The hip joint and the hip bone are the primary components of the hip region of our body. The hip joint is a point of contact between the thigh bone and the pelvic bone. In other words, the hip joint attaches the legs to the upper body.
It is observed that a hip pain does not allow the person to lift objects and in some cases, bending might be a distant possibility. Activities like fast walking or even excessive coughing or laughing can take a backseat in people with hip pain, depending upon the severity of the discomfort. A right hip pain that does not remain localized and moves to other body parts such as lower back or legs, is certainly a serious issue and requires urgent medical treatment.
Pain in right hip area can be a result of several underlying conditions. Occasional pain in right hip joint is nowadays an integral part of day-to-day routines. It is basically a mild hip pain that goes away without treatment. However, persistent pain in right hip that aggravates at night cannot be overlooked. Some of the most common right hip pain causes are given below:
Injury: An injury to the right hip area in the form of trauma or an accident can damage the hip bone and may even lead to fracture. A fractured hip can cause excruciating pain that may travel down to the legs. An X-ray is generally used to diagnose hip fractures. Severe injury can trigger sharp shooting pain in the hip even while breathing deeply. Hip fractures can hamper overall mobility and in most cases, surgery is required to resolve the issue.
Less Bone Density: Loss of calcium from the bones, common in women above 65, can also cause right hip pain. The bone mass decreases as bone calcium content shows a significant loss that occurs with age. Low calcium levels in the bones can make a person prone to diseases like osteoporosis, in which the bone strength decreases considerably. The weakened bones become so brittle that when subjected to pressure while coughing, it can cause intense pain in the joints. In other words, people with osteoporosis are susceptible to fractures. The areas of the body that are commonly affected with osteoporosis are the wrist, hip and the rib.
Osteoarthritis: When this joint disorder affects the hip region, it is typically marked by gradual loss of hip joint due to progressive destruction of cartilage. The cartilage is a tough, elastic tissue that is found at the end of the bones. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage slowly wears out causing friction between bones, which is painful as well as damaging to the joint. As the cartilage deteriorates, the joints appear swollen and the pain worsens during movement. Studies show that people over 50 are at increased risk of getting osteoarthritis of the knee and the hips.
Osteonecrosis: In this condition, the normal blood circulation to the bone tissue ceases eventually causing death of the bone. Most cases of osteonecrosis affect the thigh bone that is connected to the hip joint. Initially, the symptoms do not appear but as the hip region continues to get insufficient blood supply, bone health deteriorates substantially leading to joint pain that aggravates over time. With no treatment, the bone collapses and the associated joint is also destroyed. In case of hip osteonecrosis, patients often complain about groin pain that may occur even while doing stationery activities or taking complete rest.
Tendinitis: Tendonitis that strikes the hip region refers to the swelling of the tendons around the hip bone. As we all know, the tendon is a band of tissue that joins the muscles with the bones. Too much use of the hip, which is often noticed in activities like running, cycling and sports games such as football and hockey, is one of the most common causes of tendinitis. In all these activities, the tendons and the muscles around the hip region move repeatedly. This frequent movement for prolonged periods of time puts a lot of strain on the tendons, eventually causing hip tendinitis. Swollen hip and discomfort in the hip area while moving and even sleeping at night are some of the most common symptoms associated with hip tendinitis.
Bursitis: Bursitis is nothing but an inflammation of the bursa. There are more than 150 bursae located in different parts of the body including the shoulders, hips and the elbows. Bursae are basically fluid filled sacs that provide a cushioning support between the bones and the tendons. However, the tendons may scrape frequently, due to repetitive motion involving the arm and the hip. This will make the bursae inflamed, causing pain, either in the left or the right hip. The pain due to bursitis commonly occurs during normal bodily movement, but may not be experienced while taking rest. In some cases, sharp shooting pain is commonly accompanied by stiffness in the hip joint.
Lupus: Chronic inflammation of the hip joints may also be a result of lupus, a disorder in which the infection fighting cells of the immune system invade the healthy tissues of the joints. Episodes of joint pain and swelling come and go. When lupus affects the hip area, it may cause right hip pain. Persistent joint swelling coupled with fatigue, mouth sores and intense pain is an indication of worsening of lupus symptoms.
Taking adequate rest and minimal movement of the hip area is very important to subside the pain. Application of ice packs and use of compression therapy is also recommended to reduce the inflammation. After the pain recedes substantially, the doctor may advice you to do some stretching exercises that help to strengthen the tissues around the hips.
In case the pain is worsening over time, an X-ray of the hip area is often recommended to look for arthritis and bursitis. On the whole, diagnosis is the key to improve and to get rid of hip pain. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are given orally to the patient to ease the pain. For patients suffering from osteoporosis medications like bisphosphonates (Fosamax) are useful to slow down the progression of bone density loss.