Understanding Hip Pain

Adventist Health Sonora is here to help

The ends of two or more bones, connected together by ligament tissues, form a joint. For example, your hip is a ball-and-socket joint, formed by the upper ball-shaped end of the femur (thigh bone) and a part of the pelvis called the acetabulum (socket). The bone ends inside a hip joint are covered with a smooth layer called joint cartilage. Normal cartilage allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. A normal hip joint can be compared to a brand new tire: lots of tread and a smooth ride for the vehicle.normal hip joint

As the hip joint begins to show signs of wear, smooth cartilage begins to deteriorate, soften, fragment and break off, eventually wearing down to the bone. The cartilage tread fragments break off, accumulate and irritate the lining of the joint.

This may cause:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of motion

A joint lining tissue membrane, similar to the lining inside of your cheek, encloses every joint with a smooth tissue lining called the synovium. The synovium produces fluid that reduces friction and wear in a joint. It also contains many nerve endings that produce pain and swelling when irritated by joint wear debris.

Treating arthritic joint wear

Although the entire process of arthritic joint wear and breakdown may take years to develop, symptoms may develop suddenly and without warning. None of our current homeopathic or prescription medical treatments "cure the arthritis" (defined as restoring the cartilage surfaces to normal — despite advertisements to the contrary). Current treatments may have variable levels of success in reducing pain and swelling, improving motion, and slowing further joint damage.

Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis. The wear and tear of daily life is the most common reason for arthritis — though joint wear is also affected by the genetic makeup and durability of our cartilage. Our genetically determined cartilage structure and durability determines our joint health and longevity.arthritic hip joint

Other common factors that contribute to premature wear of joint surfaces include:

  • Joint injuries, such as serious hip fractures or hip dislocation
  • Overuse of a joint from work or sport activities
  • Abnormal joint anatomy
  • Weak muscle control
  • Obesity