It is not unusual to experience hip pain from time to time, particularly if you lead an active lifestyle. However, if pain becomes a regular occurrence, it may be a sign of arthritis. There are a number of signs to look out for that could indicate you have arthritis, which may require further investigation and treatment.
Arthritis is a progressive condition – meaning it gets worse with time. It is associated with pain, stiffness, and inflammation within joints. There are a number of different types of arthritis, but the most common types include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect the hip joint, which can cause the cartilage that protects the joints to gradually break down and wear away.
The hip joint is one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the human body. It is a ball and socket joint made up of two main parts, the femoral head (ball) located at the top of the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (socket) located in the pelvis. The joint is protected by cartilage – a tough, smooth lining that absorbs shock, reduces friction, and allows the bones in the joint to glide together smoothly.
Osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage in joints to wear away, which can put stress on the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint. This makes the hip become stiff and inflamed, and can eventually cause the rough surfaces of bones to rub together, resulting in pain and restricted mobility. Osteoarthritis can be caused by a number of factors including injury, obesity, some medical conditions, or a structural problem with the hip joint, but it is most often the result of age-related wear and tear.
Symptoms of arthritis can vary depending on the type, but if you start to notice the following signs on a regular basis, it may indicate arthritis, and you should seek advice from your doctor.
Joint Pain and Stiffness
As you get older, it is not uncommon to feel some stiffness in the mornings. This joint stiffness should ease as you start to get moving and shouldn’t last more than half an hour. If your joint stiffness doesn’t ease as you get moving or lasts for several hours or more, it could indicate arthritis.
Hip arthritis can cause pain in your groin or thigh, which can radiate to the knee, outer thigh, or buttock. It may be worse in the mornings, after sitting for a while, or when leaning over. Hip arthritis can also cause limping or difficulty when walking.
As arthritis progresses, symptoms of pain and stiffness can become more continuous, and even occur when resting. Joints may feel weak or unstable, and you may find it increasingly difficult to move and perform common activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. As cartilage deteriorates, you may also experience sticking or locking within the hip joint and grinding noises during movement.
You Are Struggling with Day to Day Activities
Arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, loss of function and range of motion, and weakness in joints, which can prevent you from carrying out day to day activities with ease. If you are routinely avoiding activities that you normally enjoy, or are finding hip pain increasingly impacting your lifestyle, seek advice from your doctor as it could be arthritis.
Pain After Exercise
It is natural to have some discomfort after strenuous exercise, which may be caused by overstretching muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Arthritis, however, can flare up following vigorous activity, as well. If you are suffering with hip pain, discomfort, or stiffness that has been triggered by being active and is becoming a more frequent problem, it could be a sign of arthritis. Don’t overlook it is soreness. See a doctor to get a diagnosis.
Joint Pain at Night
Sometimes joint pain can go unnoticed during the day while distracted and carrying out normal activities, but as arthritis advances, symptoms of pain may become worse during the night, which can disrupt sleep. If you experience hip pain at night, especially when sleeping on the side of the affected hip, consult a doctor as it could be arthritis-related pain.
Arthritis Care in Clinton Township, MI
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or stiffness in your hip on a regular basis, it could very well be an early sign of hip arthritis. At Movement Orthopedics in Clinton Township, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Carroll treats hip arthritis and other issues using state-of-the-art surgical and non-surgical techniques.
To learn more about the treatments we offer or to book a consultation, call us at (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment online.