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Posted on 02-21-2011

The hip joint is located at intersection of the Pelvis and the femur (thigh bone). It is a ball and socket joints that allows for multi-planar motion, which is also why it is the center of gravity during movement, and is surrounded by some of the most powerful muscles responsible for movement. The joint attaches to torso at the socket called the acetabulum which is made of the pelvic bones. The hips are also the origin of power for all sports, and also generate the majority of the rotational movements in the body. 

While the pain may seem to be located in the hip, but there are many muscles that are located around the hip area. These muscles, tendons, and ligaments can often become inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. Pain can also be caused by trauma, such a slip, or fall, and result in skeletal injuries along with muscular trauma. Finding the cause of the pain, and prescribing appropriate treatments are essential to easing pain long term. 

Sometimes the pain can originate from within the joint it self. Synovial fluid is responsible for allowing proper lubrication for the joint, which allows the joint to glide across the face of the acetabulum without restriction, and when that is affected the joint capsule can lose lubrication causing friction and resulting in inflammation. 

Pain located in and around the hip can also stem from inflammation to the surrounding muscles and tendons.  The muscles and tendons responsible for hip mobility also maintain posture and structural integrity of the joint and are an important part of the kinetic chain. When the muscles become inflamed due to overuse, improper posture, and trauma such as tearing or strains and injuries, you get hip pain 

Hip pain can also be caused by problems with pinched or irritated nerves, especially those in the lumbar spine. If the sciatic nerve, which runs through the hip and down the leg, becomes irritated or impinged, the pain may feel as if it originates in the hip, radiating down the leg.

A fracture of the hip is common in the older population, and is often associated with old age, especially in movies and television. Conditions such as osteoporosis, combined with reduced propreoception as someone ages can lead to falls being devastating to the hip joint, often causing fractures and requiring surgery. Most hip fractures occur not to the pelvis but below the sub capital of the femur (thigh bone).

In addition to inflammation, fractures, nerve pain, hip pain can also be caused by illness, labral tears, pregnancy, fibromyalgia, a hernia, sciatica, diseases such as lyme, and sickle cell can also result in hip pain. 

 So hip pain is a complicated issue, and many factors go in to determining the cause of hip pain. Therefore it is very important to consult a health care professional and seek treatment rather than self medicate. Pain in general, can be treated using a variety of techniques, from medication, to chiropractic manipulation, massage and physical therapy. Combining proper care, diagnostic techniques, and  behavior modification, along with a diligent approach to addressing your concerns and following thorough on your doctor's referrals, like physical therapy are vital to alleviating any painful condition. 

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