The process of aging brings about aches and pains people may not expect. Whether caused by wear and tear on the joints or conditions related to aging, hip and leg pain are common occurrences for those experiencing the pains of getting older.
Many factors increase the chances of leg and hip pain as a person gets older.
- Joint and bone conditions. In addition to those who are overweight, the elderly are at a higher risk of developing debilitating conditions such as arthritis and osteoarthritis, which cause inflammation of the joints and weakening of tissue. Osteoarthritis is one of the main causes of a hip injury. Another common condition that emerges with age and causes intense pain in a number of areas including knees and hips, is bursitis. This condition is a direct result of the fluid sacs in the joints becoming inflamed.
- Degeneration of tissue. With aging comes a decrease in joint cartilage, which can also result in leg and hip pain.
- Decreased bone density. As men and women age, they tend to lose bone and muscle density due to hormonal changes of menopause or conditions such as osteoporosis. These changes in bone density can result in increased hip and leg pain, ultimately changing posture and causing other complications.
- Spinal herniation. As aging occurs and spinal discs begin to degenerate, they can often herniate. This may cause pain in the lower back, but it may also affect the sciatic nerve, resulting in pain that radiates into the hip and leg area.
- Injury from falls or accidents. Weakened bones and joints and changes in the spine can affect the way an older person walks or stands. Hip and leg injuries are not uncommon as a person ages, and those injuries can cause chronic pain.
Pain relief from leg and hip pain can be achieved with the right course of treatment. Following a comprehensive clinical assessment that includes imaging and a physical examination, a treatment plan can be determined according to type, severity and cause of the pain. In most cases, pain relief can be achieved with non-surgical treatment methods, including medication, physical therapy and rest.
As aging occurs, it is important to take a special interest in one’s spinal health. This means being mindful of lifting techniques and listening to the body when there is pain or discomfort. Try these leg and hip stretches at home to help alleviate back pain, and to learn more about pain conditions and treatments, visit the MISI pain relief website.