Hip Pain in Young Women
Dr. Madhura Dixit

Dr. Madhura Dixit

Mar 23General wellness

Hip Pain in Young Women

This blog is compiled by Athira Krishnan, a content writer for Proactive For Her.

What causes hip pain?

  • Trauma - In younger women who are premenopausal, it is usually due to a previous trauma injury, a birth defect that went unnoticed or a neurological disorder of the hip. Since the hip bone is extremely strong, it takes a serious trauma injury to cause it to fracture and will result in a significant amount of pain.
  • Impingement syndrome - This is usually caused by inflammation from repetitive activities, injury, ageing and other causes. This is observed quite often these days because of faster and more effective diagnosis. It causes restrictions in the movement of the hip. In some cases, it can be an incidental finding. When an X-ray is taken for lower back problems, the hips are also visible in the x-ray and this can then be detected.
  • Muscular disorders - Any muscular disorder in the hip/lower back region can also be a cause
  • Tendonitis - Tendonitis in the hips is the swelling of the tissues (tendons) that connect muscle to the bone in the hip joint
  • Hip synovitis - Also called transient synovitis, it is an inflammation and swelling of the tissues around the hip joint and usually only one hip is affected. This condition is called “transient” because it lasts only for a short period of time. This is seen mostly after pregnancy due to water retention in the hip joint.
  • Developmental hip disorders - If these disorders go unnoticed in children or are treated improperly, then they can progress to changes in the structure of the hip joint and shortening of the leg.
  1. Perthes disease - This is an uncommon condition that affects children between the ages of 3 and 11. Proper blood supply to the head of the thigh bone is disrupted, which causes the bone to deteriorate.
  2. DDH (Developmental dysplasia of the hip) - In a normal hip joint, the top of the thigh bone fits snugly into the hip socket. In a child with DDH, the hip socket is shallow. Hence, the top of the thigh bone may slip in and out and this may lead to dislocation.
  • In rare cases, infections like tuberculosis can also cause hip pain.

What are the symptoms?

Since the hip joint is a very wide and large bone, swelling cannot be detected unless it is an extremely severe case.

  • Pain in the hip region, upper thigh or outer buttock. This pain may present itself while walking, sitting in the cross-legged position, etc.
  • If the pain is due to trauma, you will be unable to apply weight on that particular side causing you discomfort and you might resort to limping, to shift maximum weight to the other leg and in severe cases, you might not be able to stand up.
  • If the disease progresses without any treatment, it may also lead to shortening of the leg. This is only in extreme cases where there is degeneration of the cartilage and changes occur in the structure of the hip joint.
  • Pain in the knee can also be because of problems with the hip joint because the nerve supply to both these regions are the same and hence, the pain will radiate to other regions too.
  • Lower back pain may also be present.

How is the problem diagnosed?

It is diagnosed through clinical examination, x-rays and other investigations. For clinical examinations, the patient is asked to slowly rotate their hips and presence of pain is checked. The hip joint is touched and examined to check for tenderness.

Then, x-rays are taken to study the hip joint. If the pathology is very subtle or if the disease is in its early stages, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is done.

If it’s a trauma injury, CT scans are done. In cases like synovitis, tendon disorders or infections, sonography of the hip joint is proven to be very useful. When there is localized abscess (collection of pus in the skin), an ultrasound helps in easy detection.

How is hip pain treated?

With a combined treatment of physiotherapy and medicines, most of the cases can be successfully treated and the pain can be overcome.

  • Only in extreme cases like a trauma injury, will surgical intervention be required.
  • In the case of hip synovitis in its early stages, exercises for hip mobility are prescribed along with medication.
  • For birth defects and developmental disorders, surgery will be required for correction.

In conclusion, hip pain is more common in women due to their physiology, lifestyle activities and their period of pregnancy. In post menopausal stages, women are more likely to develop hip pain as they are at higher risk of bone disorders. With the right exercises and a healthier diet of calcium rich food, the risks can be greatly reduced in old age.

Disclaimer - This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.

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