Let's Talk About Pain Blog

Pain in Your Hip May Not Be What You Think

You've been experiencing pain in your hip. Because you are (ahem) of a certain age, you have assumed that it must be arthritis. Not so fast.

Hip pain may be caused by many things. While it is true that arthritis can be a common cause of hip pain. Many also experience hip pain as a result of bursitis. They have similar symptoms but different sourches.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage between joints wears down through ordinary use. As the joints deteriorate, bony growths may form. This can aggravate the problem. 

Bursitis occurs when the hip joint bursa, a thin sac on the outside of the joint, becomes inflamed. The inflammation may occur as a result of a hip injury or alternatively by trauma to a nerve, such as a pinched nerve in your back. 

While treatments for the two types of pain can be similar, there are also some differences. Osteoarthritis is commonly treated with anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS. Sometimes steroid injections or other types of new injections, such as PRP, can help. 

Bursitis also responds to these treatments but there are also additional treatments that may be warranted. Modifying strenuous activity and rest and is essential for those with bursitis. Sometimes a physician will recommend aspirating fluid from the bursa. Occasionally the bursa will become septic and the patient will need antibiotic.

Most important, do not self-diagnose your pain. Depending on the source of your pain, you may have options you have not considered. Talk to your doctor about your pain. Don't assume that there is an immediate link between your pain and your age. 

Over the Counter Medications like Aspirin and Acetaminophen Are Drugs!

Each year Americans die from overdosing on over the counter medications, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen sodium. Many assume that because they can buy a medication without a prescription that it is somehow safer.

Like medications you get with a prescription, these medications have serious side effects and can cause death. Some of the side effects of ibuprofen and naproxen sodium (also called NSAIDS) include bleeding in your stomach and intestines and damage to your esophagus, Acetaminophen can cause liver damage and failure. Taking these medications with more than three drinks a day or with certain other medications increases the risk of side effects and overdose.

Pay attention to the warning labels and inserts on these medications. Talk to your doctor about your prescriptions and educate yourself about potential interactions between your medications and NSAIDS. Treat all medications with respect. Often their capacity to help is matched by their potential to hurt. 

Ginger for Pain

Research shows that ginger might be better than ibuprofen for pain. The theory is that ginger relieves inflammation in the body. Inflammation is what causes pain. Arthritis pain, which is medically inflammation of the joints, is particularly responsive to ginger. In many studies of osteoarthritis knee pain scientists have found that ginger effectively relieves that pain. 

Ginger root, the edible part of the ginger plant, has been used for years for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to alleviate stomach upsets. Scientists have discovered that ginger's anti-inflammatory benefits come from gingerols. Pro-inflammatory enzymes, CO-X2 play a role in causing pain. Studies suggest that gingerols inhibit these enzymes. 

Has ginger helped you? Let us know. 

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