There are a number of different reasons that people may suffer from hip pain. The most common of these is osteoarthritis. Arthritis often impacts the hip joints, causing the cartilage to degenerate over time. This means that the joint surface will erode, which leaves the bone exposed. Ultimately, this makes for pain whenever the joint is in use, for example standing or walking. Other reasons for hip pain may include avascular necrosis, congenital hip abnormalities, and trauma to the hip area.
While each patient may be unique, most people tend to have pain in the groin when they are walking or standing. Many people with hip issues have a severe "start-up" pain, which means that hip pain is an especially bad first thing in the morning. People with hip issues often have a reduced range of motion, often accompanied by a notable level of muscle stiffness. Because the pain can be so severe, many people with hip problems find themselves unable to sleep at night, or they may have very restless sleeping habits due to the pain.
Your doctor will do a complete physical exam before diagnosing hip degeneration or any other type of hip problem. Included in this examination will be a medical history that may yield some indicators as to how the hip problems may have developed. X-rays are normally required to determine exactly how much joint degeneration has occurred. If infection or arthritis is suspected, blood tests may be performed. A bone mineral density test can determine whether osteoporosis is the reason for the hip problems. Once a clear diagnosis has been made, the doctor can recommend the best course of action for healing. Often this will involve hip replacement surgery, especially in cases of severe hip pain.
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