Treatment of Hip Pain
The hip joint is the largest ball and socket joint in the body. It is made for movement and is designed to withstand repeated motion. The hip joint attaches the leg to the torso of the body and allows the femur to swivel in the acetabulum. Fluid inside the joint as well as a lining of articular cartilage on both structures allows for the glide and movement of the femoral head in the socket of the acetabulum. A tough cartilage called the labrum also lines the socket area of the acetabulum. The joint capsule helps to maintain stability of the hip joint. There are large fluid filled bursas that surround parts of the hip and allow the muscles and tendons to glide more easily over the bony areas of the hip joint. Just as with any other joint, all of these structures can wear away and become a source of hip pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of hip pain, especially in adults over fifty years of age. Hip pain can also occur after trauma such as a fall, a direct blow, or twisting or stretching of the hip. Overuse injuries can cause weakness in the tendons and ligaments. Overuse injuries occur over time from things such as daily activities that cause excessive stress on the hip joint. Gradually these activities wear away at the cartilage leading to an arthritic condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis are other causes of hip pain. Injuries to the hip joint can cause bursitis, dislocations, fractures, labral tears, tendonitis, sprains and strains.
Traditional medicine approach to hip pain
The response of modern medicine to hip pain is typically to rest the injured hip and to take anti-inflammatory medications. NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), rest, and/or a cortisone injection into the joint may reduce pain temporarily, but research shows that they may be harmful in the long term. Ligaments need motion rather than rest in order to heal properly.
Physical therapy is often used in conjunction with pain management to help patients increase strength and range of motion while decreasing their pain.
Patients who experience chronic hip pain may be referred to a surgeon. Unfortunately, hip surgery and joint replacement may at times make the problem worse. The decision to remove cartilage tissue or bone will most commonly result in arthritis. Hundreds of thousands of hip replacement surgeries are performed annually. Some of those with unsuccessful results.
Prolotherapy: A successful alternative to hip replacement surgery
Prolotherapy offers hope to these patients, as well as to those seeking an alternative to hip surgery or hip replacement. We have successfully treated patients who were told surgery was their only option.
There are times when individuals do require hip surgery because the degeneration has progressed too far and to the point where repair is not achievable with Prolotherapy. This however is not the norm. Many people with hip pain have achieved wonderful results with Prolotherapy, resolving their hip pain and regaining their mobility.
The experienced Prolotherapist will take a good history, perform a thorough examination, and ask particular questions regarding the location of the hip pain and the mobility of the hip joint. This information can provide the Prolotherapist with valuable information about the source and nature of the hip pain. For instance, is the pain inside the hip, or in the groin? Is the pain outside of the hip, at the upper thigh, or is it located at the buttock? How does the person with hip pain walk? And what is the mobility of the hip joint in question? An experienced Prolotherapist will be able to tell you the type and frequency of treatments that are recommended to resolve your hip pain.
When the hip joint is in motion, the ligaments and structures of the hip are subjected to tremendous forces, even with normal every day activities. Prolotherapy heals these structures that are damaged due to overuse, trauma, or wear and tear. Comprehensive Prolotherapy to the hip involves multiple injections of dextrose-based solution to the affected ligament and tendon attachments around the hip, as well as solution injected inside the hip joint. Prolotherapy stimulates a natural, local inflammatory response at the weakened structures, triggering the immune system to initiate repair at those sites. This mild inflammatory reaction dramatically increases blood flow to the injured hip joint, signaling the body to send reparative cells. This results in new collagen being laid down at the treated areas which then strengthens the ligaments and tightens and stabilizes the hip.
In certain cases a more aggressive approach is necessary to stimulate healing, such as with a severe hip injury or in chronic hip degeneration. These cases may require Cellular Prolotherapy, such as Platelet Rich Plasma, Bone Marrow Prolotherapy, or Lipoaspirate Prolotherapy, in addition to the normal dextrose Prolotherapy solution. Our Prolotherapists are skilled at recommending the best hip pain treatment for your particular case and will discuss all of your options with you.
Prolotherapy offers excellent results for individuals suffering from various causes of hip pain. Comprehensive Prolotherapy strengthens the tissues, stabilizes the hip joint, and permanently resolves the hip pain.
We are continuously writing and publishing Prolotherapy research and studies, including on hip pain and degeneration. You can check out those articles at Prolotherapy.org.