Suffering from Chronic Hip Pain? There’s New Hope.
A ‘labrum tear’ is often the cause of chronic hip pain.
Stiffness in hip movement, combined with a clicking or ‘catching’ sensation, can point to a tear of the labrum, which is a ring of cartilage along the hip joint socket. This is a common and frustrating problem among younger athletes and dancers.
Other possible causes of chronic hip pain are a pinched nerve, inflammation, bone infection, bursitis, and especially for older people, arthritis, dysplasia and osteoporosis. Swelling, as well as difficulty bearing weight, often accompany an aching sensation in the hip or upper thigh.
Traditional treatments for chronic hip pain depend on its severity.
In the best case, the pain and discomfort can be soothed with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relivers. A warm bath or shower, followed by stretching, can be helpful too. Next-step treatments include cortisone injections and/or physical therapy. For serious and persistent hip issues, hip surgery may be recommended, but can be followed by long recovery times.
Regenerative Medicine can offer a new type of treatment.
What is Regenerative Medicine? It’s a relatively new branch of medicine that has shown promise in rebuilding, and restoring function to, a wide array of body parts, without invasive surgery or the potential downsides of long-term medication use.
Pain relief can now come in the form of ‘amniotic products;’ that is, natural substances derived from amniotic fluid and the placenta. These work because potent inherent ‘growth factors’ and ‘anti-inflammatory factors’ aid the normal healing process in various kinds of bodily tissue. Doctors and scientists continue to experiment with the possibilities, which treat the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms.
Have you ever heard of ‘Wharton’s Jelly?”
Probably not. But that substance, derived from the umbilical cord, can be combined with certain amniotic products and injected into the hip joint and surrounding tissue. This treatment has shown successful results in many cases in relieving chronic hip pain. Although outcomes may vary, a carefully-followed after-care regimen has been found to contribute to long-term relief.
Repeat treatment may be necessary. And physical therapy may be additionally prescribed to help the repaired tissue regain its normal range of motion. Many people have reported a reduction in chronic hip pain in as little as a few weeks.
Stem cells are the wave of the future.
Although the ‘biologic’ materials most commonly used to treat chronic hip pain may not include live stem cells, those very special types of cells, especially when combined with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), will soon offer even more hope.
While stem cell treatment is already possible for advanced hip problems, the cells must be harvested from the person’s own bone marrow, which is a difficult and expensive procedure. But new forms of Regenerative Medicine are continually being developed for simpler, more effective, and less costly treatment.