Hip pain is a commonly prevalent medical condition that can affect any age group. Hip pain can arise from problems in the hip joint or the structures surrounding it. Homeopathic medicines help reduce pain in the hip, and related stiffness and tenderness.
The hip is made up of the hip joint and the different structures surrounding it. The hip joint is an important and one of the most flexible joints in the body. It is a ball and socket joint. The head of the femur (bone in the thigh) fits in the acetabulum (socket) of the hip bone (which is a part of the pelvis) to form the hip joint. The structures that surround the hip joint include muscles, ligaments (bands that connect two bones together), tendons (bands connecting bones and muscles), a tough fibrous capsule lined by synovial fluid and the bursa (small fluid filled sacs that cushion bones, muscles and tendons near joints). The hip joint bears our body weight and helps us walk, jump and run.
Top Five Homeopathic Medicines for Hip Pain
The top five homeopathic medicines for hip pain are Bryonia Alba, Rhus Tox, Colocynthis, Ruta Graveolens and Aesculus Hippocastanum.
1. Bryonia Alba – For Hip Pain on Movement
Bryonia Alba is a natural remedy sourced from the root of plant wild hops. It is highly effective for hip pain that gets bad with the slightest motion. One gets relief by taking rest, and also by warm applications (like hot water bottles, electric blanket,etc). The pain may be cramping, bruised, knife-like stitching/ stabbing type. Cracking sound in the hip joint emanates on walking. In some cases, pain from the hip may extend down to the knee.
When and How to use Bryonia Alba?
It can be used as a first remedy when hip pain worsens from the slightest motion and gets better by taking rest. The most common dose indicated for this medicine use is Bryonia 30C two to three times a day according to the severity of pain.
2. Rhus Tox – For Hip Pain at rest
Rhus Tox is a leading medicine for hip pain where the pain worsens at rest and gets better by continued motion. Additionally, the pain may increase from lying on the sides, and while rising after prolonged sitting. The pain from the hip may extend down the back of the thigh. Pain is accompanied by stiffness in hip joint. Use of Rhus Tox is also highly recommended for hip pain arising from overstraining or overstretching of muscles, tendons or ligaments, and also from injury.
When and How to use Rhus Tox?
This medicine is applicable when hip pain worsens at rest and improves with continuous motion. If someone is suffering hip pain due to over-use of hip joint, as from prolonged running, can also use this medicine. Though it can be used in different potencies like 30C, 200C, 1M, but the most frequently used dosage is 30C power. One may take Rhus Tox 30 C twice or thrice a day for good results.
3. Colocynthis – For Hip Pain which gets better by lying on affected side
It is a natural remedy sourced from the pulp of fruit of bitter cucumber. Colocynthis is highly beneficial for hip pain that gets better by lying on the affected side. In most cases, the pain from the hip radiates down the leg. The nature of pain can be crampy, constricting/ shooting type. It is also very helpful when the hip pain arises from pinched nerves, like sciatica, and the hip pain goes down the lower limbs. Walking worsens the pain while taking rest brings relief. Applying pressure also brings relief from hip pain in cases requiring Colocynthis.
When and How to use Colocynthis?
Persons who have hip pain that gets better by lying on the affected side of pain can take this medicine. Initially, it is advised to start Colocynthis 30C one to three times a day based on the intensity of pain. Later, the dosage of this medicine can be increased after consulting homeopathic expert.
4. Ruta Graveolens – For Hip Pain from Inflamed, strained Tendons or Ligaments
Ruta Graveolens has marked action on tendons and ligaments. It is the first choice of medicine to treat hip pain from inflamed, strained tendons (bind muscle to bone) or ligaments (bind bone to bone). Those needing it feel soreness (pain felt on touching) in the hip, and pain worsens if the leg is stretched. Ruta reduces the inflammation of tendons/ligaments as well as the effects of strained tendons/ligaments, and relieves soreness and pain in the hip.
When and How to use Ruta Graveolens?
This medicine is recommended for cases where hip pain is a result of overstraining (arising due to overuse of hip joint like in running, jumping), or inflamed tendons or ligaments.
5. Aesculus Hippocastanum – For Hip pain caused by Walking or Stooping
It is an effective medicine for hip pain that increases by walking or stooping (bending the upper half of the body forward and down). Along with hip pain, a person complains of lower back pain and stiffness. It is the top-most medicine for hip pain that arises from arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or damage to hip joint.
When and How to use Aesculus Hippocastanum?
Those who have worsening in hip pain from walking and stooping can use this medicine. Among its various potencies, it is best to start with 30C potency, once or twice a day.
Note One may take the above-mentioned medicines for one or two months in recommended potency and dose. To continue further, or to increase the dose, it is advisable to consult a homeopathic practitioner.
Causes of Hip Pain
The causes of hip pain are wide and variable. It can simply arise from overuse of a joint or due to some heavy exercise that causes the straining of muscles, tendons or ligaments. It tends to resolve in a few days. Inflamed tendons (tendonitis) can also lead to hip pain which gets better in a few days. Long-term hip pain can arise from several underlying medical conditions as follows:
1. Hip arthritis (arthritis here means Inflammation): Various types of arthritis can cause hip pain. These mainly include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and infective arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune joint disorder in which the immune cells start to inflame and damage joints due to a misdirected response. Usually, it begins with small joints (especially finger joints) but afterwards hip joints can be affected too. Osteoarthritis refers to age-related wear and tear of the cartilage (that acts as a cushion between two bones of the joint) of a joint. Frequently, it occurs as a part of age-related degeneration but can arise from injury as well. Ankylosing spondylitis (affects the joints of the spine especially sacroiliac joint, a joint between the base of spine and pelvis). Infective arthritis which damages the joint cartilage can also cause hip pain.
2. Injury to hip: It includes any trauma or injury due to overuse. Trauma to the hip may lead to hip fracture, sprains, dislocated hip or damage to cartilage. Injury may be due to overuse caused by repetitive strain on hip muscle, tendons, ligaments or bones.
3. Bursitis: It refers to inflamed bursa i.e. small fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones, muscles and tendons near joints.
4. Pinched nerves like sciatica (pain along the path of sciatic nerve originating in the lower back and radiating down to the hip, then thighs, legs up to the feet).
5. Multiple causes like osteomyelitis (bone infection), osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones prone to easy fracture), avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue resulting from lack of blood supply) and bone cancer.
What are the Symptoms that can Accompany Hip Pain?
Apart from pain, there is stiffness in the hip, movement of the hip reduces, there is tenderness and a warm feeling across the hip. In some cases, there may be pain in the groin. Hip pain may make a person limp while walking. The pain from hip may radiate down the lower limb. Sometimes, the hip pain may be transferred down to the knee (also known as referred pain).