Millions of people experience hip pain every year, but for many, it is only a minor inconvenience that they can "simply deal with." Minor hip injuries like muscle strains and ligament sprains often get better quickly with minimal medical attention. However, patients should never fully disregard hip pain due to the possibility of an injury getting worse or chronic hip pain possibly damaging their long-term mental health.
In such a case, we're sharing the informative guide below to help you understand the main reasons to take your hip pains seriously.
1. Even Minor Hip Injuries Can Get Worse
A trained medical practitioner should be consulted about any hip discomfort that does not go away quickly. First of all, a mild muscle strain or a strained ligament can heal with rest, but they can potentially progress to a more persistent, chronic, long-term strain that causes repeated hip injuries.
A hip fracture could potentially be the cause of the "tweak" in your hips you experienced after a fall or accident. The risk of an untreated hip fracture or other damage is significant enough to demand a visit to the doctor for a proper diagnosis of hip discomfort that does not go away in a few days, to a week at most.
For people who run frequently, a growing hip or thigh ache may be an early symptom of overuse or even a developing hip stress fracture, which may develop into a more serious full hip fracture that may eventually require surgery.
2. Most Causes of Hip Pain Are Progressive
Osteoarthritis, which results from normal joint degeneration and everyday wear and strain, is one of the leading causes of hip joint discomfort. Although arthritis cannot be cured or prevented, early diagnosis and treatment provide patients a greater chance at a higher quality of life in the long run and postpone the need for hip replacement surgery. Taking proactive steps to control symptoms, enhance hip function, and modify certain activities may be able to delay the rate of degeneration progression.
For instance, specific therapeutic exercises can assist in strengthening the muscles that support the hip, relieving joint pressure, and preventing cartilage damage. In turn, this can lessen hip joint pain and inflammation and enable increased activity. The rate at which arthritis develops can also be slowed down by reducing certain impact-loading activities.
3. They May Lead to Compensatory Injuries
Ignoring any hip dysfunction increases the chance of injury to other parts of the body, regardless of whether the cause is an injury, arthritis, or both. This is due to the complex interconnections within our musculoskeletal system. Hip pain can raise stress in other areas, such as your lower back, knees, or the hip on the other side if it forces you to change your gait or posture.
Hip pain that first manifests as other ailments might make it harder to find relief and maintain activity levels. Patients have the best chance of resolving it and preventing other related difficulties by giving an injury enough time to heal and by treating mechanical and postural issues.
Indeed, it is important to pay attention to your hip pain and not ignore it. Some of the reasons why this is important include the fact that hip pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, it can impact your mobility and quality of life, and it can become chronic if left untreated.
If you are experiencing hip pain, be sure to consult your healthcare provider to determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.
If you are looking for experienced hip replacement surgeons in Atlanta, look no further than our expert practitioners here at Atlanta Bone and Joint Specialists. All our orthopedic surgeons are board-certified and have been performing knee and hip replacement surgeries for over 50 years combined. Call us today to book your first hip checkup with us.