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Treatments for Hip Pain

As we age, hip pain becomes a common issue for many of us – and there are a wide range of causes for it. The most common cause of hip pain is arthritis, which causes the joints to become inflamed and ache.

Osteoarthritis, also often called simply “arthritis,” is considered an overuse type of arthritic injury. It can occur in athletes in joints that are overused, and it can occur in people as we get older and have been using our hips and other joints for many years. Arthritis inflammation leads to swelling, and the swelling leads to stiffness and pain. 

If you are experiencing chronic pain in one or both hips, the method of treatment for your hip pain will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Let’s talk about what can be done to treat and minimize your hip pain, and who can best help you.

What Can I Do for My Hip Pain?

There are several things you can do and lifestyle changes you can make in order to help lessen your hip pain, including the following:

  • If you are overweight, lose weight. That would place less pressure on the hips, knees, and feet.
  • Avoid jogging or running downhill. If you are an avid jogger and come to a downhill section, the gravity of each stride plus your body weight places additional stressors on the hip joint – so it’s better to walk down the hills.
  • Avoid standing for a long time.
  • See an orthopedist for some methods to strengthen the surrounding muscles without placing pressure on the hip. The hip joint is a very deep joint and is surrounded by muscle, so strengthening those muscles will help take some pressure off the hip and bring relief.

Minimizing Impact on Your Hips

If you engage in high-impact activities, always warm up before a workout. That includes a full 15 minutes of stretching.

It is a good idea to swap jogging or tennis for more low-impact or no-impact activities, such as cycling or swimming. Activities with less impact will cause less damage to your hip.

Ensure that your shoes fit properly, and that you are wearing the correct gear. Your socks, shoes, and clothing should all fit you well and not tug while you move. Shoes and socks that are too tight can hinder proper circulation, so make sure they’re supportive and snug without making your toes immovable in them. Shoes should have enough cushioning to absorb the shock away from your hips while you walk. 

Medical Treatment for Hip Pain

Your orthopedist will diagnose the source of your hip pain and will provide the best plan to move ahead with your treatment. Ultrasound-guided injections can bring about several months with minimized pain. Physical therapy is also very helpful for many patients.

If physical therapy, pain-relief injections, and other noninvasive or minimally invasive methods do not work to lessen your hip pain, your orthopedist may discuss hip surgery with you. Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery is now available as an outpatient treatment, and this may work for you.

The medical field has made incredible strides in pain-relief treatments, and your orthopedic physician will explain your options.

Hip Doctors in Colorado Springs 

If you are in or near Colorado Springs, and you or a loved one suffers from hip pain, get it checked out by experienced orthopedic surgeons. Our team takes care of high-profile Olympians, professional and amateur athletes, as well as weekend warriors and active retirees. We will first try the most minimally invasive methods possible to help relieve your hip pain, and that may be all you need to get back to your active lifestyle.

Contact our team today at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence by calling us at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online, and see some of the best orthopedic doctors in Colorado!

Different Types of Hip Injuries

The hips are one of the strongest parts of the human body and serve a crucial role in keeping us on our feet. Unfortunately, there are a variety of hip injuries that not only cause a lot of pain but can also bring a person’s life to a halt. Let’s take a look at some of the most common hip injuries and ways orthopedic physicians treat them. 

Hip Labral Tear

A labral tear is a type of hip injury in which the cartilage structure covering the ball and socket joint in the hip is torn or detached from the socket. Cartilage provides stability to the joint, absorbing and distributing shock and pressure when the pelvis moves. A hip labral tear is typically corrected through surgery or physical therapy, depending on the severity of the tear.

Hip Fracture

Hip fractures happen when a bone in the hip breaks. Repetitive motion and traumatic injuries due to sudden impact are common reasons for a hip fracture. As we age, our hips are more prone to fractures, so elderly individuals have to be careful in avoiding falls and accidents. A hip fracture typically require surgery to fix.

Snapping Hip Syndrome (Dancer’s Hip)

A hip condition that is caused by repetitive movements is the snapping hip syndrome (also called Dancer’s hip). This condition causes discomfort and pain when getting up to stand from a sitting position and when walking or running. It causes a snapping or popping sound when the pelvic region is flexed or stretched. Dancer’s hip often occurs to ballet dancers, gymnasts, and equestrians. Snapping hip syndrome is treated in a variety of ways including rest, physical therapy, and steroid injections.

Bursitis

Bursitis is considered one of the most common hip injuries. Bursitis happens in the hip when the bursae, a liquid filled sac that serves as a cushion to the bones, tendons, and muscles near the pelvic joint, is inflamed. This condition often occurs in women and middle-aged people. Common symptoms include pain during squatting, climbing steps, and walking, and swelling and warmth in the outer thigh. Bursitis is treated through medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. The specific treatment a patient needs depends on the severity of the condition.

Hip Dislocation

A hip dislocation is a misalignment of the thighbone out of the ball and socket joint. This happens when a strong force is applied to the hips or due to a congenital deformation, such as hip dysplasia. The most common symptoms associated with a hip dislocation are pain and inability to bear weight on the hip. A hip dislocation is typically treated through a process called reduction (manipulation of the leg to move the hip bones back into place) or surgery. 

These are just a few hip injuries the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence treats every day. If you experience hip pain and or have a hip injury, get an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians for a correct diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. Call us today at (719) 623-1050 or set an appointment online.

Foot Care for Arthritis Tips

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. When our joints become inflamed, it can cause pain, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness.

Arthritis in the feet and ankles can be especially painful and bothersome, affecting how we walk and function on a daily basis. While there are many different types of arthritis, there are three types that most often cause foot and ankle pain.

These types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (known as just “arthritis,” or wear-and-tear/aging arthritis), rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease), and post-traumatic arthritis (caused by an injury or fracture).

How Arthritis Affects the Feet and Ankles

Our feet each have more than 30 joints – many of them are tiny. The joints in our feet that are most commonly affected by arthritis are:

  • The joint where the ankle and shin bone meet
  • The joint where the big toe meets the foot bone
  • The joints connecting to the heel bone, inner mid-foot bone, and outer mid-foot bone

Symptoms of foot and ankle arthritis can include trouble walking or weight-bearing.

Ways to Care for Your Feet

If you’ve been diagnosed with foot and ankle arthritis, there are several treatment options available. Let’s talk about these different options and what they entail.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Foot Arthritis

Your doctor may try several things before deciding on surgery. Nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • Steroids injected into the joint
  • Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers
  • Physical therapy
  • Weight control
  • Joint-supporting canes
  • Foot/ankle braces
  • Arch supports
  • Orthotics

Your physician may even recommend a combination of those treatments to see what works best for you.

Custom Shoes

Perhaps the most important way to care for your feet and ankles if you have arthritis is to wear shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and properly sized for your feet. When searching, you should ensure that the shoes you buy:

  • Have good heel counter and arch support
  • Have extra cushioning in the mid-soles and outer-soles
  • Have nonslip outsoles
  • Are flexible
  • Can be worn with padded socks (without feeling too tight)
  • Have rubber soles
  • Are shaped like your feet
  • Are not slip-ons or high heels 

Exercise

If you’re suffering from foot and ankle osteoarthritis, the last thing you may want to hear is that you should exercise. However, believe it or not, exercise can help relieve pain in your feet.

Exercise can also help keep your feet and ankles strong and flexible. Your orthopedist or physical therapist can show you exercises that can help with your foot and ankle arthritis, such as big-toe stretches, toe pulls, toe curls, and Achilles stretches.

Self-Care

When it comes to your body, no one knows it better than you do. As such, there are self-care steps you can do to help keep your feet healthy in order to control your foot and ankle arthritis, including:

  • Daily foot inspections
  • Daily foot washes with lukewarm water (be sure to completely dry off your feet afterward)
  • Avoiding exposure by always wearing shoes
  • Not cutting your own toenails
  • Not cutting or filing corns, calluses, or other foot protrusions
  • Not using harsh chemicals on your feet (such as wart removers)
  • Staying active to maintain good circulation

Surgery

If other treatment methods have not proven effective to treat your foot and ankle arthritis, your orthopedist may recommend surgery.

This can include fusion surgery, which involves fusing bones together using screws, pins, rods, and/or plates. Another type of surgery is joint replacement surgery, which involves replacing all or part of the arthritic joint with an artificial implant (prosthesis).

Orthopedists in Colorado Springs

Is your foot arthritis getting you down? The board-certified doctors at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are here to help you care for your arthritis and any orthopedic issues you may have. We pride ourselves in providing the best care possible and delivering that care with compassion and respect.

Call us today at (719) 623-1050 to request a consultation, or use our online appointment request form right now. We look forward to helping you live a more active lifestyle with less pain, so you can get back to the life you love.

Non-Surgical Options Before Considering Joint Replacement

Joint replacement, or arthroplasty, has helped millions of people by restoring pain-free movement and range of motion to severely damaged and painful joints. Most of the time, people undergoing joint replacement surgery have osteoarthritis, caused by general wear and tear from years of use. In some cases, a joint replacement may be necessary due to the effects of an injury or degenerative condition. Joint replacement is major surgery that carries the risk of complications and requires significant time for recovery.

Effective alternative treatments may postpone or eliminate the need for surgery. Osteoarthritis pain is not always constant and can gradually worsen over time. If you are younger or have a condition that could complicate surgery, your best course may be to delay surgery as long as possible. Prosthetic joints may not last a lifetime. You could require revision or replacement of the implant. Before you have a joint replaced, these are some non-surgical treatment options to consider. 

·       Physical therapy – strengthening the muscles around your joint and gently increasing flexibility are among the many benefits of physical therapy. A physical therapist can also help you get used to moving in ways that do not stress your arthritic joints, while allowing you to maintain the activities you participate in for work or play.

·       Weight loss – most joint replacement surgery is for hips or knees. These joints have the job of holding you upright when you stand, walk, or run. Even a little extra weight can put a great deal more pressure on these joints. Losing weight is a great long-term solution for reducing joint pain and slowing or preventing further damage.

·       NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – available over the counter, NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen are reliably effective in reducing the swelling and pain of arthritis. These medications are considered to be safe, though there are some possible complications from higher doses or long-term use. Check with your doctor before taking them regularly. Some NSAIDs may interact with other medications.

·       Steroids – though not a cure, corticosteroids are extremely effective in treating pain and inflammation in a damaged joint. Because of serious potential side effects and decreasing effectiveness after the first treatment, corticosteroids are only considered a temporary solution. However, the relief they provide can last months or even years.

·       Braces or splints – depending on which joint is damaged, the use of an appropriate assistive device can allow you to carry on with your regular activities with little pain. Holding the joint immobile in combination with other treatments can give it a chance to heal.

·       Supplements – medical evidence is lacking for definitive benefits of supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, but there are numerous anecdotal success stories. Doctors generally agree that there is no harm in trying this kind of supplement but be sure to let your doctor know if you are taking them.

·        Stretch – before playing sports or participating in another physical activity, take care to stretch and warm up. Preventing an acute injury to the joints can go a long way towards preventing arthritis in your future. 

The orthopedic surgeons at Colorado Center for Orthopaedic Excellence diagnose and treat all kinds of joint conditions, and will look to non-invasive methods first before resorting to surgery – even in the case for a partial or full joint replacement. For expert and compassionate care in the Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.

Does Repetitive Motion Cause Arthritis?

Arthritis is a very common joint disease that causes pain, inflammation, swelling, and weakness in the joints. Doctors are often asked if repetitive motion causes arthritis

Repetitive motion does not cause every type of arthritis; arthritis actually encompasses more than 100 joint diseases. The most common type of arthritis that can be caused by repetitive motion is osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms    

Osteoarthritis (also simply called “arthritis”) is a degenerative joint disease that breaks down the cartilage in joints. Cartilage is a rubbery material that covers the ends of the bones that meet at joints. Cartilage serves as a buffer between the bones and helps them glide against each other, without touching and damaging the ends of the bones.

The cartilage breakdown that is characteristic of arthritis causes pain, swelling, and weakness at the joints. These uncomfortable symptoms are specifically caused by bones that rub against each other without the buffer of cartilage protecting them. 

Repetitive Motion

Repetitive motion is when a person does the same activity or movement repeatedly. Let’s say your hobby is knitting. If you knit for hours every day of the week, you are doing repetitive motion with your hands. This can lead to overuse of your hands (which includes the hand’s joints) and to conditions like osteoarthritis.   

Many jobs require repetitive motion, including those in construction, offices, and manufacturing. Consequently, many workers develop injuries or conditions like arthritis. 

Dealing With Repetitive Motion

Repetitive motion can seem difficult to avoid, especially if you have a job or other commitment that requires it. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of injury or development of arthritis from repetitive motion. 

Take Breaks

If you have to do repetitive motion for several hours and cannot avoid it, you can add breaks to your routine. This can help change up the motions your body goes through, allowing your joints to get some rest. Diligently adding breaks to your routine can significantly help reduce the risk of injury caused by repetitive motion.

Use Ergonomic Equipment

Ergonomic furniture and accessories are designed to reduce pressure and strain on the body by optimizing comfort. Using ergonomic furniture like chairs, desks, or standing mats can help reduce strain on your joints. This prevents you from repeatedly doing motions that decrease your body’s comfort level.  

Exercise

If you cannot avoid repetitive motion, you can certainly add exercise to your routine. Exercise helps increase blood flow, strength, and flexibility in your body. Plus, it significantly reduces your risk of injury and conditions like osteoarthritis.

Orthopedists in Colorado

The board-certified physicians at Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence provide total orthopedic care for arthritis patients. Our doctors treat the many forms of arthritis, plus other orthopedic conditions and injuries. 

If you have arthritis or any other musculoskeletal condition, call (719) 623-1050 today to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to caring for all of your orthopedic needs with our comprehensive team approach.