Being the largest ball and socket joint in the body, the hip joint is designed to sustain considerable stress, with the cartilage cushion preventing friction and enabling a high degree of fluidity in the joint. However, hip strains are still fairly common and are a leading cause of hip pain. Below are common symptoms of hip strains and how they can be treated and prevented.
- Hip pain accompanied by discomfort in the thigh, inside of the hip joint, outside of the hip joint, groin, and buttocks.
- The hip pain can become worse with activity
- Swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint
- Muscle weakness
- Some patients also experience a reduced range of motion in the hip joint following a hip strain
- If the condition is left untreated, it can result in the development of a limp over time
Treatment: If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, and believe that you might have suffered from a hip strain, it is important to immediately see an orthopedic doctor and get a proper diagnosis. The treatment for hip pain first focuses on restoring the range of motion in the hip joint and then building strength in the muscles. The first step in the treatment of hip strains is following the RICE protocol- Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. OTC drugs might be prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation. Heat therapy is initiated after a few days. Activity involving the hip joint should be avoided for around two weeks, during which rehabilitative exercises are performed to build strength and endurance. In case the hip strain is accompanied by severe injury and dislocation, the intervention of an orthopedic surgeon might be required.
Prevention: The easiest way to prevent hip strains is to warm up before stretching. Participating in a conditioning program can also be effective in building muscle fitness and flexibility. One must wear protective gear during sports that could cause injury to the hip joint.