What Are The Most Common Causes Of Hip And Leg Pain
Hip and leg pain can stem from numerous causes and range from mild, intermittent pain, to debilitating pain that prevents you from getting out of bed. Sudden trauma or slow degeneration from a disease like arthritis or simply age also cause hip and leg pain.
Common causes of hip and leg pain include:
- Muscle or tendon tension
For Your Convenience We’ve Divided These Causes Into Five Categories As Follows
- Low risk: This can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications or by avoiding the movement/stressor causing your pain.
- Low-medium risk: Usually managed as an outpatient by your doctor with prescription medication.
- Medium risk: May require a visit to your doctor or hospitalization. Prescription medication may be necessary.
- Medium-high risk: Hospitalization or urgent intervention. Although not life-threatening get help immediately of some kind.
- High risk: Serious and potentially lethal complications possible emergent intervention needed Intensive Care Unit care often needed.
Cause Of This Condition
A herniated disc is a very significant cause of this pain and its extension to the leg. Disks are the cushions located among your spines bones. As you become older, your discs get weaker and more susceptible to injury. The gel-like centre of a disc can sometimes push through its outer layer, pressing on the roots of the sciatic nerve. A herniated disc affects about 1 in every 50 persons at some point in their lives. Approximately a fifth of them will experience symptoms that last longer than six weeks.
Natural wear and tear of the vertebrae can cause the spinal canal to shrink. Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spine, can exert pressure on the roots of the sciatic nerve. Adults above 60 are more likely to develop spinal stenosis.
The piriformis is a deep-seated muscle in the buttocks. It goes directly across the sciatic nerve and links the lower spine to the upper thigh bone. If this muscle spasms, it can exert pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica symptoms. Piriformis syndrome affects more women than it does males.
Sciatica can be caused by tumours growing inside or along the spinal cord or the sciatic nerve in rare situations. The nerves that branch off from the spinal cord may get irritated as a tumour grows.
Injuries or Infections
Having a Big Wallet
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What Causes Gluteal Tendinopathy
Normally within a healthy tendon, there is a balanced cycle of tissue breakdown and repair. Problems arise however when there is more breakdown of cells in the tendon tissue than repair and this imbalance leads to damage within the tendon called tendinopathy.
This process of increased break down within the gluteal tendon might be triggered by an increase in running mileage or hill walking or hiking with a lot of inclines.
The intensity and the frequency of these types of activities result in longitudinalloading through the hip joint and if there is inadequate recovery or adaptation time factored into training or recreational schedules the gluteal tendon is stressed toward injury.
The other important contributing factor to the development of gluteal tendinopathy is perpendicular loadingthrough the hip joint which is referred to as compression.
Examples of compression loading through the lateral hip are numerous and include lying on the side of the painful hip, sitting with legs crossed, standing with weight shifted to one side and stretching exercises of hip muscles such as the Pigeon pose in yoga.
The combination of compression and high tensile loads seems to be the most damaging to the gluteal tendon. These loads, in combination with increased activity, can sometimes be too much for the tendon and lateral hip pain results.
Advent Physical Therapy Offers Treatment Plans For It Band Syndrome
Our team at Advent Physical Therapy is ready to help you treat the pain from the hip to the knee on the outside of your leg that comes from IT band syndrome. First of all, we offer free screenings, and this service can help you make sure that this is the issue youre dealing with. We also provide every patient with a personalized therapy plan, and your plan may include therapy techniques such as:
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How Can Hip Pain Be Diagnosed
- For diagnosing the hip pain and the reason behind it, the doctor may first ask you to walk around.
- The doctor will then compare the motion of the normal and abnormal hips. To diagnose hip pain better, the doctor may order some tests like an X-ray, CT Scan, Ultrasound, and MRI Scan. These imaging tests will provide a clear image of the body part and help the doctor in recognizing the reason behind the pain in the hip.
Pagets Disease Of Bone
Pagets disease affects the way bone develops and renews itself, causing it to become weaker. It usually affects the pelvis, causing it to grow out of shape. This can often lead to hip pain, but it is treatable with a group of drugs called bisphosphonates.
Bisphosphonates are drugs used to prevent the loss of bone mass and treat bone disorders such as osteoporosis and Pagets disease.
For more information see our sections on Pagets disease and bisphosphonates.
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So What Are The Highlights
Hip And Leg Stretches
You may experience hip and leg pain due to tight muscles or tendons. Routinely stretching these muscles or rolling them out with a foam roller can sometimes help relieve pain.
When stretching and using a foam roller, make sure that you:
- Stay consistent
- Keep a diary of how you feel
- Make sure the activity doesnt cause more pain
Foam rolling can be painful at first, so make sure you pick a foam roller thats the right firmness for your experience.
The experts at REI have some tips on picking a foam roller in their article How to Choose Foam Rollers.
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Causes Of Sciatica Pain
Sciatica can be a tingling sensation, or a pain or weakness caused by sciatic nerve irritation. The start of the sciatic nerve is located in the lower back and it ends at the feet, extending downwards at the back of both legs. Sciatica isnt a complete diagnosis, but rather a symptom of a condition that can involve persistent pain in one leg, difficulty moving, numbness and tingling, and pain that worsens when sitting down.
There are many possible causes of sciatica pain, that include:
Degenerative disc disease Piriformis syndrome Infections
There are also numerous factors that can increase sciatica pain, such as not getting enough exercise, sleeping on an unsuitable mattress, and being overweight.
Muscle Or Tendon Tension
Finally, playing sports or over-exercising is typically the cause of muscle or tendon tension. Muscle and tendon pain ranges from sharp, stabbing pain to pain that is only present when the muscle or tendon is touched. A tight IT band, for example, which runs along the outside of the thigh, typically wont cause pain unless you touch it.
Muscle or tendon tension usually resolves in a few days. You can easily treat this kind of pain at home through routine massage, stretching, or foam rolling. Be sure to consult your doctor if your pain continues for longer than a week.
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What Causes It Band Syndrome
The pain you feel running from the hip to the knee on the outside of your leg with IT band syndrome is typically the result of several issues. Weakness in the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh is one such issue. The quadriceps help the knee move, and they also provide it with support. When this muscle is weak, more strain is placed on the IT band, and this stress can lead to overstretching, increased tension and pain.
Another issue that can cause IT band syndrome is repetitive knee movements. The movement that most commonly leads to this condition is running, and this means runners are more likely to develop IT band syndrome. IT band syndrome is also more common for people whose legs are different lengths. In fact, just a slight length difference could put enough strain on the IT band to make it painful.
Pain In Left Hip Radiating Down Leg
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hip Conditions
In general, people suffering from hip pain from hip pathology have symptoms that appear in the front of the hip and the groin area. Sometimes the pain will radiate into the front of the thigh but very rarely goes past the knee.
After sitting for a period of time, patients suffering from hip pathology find it difficult to walk when they first get up. The pain is worse initially, but after a couple of limping steps, the hip lubrication kicks in, and the pain subsides.
How Your Hip Works
Your hip is a very stable and strong joint.
Its known as a ball-and-socket joint. This is because the top of the thigh bone is shaped like a ball. This ball sits inside a hollow socket in your pelvis.
Ball-and-socket joints give the most movement of all the different types of joints in the body.
The hip joint is held together by a covering of muscles which are secured to the bones by strong cords called tendons.
These muscles and tendons form a capsule around the joint and support its movements. They help move the joint, supporting your leg and upper body movement.
Inside the capsule is the synovium, which lubricates the joint with synovial fluid and keeps the cartilage healthy. The cartilage sits between the bones of your hip joint to stop them rubbing together and reduces any impact when you walk or move your hip.
With all this support, it is unusual for the hip to become dislocated, even after a high-impact injury.
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Other Causes Of Groin Pain
Groin pain is very commonly caused by problems with the hip. However, it can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as:
- a hernia a painful lump, often in the groin, which may need surgery
- lymph nodes in the groin these usually occur if theres infection in the lower leg
- gynaecological problems, which can occasionally be felt as hip pain.
We’re currently funding research into developing new techniques to measure hip shape and abnormalities in babies and children.
Children with hip problems are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and to need hip replacement surgeries as young adults. This study will develop a tool to identify children who would most benefit from treatment as early as possible, reducing long-term pain and disability.
Researchers at our Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis are also studying the reasons why hip pain is commonly seen in young footballers.
We’re also funding research looking into whether it is possible to predict the success of joint replacement surgery by looking at genetic risk factors.
This study will help doctors understand which patients are most likely to have good outcomes from joint replacement. It aims to improve patients experiences of surgery and make their new joints last longer.
Our researchers are also developing a tool to help patients make informed decisions about their treatment according to their lifestyle and needs.
What Are The Treatments For Hip Pain
The hip pain that radiates down the leg may have following treatment options:
- If the hip pain is caused by muscle strain and arthritis, it can be relieved by using some pain killer medicines available over the counter. Medicines like Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen are very beneficial in reducing hip pain.
- Another way to reduce the hip pain is by holding the ice over the area of pain for about 15 minutes. It is to be done a few times a day.
- If an injury causes hip pain, then the doctor will give you some medicines and also ask you to take bed rest for some days. In addition, it is advised to reduce swelling and pain.
- A hip fracture may also cause any other injury that may need surgery for repairing the hip. Hip replacement surgery is another way to fix the damaged and fractured hip. The Orthopaedic Surgeon may replace the damaged hip joint with the artificial one in this surgery.
Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and more.
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Pain On The Side Of Your Hip Is More Likely From Tendinitis Tight Muscles Or Another Condition
Hip bursitis an inflammation between your thighbone and nearby tendons is commonly diagnosed when patients have pain on the outer side of the hip. However, several other conditions can cause similar pain, and require different treatments. “Doctors often assume that pain on the outer side of the hip is due to bursitis. But 90% of the time, it’s not bursitis,” says Dr. Lauren Elson, a physiatrist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Outer Hip Pain Causes
Pain on the inside of your hip or groin area is often a result of problems with the hip joint itself.
But hip pain on the outer part of your hip is typically caused by problems with the soft tissues that surround your hip joint, not in the joint itself.
A number of conditions can cause outer hip pain. These include bursitis and tendonitis.
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Hip Pain That Travels Down The Leg
Hip pain may sometimes radiate or be referred to the knee or lower in the leg. Pain in the lower limb is usually associated with joint stiffness and makes daily activities hard to perform. Activities such as putting on shoes, standing up after sitting, walking, and/or driving are commonly affected.
Hip pain can occur in the front, side, or back of the hip.1 The nerves from the hip that travel down the leg commonly cause radiating pain in the thigh, knee, and/or lower in the leg.2 Pain may also be referred from muscles or joints. Here are some potential causes of hip pain that travels down the leg.
Osteoarthritis Of The Hip
Hip osteoarthritis, or wear and tear of the hip joint, is a typical cause of deep agonizing pain in the hip and groyne region.
The discomfort may migrate to the front of the thigh and knee, as well as below the knee in certain cases. The pain is frequently worse first thing in the morning, after a lengthy period of sitting or relaxing, and/or after physical exertion. During hip motions, you may hear a locking, sticking, or grinding sound.
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What Is Radiating Pain
Radiating pain is pain that “radiates” from one area of the body to other areas of the body. When pain in one area of the body causes pain in other areas, this is known as “referred pain.” In fact, radiating lower back and hip pain can cause pain in all kinds of places near these areas like
- Thigh muscle pain
- Pain back of the knee
- Knee pain at night
- Pain in the upper thigh
- Numbing of nerves in leg
- Hip and groin pain
- Pain in the back of leg behind the knee
- Pain in one side side
- Pain in the calf
- Pain in back of the knee
- Hip and groin pain
- Sharp pain in the toes
- Lower calf pain
Note your symptoms from the list above and use these to learn your diagnosis with our helpful descriptions of symptoms, possible causes, and when you should get to a doctor or emergency room to know how to treat your injury.
That Hip Pain Could Actually Be A Sciatica Problem
Your hips are incredibly active joints and no strangers to the occasional ache and pain, especially as you get older. But searing pain in one of your hips may have nothing to do with your hip at all, but a pinched nerve root in your lower back.
At Healthy Life Family Medicinein Goodyear, Arizona, Dr. John Monroe understands the many conditions that can lead to radiating pain. One of the biggest culprits in this regard is sciatica, which develops when certain nerve roots in your lower back are irritated or compressed, causing symptoms to travel down your sciatic nerve.
Heres a look at how sciatica pain develops and why your hip pain may be a result of a problem in your lower back.
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Iliac Crest Apophysis Avulsion
Avulsion fractures of the apophyses of the pelvis are rare injuries. This injury occurs mainly in young persons, between the ages of 8 and 14, before they’ve fully grown. That is because fusion of these bones does not occur until between the ages of 15 and 17 years. The cause is typically a contraction of muscles during extreme sports activity. Treatment includes rest and physical therapy as well as pain medications.