat and prevent from recurring pain. The hip is a major joint of the body and it supports most of the body’s weight. Exercising like stretching the hip not only helps in keeping the body fit, but also eases hip pain in women.
Bridging Exercise to Ease Hip Pain in Women: Lie on the back with the legs bent and feet pressed firmly to the ground. Next raise the back off the ground while keeping the arms and palm flat on the ground. The body should be in a straight line from shoulder to knees. Hold the position for five seconds and come back to the initial position. Repeat the process ten times.
Mild Side Stretching Exercise for Women with Hip Pain: Kneel on the painful leg while holding on something strong for balance. Slant the pelvis forward while tightening the muscles in the buttock. Now lean away from the painful hip area; lean right if the pain is in the left hip or vice versa. This gives a stretch from the top of the hip bone to the leg and to the knee. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat it two times.
Hip pain can occur at any age but it is mostly seen as a person ages. There are many ways of preventing hip pain. Doing simple things can easily spare a person from all the pain and discomfort. Those who are susceptible to Osteoporosis can get the bone mineral density test done. If required they can take medication in consultation with the doctor to prevent the condition.
Treatment options for hip pain in women include medication, exercise, surgery, and home remedies. The doctor is the best person to decide what treatment options are suitable for a patient. Follow the instructions and make changes in diet, exercise and any other routine that the doctor suggests. Exercises suggested by the doctor must be done regularly for pain relief and preventing the condition from occurring again. Hip pain is treatable, but it is a painful and uncomfortable experience. Women must take special care of their calcium and phosphorus intake as they age, particularly when nearing menopause.