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What are the Different Causes of Hip and Pelvic Pain?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Many medical conditions and activities can cause hip and pelvic pain, and it's often the result of sports injuries. Stress fractures often cause generalized pain around the affected bones and are common causes of pain in this area. Another sports injury that frequently causes this type of pain is a pulled muscle, which occurs when muscles tear after being overstretched. In addition, some women suffer pelvic pain caused by endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial cells grow outside the uterine cavity.

One common cause of hip and pelvic pain is a stress fracture, which is caused by damaging stress received when participating in activities like sports, as opposed to bone fractures, which are caused by direct injuries. Pain caused by stress fractures can often be tricky to diagnose or rule out. This type of fracture often causes generalized pain, and it might only affect the injured person while he or she is practicing certain activities. When a person runs, for example, both the muscles and bones of the leg absorb impact from the activity, and as the muscles become fatigued, an unusual amount of stress is placed on the bones of the legs.

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Another common cause of pain in the hips and pelvis are pulled muscles, more technically known as muscle strains. In addition to pain, muscle strains often cause symptoms like bruising and stiffness in the affected and surrounding areas. Muscle strains happen when muscle fibers are torn due to being overstretched, which can be caused by a variety of both deliberate and non-deliberate physical actions. The RICE treatment — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — is the standard way of dealing with pulled muscles. More advanced medical diagnosis and care may be needed in some cases.

Endometriosis is a condition that affects only women and usually has generalized hip and pelvic pain as the primary symptom. This condition usually affects women of only child-bearing age and occurs when cells that are supposed to develop only in the uterine cavity grow in other locations. Though pain in the pelvis and surrounding area is the most common symptom, a woman may also have pain when urinating, pain during sexual intercourse, and various gastrointestinal problems.

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