October 1, 2013

Hip Pain

People often locate hip pain pointing over the sacroiliac joint (the joint between the sacrum/base of the spine and the iliac crest/a portion of the pelvis). The key to treating hip pain is accurate diagnosis localizing it.

The hip joint is located over the lateral side of your leg where the femoral head, the top of your leg bone connects to the acetabulum, another bone of the pelvis. The joint is considered a ball-and-socket and is very stable. Localized hip pain, pain over the joint, may be due to tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons) or bursitis (inflammation of the bursa-a fluid filled sac to help lubricate the joint) from surrounding tissues. It is important to evaluate this properly to rule out a referral pain from other structures in the low back such as the sacroiliac joint which has a tendency to refer pain into the hip and lateral thigh. Arthritis in the aging population is a common site for the hip.

An x-ray or MRI may be required to see the extent of arthritic changes and properly diagnose the complaint. Those who have had recent trauma to the area and have had prolonged pain may be evaluated immediately with a MRI to evaluate essential vascular structures, especially in the adolescent population.