Hip pain, snapping hip, and stiffness in the hip joint are common and significant health concerns. While the hip joint is a powerful and durable part of your body, it is not indestructible. Age, pregnancy, and sports injury can cause strain to the hips, which eventually wears down or causes damage to the cartilage.

There may be times when your hip feels like it needs to pop due to misalignment or needing to be cracked. If your hips are feeling painful, sore, or making a pop sound, here’s a breakdown of what may be behind the discomfort and how to find hip pain relief.

What causes hip pain?

Whether it is pain, a pop, stiffness or discomfort, there are many forms of hip pain. While at-home remedies like stretching and exercise have their place, it is in your best interest to get an accurate diagnosis by seeking out proper medical advice from a non-surgical orthopedic physician.

Arthritis

The most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, especially in the older adult community. Arthritis causes inflammation to the hip joint while it breaks down the cartilage that cushions your hip bones. The pain from arthritis in the hip feels like it is located in the groin, thigh, or buttock. Over time, the pain in the joints gradually worsens. Arthritis also causes reduced range of motion and stiffness in the hip.

Bursitis

Bursitis feels like an achy and stiff hip joint. An inflammation of the bursae, the fluid filled sacs that act as a cushion between bone, tendon and muscle, it is pain that defines a case of bursitis. When the bursae are inflamed, there is an increase in friction from the tissues rubbing together which causes pain and discomfort. This inflammation is typically caused by repeating activities that irritate or wear out the hip joint.

Sciatica

To know more about sciatica, you need to understand pinched nerves. Nerves transmit pain signals, and when a nerve becomes pinched or pressed by tendons, ligaments, or bone, it leads to pain and irritation. It is possible that sciatic pain can originate from repeated stress to the hips and back or from falls and sports injuries. It is also known that a pinched nerve can be caused by a minor incident such as sleeping in an improper position.

Hip fracture

With age comes an increase of weak and brittle bones. Because of their weakened state, these bones are more likely to break and fracture. About 300,000 Americans-most of them over the age of 65-break a hip every year. One of the most common causes of hip fracture is falls, especially falling on one’s side.

Snapping hip syndrome

A snapping hip or dancer hip is a condition where you feel a snapping sensation or hear a popping sound in your hip while walking, standing up, or swinging your leg around. This snapping hip or popping sensation occurs when the muscle or tendon moves over the bony structure in your hip. Aside from the pop sensation, snapping hip syndrome may also include hip pain and weakness. Young athletes and dancers are more likely to have snapping hip as it requires repeated bending at the hip.

How is hip pain treated?

If you feel like it is from an injury, don’t attempt to crack or pop your hip. While exercise, physical therapy, and medical interventions can be effective for hip joints, the underlying cause of hip pain is best diagnosed by going to a professional. Ignoring your hip pain could create further injury or prolong your pain.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy solutions include range of motion exercises, soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, and lower extremity strengthening exercises, with an emphasis on stretching to strengthen the body while increasing range of motion.

Chiropractic medicine

Chiropractic management uses manual therapy and therapeutic exercise to diminish pain and inflammation, promote tendon healing, improve strength and to enhance flexibility in the hip. This intervention is especially helpful to those suffering from sciatica, osteoarthritis and injury.

Injection based pain management

A powerful anti-inflammatory steroid called Cortisone is used to treat the pain associated with bursitis, arthritis and sciatica. This injection reduces the inflammation or swelling of the nerves, giving way to quick pain relief and accelerating the rehabilitation process.

Regenerative medicine

An alternative to more invasive procedures, the stem cell treatment process offers non-surgical treatment for those suffering from hip pain due to common injuries, hip arthritis, hip bursitis, and other issues of the hip joint. Regenerative cells are harvested from the patient’s body and then injected to the affected area of the joints. The cells can then transform into the type of cell necessary for the body’s healing.

If you’re dealing with hip pain and looking for relief, please feel free to call one of our Patient Care Coordinators at 908-754-1960 to find out more.