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What is Hip Tendinitis?

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  • Written By: Emma Lloyd
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Hip tendinitis is a common cause of hip pain, particularly in active people. This condition is a type of hip inflammation which often occurs as a result of frequent sessions of repetitive movement. Often, these movements are carried out without allowing time for the muscles and tendons of the hip to repair. As a result, the hip tendons and muscles become inflamed and painful. People who engage in sports such as running and cycling are at risk of developing this condition if they overtrain.

The risk of hip problems tends to increase with age. This is partly because the hip tendons become less elastic over time, causing movements to become less smooth. As a result, repetitive movements put an even greater strain on the tendons, making hip tendinitis more likely. Someone who is over his or her healthy weight may also have an increased risk of developing tendinitis, as excess weight may put an additional strain on the tendons.

The hip muscles and tendons are some of the most powerful, and are crucial in providing support for carrying the weight of the body. Because of this, one of the main symptoms of hip tendinitis is pain and difficulty when moving. In addition it is common to feel pain in the hip area even when at rest. Hip pain is often felt in bed or while at rest, and many people have difficulty bending their hips. Swelling of the hips and thighs, fever, and redness are other common symptoms.

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Hip tendinitis is diagnosed through a process which may include movement tests as well as medical history and a physical examination. More rarely, diagnostic tests such as an MRI or x-ray might be used in the diagnostic process. These medical imaging tests are used to determine whether there are any other problems, such as a hip fracture or physical abnormality, which might be causing the hip pain.

Treatment for hip tendinitis varies depending on the severity of the condition and the physical health of the individual. The most common treatment, suitable for someone with mild tendinitis who is otherwise healthy, is the application of heat or ice to the affected area. These help reduce inflammation, and will also ease pain in conjunction with over-the-counter medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Initial treatment should also include plenty of rest for the affected hip; however patients can continue to exercise other parts of the body if they wish. Gentle stretching exercises to increase the length and strength of hip tendons and muscles will also help treat the condition. These exercises should not include long sessions of repetitive motion, as this type of movement will only exacerbate the injury.

Surgery is required only in severe cases of hip tendinitis which cause chronic pain or scarring of tendons. This surgery usually involves either partial removal of the affected tendon, or removal of scar tissue from the tendon. Recovery is often an extended process which requires many sessions of physical therapy to improve the range of motion and strength of the affected hip.

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