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Understanding Hip Pain and Knee Pain

Understanding Hip Pain and Knee Pain | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

I went through the physical therapy, and then I used chiropractic care, as well as crossfit, to kinda get me to that 100% mark. And I haven't had a problem since, I continue to do crossfit and I use chiropractic care to make sure my body is aligned. It gives me that extra sense of feeling that I'm not gonna injure myself again, that my body is feeling good and 100%. I never have that feeling in the back of my mind, that, you know, I'm gonna injure myself. Sometimes I forget I even had a surgery and I think I can attribute that to a combination of chiropractic care and to the overall training aspect of crossfit. - Andrew Hutchison

There are a variety of causes for both hip pain and knee pain. While the hip joint can withstand a tremendous amount of wear-and-tear, it's not indestructible. With age and usage, the hip cartilage can begin to degenerate, resulting in hip pain. Tendons and ligaments at the hip may also get excessive overused and can start to demonstrate signs of wear-and-tear over time. The anatomy of the knee, however, is more complex. The knee is collectively made up of bones, pads of cartilage and a joint capsule. Trauma or damage from an injury or degeneration associated with aging may cause knee pain.

Causes of Hip Pain

Hip pain is the general term used to define pain felt in or around the hip joint. Certain injuries and/or conditions may commonly cause hip pain. Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, are the primary culprits of hip pain in older individuals. Both may result in the breakdown of cartilage in the hip joint and can cause inflammation in the area. Combined with pain and discomfort, there's generally also reduced range of motion in the hip as well as stiffness. Bursitis may also result in hip pain. The bursae are sacs of fluid which function by helping to reduce friction between the joints. If these become inflamed, however, they can lead to pain. Typically, it's only repetitive movements that irritate the hip joint and result in pain.

Similar to bursitis, tendinitis can also lead to inflammation and is usually caused by repetitive stress from movements. Muscle or tendon strain can be a result of overuse. Repeated physical activities can additionally place unnecessary amounts of pressure on the ligaments, tendons and joints of the hip, especially in those which support the buttocks. If some of these are inflamed, the hip won't be able to function normally and there will be painful symptoms as a result. Below, we will describe the various causes of hip pain as well as discuss their effects on the structure of the hip in detail. Hip pain isn't always felt in the hip itself as it may also be felt in the groin or thigh.


The most frequent cause of severe hip pain is inflamed tendons, or tendonitis. This can generally be due to excessive exercise or physical activities. This health issue can be quite debilitating but it usually heals within a couple of days with proper care.


As mentioned above, one of the most common causes of chronic hip pain is arthritis. Arthritis can cause painful, stiff and tender joints, and it can cause walking problems. Various types of arthritis can cause hip pain, including:

  • Osteoarthritis might be the final result of age-related degeneration in the cartilage that surrounds the joints.
  • Trauma, damage or injury to a joint, like a fracture, may cause traumatic arthritis similar to atherosclerosis.
  • Infectious arthritis is a result of an infection in the joint caused by the degeneration of cartilage.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a result of the human body's immune system attacking its own joints. This type of arthritis can ultimately destroy joint bones and cartilage.

Osteoarthritis is a a lot more commonly diagnosed than rheumatoid arthritis.It's fundamental to understand the different types of arthritis as these can be powerful diagnostic tools to help effectively treat hip pain.

Trochanteric Bursitis

Another possible cause of hip pain involves a health issue medically referred to as trochanteric bursitis, as previously mentioned. This condition occurs when the bursa, which are liquid-filled sacs near the hip joint, become inflamed. Any number of variables can lead to trochanteric bursitis, such as hip injury, overuse of the joints, underlying health issues, or even the presence of other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. This condition is reportedly much more common in females than in males.

Hip Fractures

Hip fractures are common causes of hip pain which most frequently occur in older adults and in people who have osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bones associated with age and various other factors. Hip fractures cause very sudden and extreme hip pain, where they will require immediate medical attention. There are complications that can happen due a fractured hip, like a blood clot in the leg. A hip fracture usually requires surgical interventions to be corrected. Additionally, you may be required to seek further care from a qualified healthcare professional in order to engage in a rehabilitation program.

Less Common Causes of Hip Pain

There are additional, less common conditions that can result in hip pain. These include snapping hip syndrome and osteonecrosis, or avascular necrosis. Below, we will discuss these two health issues in detail.

Snapping Hip Syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome, which most commonly occurs in athletes, especially dancers, is characterized by a snapping noise or feeling from the hip. By way of instance, this snapping may happen when you're walking or getting up from a chair. The problem is usually painless, but it can cause pain in several cases. Snapping hip with pain is generally an indication of a tear in the hip cartilage or other structure surrounding the hip joint.


Osteonecrosis, also known as avascular necrosis, occurs when blood isn't able to reach the bones, either permanently or temporarily. This can cause the reduction of bone. The cartilage of individuals with this condition is normal initially, however, it will eventually collapse as the disease evolves. Finally, bones may crack or crumble. It's not always clear what triggers osteonecrosis. Joint harm, heavy usage of steroid drugs or alcohol, and cancer treatments could put you at greater risk of developing this condition, however, the cause is never determined in many osteonecrosis cases.

Causes of Knee Pain

Similar to hip pain, arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, may commonly cause knee pain. With the breakdown of cartilage associated with osteoarthritis in the knee, the bones can begin to rub against one another, causing pain and discomfort which could eventually lead to other painful symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the joints and it can affect the soft tissue which lines the knee joints. The final result is inflammation, joint damage and joint pain at the knee. The knee joint is very prone to accidents. Typical knee injuries include: meniscal injuries, anterior cruciate ligament injuries and tendon injuries.

The meniscus might be damaged when the knee is bent and twisted in an unnatural way, where ligaments and tendons could also be overstretched and ultimately torn as a result. If it is not repaired, the probability of developing osteoarthritis increases. Any abrupt change in movement can additionally injure the anterior cruciate ligament. Nearly all causes of knee injury and knee pain are the result of a blow to the surface of the knee. Exercises or physical activities which could harm the complex structures of the knee include jogging and jumping. A dislocated kneecap is still another frequent source of knee pain. This occurs when the patella is moved from place and it can be very debilitating.

Temporary knee pain differs from chronic knee pain. Persistent knee pain is not always attributable to one incident. It the result of many causes or conditions.Persistent knee pain is characterized as long-term pain, swelling, or sensitivity in a single or both knees. The reason behind your knee pain can determine the symptoms you develop. Many conditions may cause or lead to chronic knee pain, and lots of treatments exist. Every person's experience with chronic knee pain will most likely be different. Understanding the causes of knee pain can be a powerful diagnostic tool which can help healthcare professionals properly determine the proper treatment option for your specific health issue. Common causes of knee pain include:

  • osteoarthritis: pain, inflammation and joint destruction brought on by degeneration of a joint.
  • tendinitis: pain in the knee which worsens when climbing, taking stairs, or walking up an incline.
  • bursitis: inflammation caused by repeated overuse or trauma of the knee.
  • chondromalacia patella: damaged cartilage under the kneecap.
  • gout: arthritis brought on by the buildup of uric acid.
  • Baker's cyst: a buildup of synovial fluid, fluid which lubricates the joint, supporting the knee.
  • rheumatoid arthritis, or RA: a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes painful swelling, joint deformity and bone erosion.
  • dislocation: dislocation of the kneecap most commonly caused by trauma, damage or injury.
  • meniscus tear: a rupture in one or more of the soft tissues in the knee.
  • torn ligament: tear at one of the four ligaments in the knee, the most commonly injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament, or the ACL.
  • bone tumors: osteosarcoma, is the second most common bone cancer, which most commonly occurs in the knee.


Dr. Alex Jimenez's Insight

While the hip and knee joints are capable of sustaining various degrees of stress when performing physical activities, trauma, damage or injury as well as the degeneration of these complex structures, can ultimately lead to knee and hip pain. The balance of the human body as a whole is fundamental towards overall health and wellness. Therefore, if an individual experiences hip or knee pain, the entire structure and function of their body can be tremendously affected. It's important for a person with knee or hip pain to seek immediate medical attention from a qualified and experienced healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist, in order to restore the balance of their entire body.

Treatment for Knee and Hip Pain

The treatment of hip pain is based upon the cause. For many instances of trauma, damage or injury, rest is generally enough to enable the hip to heal. By way of instance, exercise-associated hip pain is normally eliminated within a couple of days. When you have arthritis, a healthcare professional may sometimes prescribe drugs and/or medications to help relieve stiffness and pain. Furthermore, your physician will refer you to a doctor who can provide additional information regarding the cause of your hip pain along with recommending an alternative treatment option, such as chiropractic care and physical therapeutics, that will explain to you how you can perform rehabilitation exercises to help maintain joint strength, mobility and flexibility.

For injuries, therapy typically involves bed rest and the use of drugs and/or medications, such as naproxen, to alleviate pain, swelling and stiffness. Hip fractures, malformation of the hip and some injuries may require surgical intervention to repair or replace the hip. In hip replacement surgery, a surgeon will replace a broken hip joint with an artificial one. Although hip replacement surgery will need rehabilitation to become accustomed to the new joint, this type of treatment option is often considered.

Alternative Treatment Options

Some holistic remedies can offer relief from hip pain. Make certain you discuss treatment options with your doctor before considering any treatment option. Potential alternative treatment options include visiting a chiropractor for a spinal adjustment or manual manipulation. Chiropractic care is a well-known treatment approach which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of injuries and/or conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Chiropractic care can help carefully re-align the spine as well as help reduce pain and discomfort, improve swelling and inflammation and even increase strength, flexibility and mobility on other structures of the human body. Physical therapeutics can also help treat both hip and knee pain.

There are many benefits of physical therapeutics, including increased range of motion, reduction of pain, less inflammation and swelling, as well as an overall improvement of quality of life. The first steps a chiropractor or physical therapist will perform if you have hip pain will consist of tests, such as a gait evaluation, range of motion measurement and intensity measurements. Afterwards, the healthcare professional will create a personalized treatment program. Treatment techniques may also include ultrasound and ice. There will also be specific exercises and stretches to help boost hip strength, mobility and flexibility to decrease pain. For knee pain, tests are also done along with active and passive treatments. Chiropractic care and physical therapeutics can help promote healing without the need for drugs and/or medications, and surgical interventions.

Bursitis, a frequent cause of knee pain, can be treated in the following ways:

  • Ice the knee for 15 minutes once an hour for three of four hours. Do not apply the ice directly to the knee, instead, cover your knee with a cotton towel. Put ice in a plastic zip-close bag, then place the bag on the towel.
  • Wear cushioned, flat shoes that support your toes and do not worsen your pain.
  • Avoid sleeping on your side. Use cushions positioned on both sides of your body to keep you from rolling on your side. When lying on the side, keep a pillow between your knees.
  • Stay seated when possible. Should you need to stand, prevent hard surfaces and maintain your weight evenly distributed on both legs.
  • Participate or engage in weight loss programs and strategies to lose weight if you are overweight or obese, to reduce the amount of stress that is placed on the knees.

If you are experiencing hip pain, knee pain or some other type of joint pain, make sure to contact a qualified healthcare professional, in order to receive a proper diagnosis to begin the best treatment approach for your specific health issue. Trained and skilled doctors will take you on the path to better healing. Make sure you prepare a one-on-one consultation to acquire a comprehensive examination and say good-bye to your pain. Healthcare professionals are devoted to providing you with a healthy and wholesome lifestyle. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez


Additional Topics: Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes for disability and missed days at work worldwide. As a matter of fact, back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*