Hip pain after 40 can typically be attributed to one of five main causes. Each is directly tied to what happens to your body as you age, but your health, medications, activity levels, and lifestyle can all affect what type of chronic or acute hip pain you might end up experiencing.
At Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our team of experienced pain medicine doctors can help identify what might be causing your hip pain and make a plan to relieve your discomfort and get back to doing what you love most.
What to do when you have hip pain
Don’t ignore hip pain or try to tough it out, especially if it is severe enough to keep you from doing things you enjoy, or it’s keeping you awake at night. Pain is an important messenger carrying warnings to your brain. You need to know what is causing it before the message being sent down neural pathways beats down a track that you can’t seem to escape.
Most cases of hip pain after age 40 can be traced to one of the following:
This is likely the most common cause of hip pain. It gets worse once you reach 40 because wear-and-tear on the hip joint can cause cartilage to degrade. The ball and socket joint can start scraping together, causing bone spurs to form and making standing or walking an agony.
Fluid-filled sacs inside the joint help cushion the hip and keep it working smoothly. If these sacs get inflamed, the increased pressure inside the joint can cause extreme pain.
Your joints are lubricated naturally with synovial fluid, which is produced by your own body. If you don’t make enough synovial fluid, joints can start to “dry out” causing them to creak, grate, and grind as you sit, stand, or walk.
4. Labral tears
A ring of cartilage surrounds the hip joint, and even a partial thickness tear can cause massive pain and destabilize your hip. Sometimes these kinds of injuries can be treated nonsurgically, but if the tear is severe, you’ll almost certainly need surgery to repair the labrum.
5. Hip dislocation
If the ball-and-socket joint gets too much wear-and-tear, the socket can get somewhat hollowed out while the ball can wear down enough to slip out. Hip dislocations can worsen with repeated accidents, so see your doctor as soon as you can.
These are only a few of the common reasons for hip pain after 40. You can also injure the tendons or ligaments that attach to the hip joint. These can often be repaired with arthroscopic surgery.
Your doctor will take a full history, examine you, order any relevant tests, and treat your hip pain with confidence. Even bad hips shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life.
Ready to get a clear diagnosis and pain management for your hip pain? Call our office at
201-201-0443, complete our web-based contact form, or book an appointment via our online scheduling system today.