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Pain in Your Hips? How to Know If It’s Muscular or Arthritis.

Hip pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle strain, arthritis, and other conditions. As a physical therapist, it's essential to differentiate between muscular hip pain and arthritis hip pain to provide effective treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between these two types of hip pain and how to identify them.



Muscular Hip Pain

Muscular hip pain is caused by a strain or injury to the muscles surrounding the hip joint. These muscles include the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip flexors. Muscle strain can be caused by overuse, poor posture, or sudden movements.

Symptoms of muscular hip pain include:

  1. Pain in the hip, groin, or thigh area

  2. Pain that increases with activity

  3. Stiffness and limited range of motion

  4. Muscle spasms

  5. Tenderness in the affected area

Arthritis Hip Pain

Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. Hip arthritis can be caused by wear and tear over time or as a result of an autoimmune condition. There are two types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms of arthritis hip pain include:

  1. Pain in the hip, groin, or buttocks area

  2. Stiffness and limited range of motion

  3. Pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest

  4. A grinding sensation when moving the hip joint

  5. Tenderness in the affected area

How to differentiate between the two

The following tests can help differentiate between muscular hip pain and arthritis hip pain:

  1. Range of Motion Test: Test the range of motion in the hip joint. If the pain is limited in a particular direction, it's more likely to be arthritis. When pain is only present with active range of motion (and not passive range of motion) it is most likely muscular.

  2. Palpation Test: Press down on the affected area. If it's tender to the touch, it's more likely to be muscular hip pain.

  3. X-ray or MRI: Imaging tests can help determine if there is any damage to the hip joint, which can be indicative of arthritis.

Treatment

Treatment for muscular hip pain typically involves rest, ice, and physical therapy to help strengthen and stretch the affected muscles. Treatment for arthritis hip pain may include medication, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery.

In conclusion, identifying the differences between muscular hip pain and arthritis hip pain is crucial for effective treatment. As a physical therapist, it's essential to perform a thorough evaluation and use the appropriate tests to determine the underlying cause of the pain. With the right treatment plan, patients can manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. A physical therapist can complete an evaluation to determine the correct treatments and course of action. So if you are sufferings from hip pain, make an appointment with your local physical therapist to determine your plan of care.


For more information on treating hip pain, make sure to visit our blog at www.saramikulsky.com


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