Hip joints are made up of a ball at the end of the thighbone (femur), which fits into a socket in the pelvis. Both the socket and the head of the femur are coated with cartilage, to ensure they move smoothly together. The whole joint is covered in a fibrous capsule, which supports and lubricates the joint.
The hip is subject to a range of conditions that can cause chronic (persistent, ongoing) pain and difficulties performing sports, gentle exercising or even walking.
Hip pain can often be treated successfully if properly diagnosed. Prompt diagnosis can reduce the impact of the problem and to prevent long-term instability in the joint.
Sports associated with hip injuries:
- Contact sports such as football and hockey, particularly ice hockey
- Sports that involve jumping
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Is it a good idea to exercise if I have hip pain?
If you are participate in regular sports activities and notice something isn’t quite right, the best thing to do is stop and seek guidance from a specialist.
Following diagnosis, gentle exercise is generally good as it builds muscle and strengthens your joints. However, too much exercise or exercising too hard can exacerbate the pain. It is essential to warm up thoroughly before exercising and stretch afterwards. Try low impact exercises like swimming or cycling rather than high impact activities like running.
When does pain in the hip need urgent medical attention?
You should seek urgent medical help if:
- you have had a fall or accident
- your leg is deformed, badly bruised or bleeding
- you’re unable to move your hip or put weight on your leg
- you have a temperature and feel unwell
Can taking supplements help with osteoarthritis of the hip?
There is some evidence to suggest that glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate may help to ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis to some degree and they do not cause side-effects.
Vitamin D and calcium may be recommended supplements for general bone health.
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