Hip & Knee Pain

Your hips allow for much of your everyday moments like standing, sitting and walking. Likewise, the knee is integral to the simple activities of daily life. The hip joint is a ball and socket while the knee is more of a hinge-type joint. Both the knee and the hip joints are held firmly in place by ligaments. Both types of joints utilize a capsule filled with fluid that lubricates the motion of each joint.
While there are many different joint conditions, here are some of the more common conditions associated with hip and knee pain.
Osteoarthritis in the Hip and Knee Joints
Arthritis leads to inflammation of the joints and the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions your bones and allows the hip and knees to move freely within the joint. When the cartilage wears down, the bones begin to rub against one another with no cushion. This can also cause bone spurs in the joint.

Arthritis is more common in older people and tends to get worse over time. It may start out with some pain experienced when pressure is placed on the joints, particularly when standing. A limp might even be present to reduce the pressure against the bones within the joints. People with arthritis also feel stiff and have a reduced range of motion in both their hips and knees. Typically this condition does not get better and a pain management specialist can help provide relief for pain caused by arthritis.

Piriformis Syndrome
The small piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttock region; it begins at the lower spine, wraps around the side and then connects to the upper part of each thigh bone. This muscle helps the hips rotate and allows the legs and feet to turn outward. The sciatic nerve is located under the piriformis muscle. Tightness or muscle spasms in the piriformis muscle may cause the sciatic nerve to become compressed which can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the back of the leg into the feet. This is called piriformis syndrome.

Other symptoms of piriformis syndrome include a dull ache in the buttock, hip pain that worsens when walking up stairs or hills and after sitting for a long period, and reduced range of motion in the hips.

Greater Trochanteric Bursitis
One of the primary causes of hip pain is bursitis, which is caused by an inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that serves as a cushion between bone and soft tissue and helps keep the joint moving freely. Each hip as two major bursae. The bursa at the outside portion of the hip is called the greater trochanter. When this sac becomes inflamed, it forms a condition called greater trochanteric bursitis. It is usually caused by incorrect posture, soft tissue stresses like arthritis, prior hip surgery, bone spurs, overuse of the hip joint, or injury to the hip joint from a fall or bumping into an object.

Symptoms of greater trochanteric bursitis include pain: walking up stairs, on the outside of the hip and thigh, in the buttock, while lying on one side, when pressing in or on the outside of the hip, that worsens when you get out of a deep chair or out of a car.

Sacroiliitis
Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of the sacroiliac joints which connect the bones of the spine to the pelvis. Often times with repeated stress to these joints, people can develop a debilitating pain that can appear in a variety of nonspecific ways.

These people often experience one ore more of the following symptoms:

  • low back pain
  • buttock pain
  • pain that can radiate to the hips, groin, or back of the thigh.

Typically, the pain is worse when standing, walking, and when body weight is shifted to one leg or the other.

Hip & Knee Pain Treatment
Because hip pain can make sitting, standing, and walking unbearable it’s not something that should be ignored. Fortunately, effective treatments for hip pain are available, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Injecting low, targeted doses of pain medication into the precise area of the hip causing pain
  • Stimulators
  • Laser therapy uses low level laser therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Radiofrequency ablation which deactivates pain signals from the nerves to the brain
  • Oral and topical medications to relieve pain

And, in cases where non-surgical techniques don’t work, you may be referred to a surgeon.

Hip & Knee Pain Treatment
Because hip pain can make sitting, standing, and walking unbearable it’s not something that should be ignored. Fortunately, effective treatments for hip pain are available, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Injecting low, targeted doses of pain medication into the precise area of the hip causing pain
  • Stimulators
  • Laser therapy uses low level laser therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Radiofrequency ablation which deactivates pain signals from the nerves to the brain
  • Oral and topical medications to relieve pain

And, in cases where non-surgical techniques don’t work, you may be referred to a surgeon.