Causes of hip pain
Hip pain can be the result of many factors. The most common that I see in my office is a sprain/strain caused by improper joint mechanics. If any joint is not moving in its proper range of motion, the joints above and below move in an inappropriate way compensating for the altered mechanics. By positioning the foot in the proper mechanical place, we can restore normal range of motion in the hip thereby relieving stress.
Other potential causes of hip pain
There are many other reasons a person can experience hip pain. Arthritis is a very common factor. It can be a systemic problem such as rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis can also simply be wear and tear often called osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (quite a scary way of saying you might be over 30.) Bursitis and tendonitis are also often culprits in hip pain. Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacks that keep different tissues from rubbing together, thereby reducing friction in those tissues. This is usually an overuse injury. Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tissues that attach bone to muscle. Again, this is most often an overuse injury.
What can I do to treat my hip pain?
The simple things one can do at home are remembered by RICE. This is a mnemonic for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. With a hip, the compression and elevation are very hard to achieve. Ice will help with virtually any form of inflammation. The usual formula for icing is 20 minutes off, two hours between applications. If icing an ankle, knee, wrist or elbow, you can get away with 15 minutes of ice instead of the usual 20.
Can a pair of orthotics help hip pain?
In many cases yes. My maxim is, if you treat areas of dysfunction, specific problems above or below the site of dysfunction should abate. If there is a mechanical distortion anywhere in the lower extremity, the joints above and below may compensate. This can set up an overuse syndrome which can turn into pain. The opposite presentation is a spasm situation locking down a joint which can also cause pain.