Let's Talk About Pain

Pain in Your Hip May Not Be What You Think

You've been experiencing pain in your hip. Because you are (ahem) of a certain age, you have assumed that it must be arthritis. Not so fast.

Hip pain may be caused by many things. While it is true that arthritis can be a common cause of hip pain. Many also experience hip pain as a result of bursitis. They have similar symptoms but different sourches.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage between joints wears down through ordinary use. As the joints deteriorate, bony growths may form. This can aggravate the problem. 

Bursitis occurs when the hip joint bursa, a thin sac on the outside of the joint, becomes inflamed. The inflammation may occur as a result of a hip injury or alternatively by trauma to a nerve, such as a pinched nerve in your back. 

While treatments for the two types of pain can be similar, there are also some differences. Osteoarthritis is commonly treated with anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. Sometimes steroid injections or other types of new injections, such as PRP, can help. 

Bursitis also responds to these treatments but there are also additional treatments that may be warranted. Modifying strenuous activity and rest and is essential for those with bursitis. Sometimes a physician will recommend aspirating fluid from the bursa. Occasionally the bursa will become septic and the patient will need antibiotic.

Most important, do not self-diagnose your pain. Depending on the source of your pain, you may have options you have not considered. Talk to your doctor about your pain. Don't assume that there is an immediate link between your pain and your age. 

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