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Treating and Preventing Hip & Knee Pain

written by: Travis • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 10/27/2010

Many people experience hip and knee pain. Most often this is the result of some sort of injury. Learn more about what causes this pain and what you can do to treat it.

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    Hip & Knee Pain

    Hip and knee pain is often experienced as a result of injury. Hip and knee injuries are actually more common than most people realize.

    It is always best for a person suffering from hip and knee pain to consult a medical doctor who specializes in treating such pain. This is because a proper diagnosis helps in the prescription of a treatment that is appropriate for the pain being experienced by the patient.

    The most common cause of hip and knee pain is arthritis. There are several types of arthritis. The most common type is osteoarthrits. According to Dr. William C. Shiel, the good news for people with osteoarthritis suffering from hip and knee pain is that there are several treatments available for them. However, on rare occasion, the treatments aren't effective and they might be required to undergo hip replacement surgery.

    Other causes for hip pain include, according to Jonathan Cluett of About.com, trochanteric bursities, tendonitis, osteonecrosis, lumbar pain (usually problems of the back and spine), snagging hip syndrome, muscle strain, hip fracture, and stress fracture. There are two primary causes that cause children to experience hip pain and suffer from hip problems--developmental dysplasia (dislocation of the hips during infancy) and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease. Severe cases of the Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease may lead to early development of arthritis.

    Knee pain can be directly related to hip pain. According to The Mayo Clinic, knee pain can result from ligament injuries, cartilage injuries (meniscal tear), patellar tendonitis, chondromalacia patella, dislocating the kneecap, baker's cyst, bursitis, plica syndrome, Osgood-Schlatter disease, Osteochondritis dissecans, and gout.

    If the pain is not severe, there are some things you can do at home to help alleviate the pain. For those experiencing hip and knee pain, the best treatment would be rest. It would be advisable to avoid using the aching leg or hip as much as possible. In some cases, crutches can be used. Another remedy is the alternating use of cold compresses and heat pads. Stretching the muscles around the knee area can also help ease the pain. Some extreme cases require doctor's intervention. In these situations, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, and cortisone injections are effective in relieving knee pain.

    It is important to listen to your body when you experience any type of pain. The best advice for hip and knee pain is to rest until you've seen your physician for a proper diagnosis, or at least until the pain is alleviated. The last thing that you want to do is to further injure the area.