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General Fitness>>Maintaining a Healthy Hip - 1/6/2007

v    The hip is a classic example of a ball and socket joint.  Similar to the shoulder, the hip is a highly mobile joint.


v    Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is the most common disease process affecting the hip.  In mild to moderate cases, conservative treatment including selective strengthening and stretching can alleviate pain.  In severe deterioration of the joint, total hip replacement surgery may be required.


v    Typical complaints of DJD of the hip include morning stiffness and stiffness when arising from sitting with pain by the days end.  This can progress to a constant ache at night and a loss of functional abilities such as tying one’s shoes and climbing stairs.


v    Pain in the anterior hip can arise from an iliopectineal bursitis which can be confused with DJD of the hip and vice a versa.  Typical symptoms include pain in the groin.  A bursa is a small sac that lubricates the joints and when becomes inflamed causes pain.  Physical therapy including pulsed ultrasound directed into the bursa coupled with nonsteriodal anti-imflammatory agents may be beneficial in the treatment of this condition.


v    Pain in the lateral hip with some radiation down the lateral thigh to the knee can be caused by a Trochanteric Bursitis.   Sometimes a snap may be heard in the posterior lateral region of the hip when getting into a car.  A tight tendon on the lateral aspect of the hip (tensor fasciae latae ) may produce  a snap over the trochanter (Hip bone) that results in friction causing a bursitis (inflammation of the bursa).


v    Ultra-sound and the use of a hydrocortisone-based coupling agent, ice massage and nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory agents may prove helpful in the treatment of trochanteric bursitis.


v    If a tensor faciae latae friction syndrome is suspected, stretching exercises may be indicated.


v    Weakness in the different muscles that surround the hip can cause multiple gait deviations that can lead to painful syndromes.  Weakness in the muscles on the lateral aspect of the hip can lead to decrease stabilization of the hip causing an increased “side to side” movement with walking (Trendelenberg gait).

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