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Why Your Hips Hurt More the Older You Get

Why Your Hips Hurt More the Older You Get

It's not uncommon to experience various aches and pains throughout your body as you get older. One area that often starts to bother people more as they age is the hips. Whether you have hip arthritis, a dull ache, a sharp pain, or stiffness, hip discomfort can significantly impact your quality of life.

Our medical experts here at Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute in Plainsboro Township and Manalapan, New Jersey, led by board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist Ronak D. Patel, MD, understand the issue of hip pain becoming more prominent with age. Let’s look at the facts.

Why your hip might be hurting as you age

Here are some of the key reasons behind this common issue:

Wear and tear

One of the primary reasons your hips may hurt more as you age is the natural wear and tear that occurs in your joints. Over the years, the cartilage that cushions your hip joints can deteriorate, leading to pain and discomfort. This condition, known as osteoarthritis, is more prevalent in older adults and can make simple tasks like walking or climbing stairs a painful experience.

Muscle weakness

As you age, your muscles tend to weaken and lose some of their elasticity. Your hip muscles support your hip joint and help maintain proper alignment. When these muscles weaken, it can put additional stress on your hip joint, leading to pain and instability.

Reduced flexibility

Flexibility is essential for maintaining joint health. Unfortunately, as you age, your muscles and ligaments can become less flexible. Reduced flexibility in your hips can lead to issues like hip impingement, where your hip joint doesn't move smoothly, causing pain and discomfort.

Poor posture

Many people develop poor posture habits over the years, which can contribute to hip pain. Slouching or sitting for extended periods without proper support can place undue stress on your hip joints and surrounding muscles. Over time, this can lead to chronic hip pain.

Inactivity

A sedentary lifestyle is a significant contributor to hip pain in older adults. Lack of physical activity can lead to muscle weakness and decreased joint flexibility. In addition, when you're not active, your joints can become stiff, making them more prone to pain and discomfort.

Weight gain

As you age, keeping your weight within a healthy range can become more challenging. Excess weight places added stress on your hip joints, exacerbating any existing issues. The combination of weight gain and weakened muscles can be a recipe for hip pain.

Previous injuries

Injuries sustained earlier in life, such as fractures or dislocations involving the hip joint, can have long-term consequences. Even if you've recovered from such injuries, they may increase your risk of hip pain and arthritis as you age.

Degenerative disc disease

This condition can affect the lumbar spine, leading to lower back pain that can radiate into your hips. Degenerative disc disease becomes more common with age and can contribute to hip discomfort.

How to avoid hip pain as you age

So, what can you do to alleviate hip pain and maintain your mobility as you get older?

While hip pain is a common complaint as you age, it's not something you have to accept as inevitable. By staying active, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and seeking our medical care when needed, you can take steps to reduce and manage your hip pain, allowing you to enjoy a more comfortable and active life.

To learn more, call 609-269-4451 today or book online any time day or night.

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