Growing older often means learning to deal with nagging aches and pains on a daily basis. Some are obviously worse than others, but hip pain is one of the most common ailments elderly people complain of. Trying to find the cause can be incredibly frustrating because there are so many things that can lead to pain in the hip joint. Here are some of the common causes of hip pain in the elderly:The most frequent cause of hip pain in older adults is arthritis or a form of osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid
, traumatic, and other types of arthritis can cause pain as well.
But the second common cause is perhaps the most debilitating.Falls resulting in a hip fracture is the second most common cause of hip pain
. Falls are often caused from osteoarthritis and can result in a hip fracture. In this case hip replacement surgery is often the only way to get rid of the severe pain.How to prevent falls in the elderly.
While there is no single risk factor that causes an elderly person to fall, the risk increases with aging and more women fall than men. This is partly due to the decrease in bone density women experience during and after menopause. That's why it's so important for women to exercise regularly so that muscle tone, strength, and bone mass is optimized.
It's estimated that around one-third of all falls are caused by environmental hazards
in the home. Obviously, many of these conditions can be prevented.
One of the best things to do is to take preventive measures so that osteoporosis doesn't set in. Osteoporosis
makes the bones porous, susceptible to stress, and easily fractured. Hormonal changes, a lack of physical activity, and deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium are leading causes of osteoporosis. You can help prevent this by making sure you get sufficient calcium through calcium rich foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, fish and a variety of vegetables such as collard and turnip greens, broccoli, soybeans, and almonds. It's important to get plenty of sun exposure in order to get sufficient vitamin D. Weight bearing exercises are also important to keep osteoporosis at bay.In the home, environmental risk factors include loose rugs, bad lighting, and shaky furniture.
There are potential problems outside as well such as cracks in the sidewalks, doorway thresholds, rocks, and icy walkways.
Another cause is falls in the elderly is impaired vision.
People with glaucoma and cataracts have limitations that hinder their ability to negotiate safely inside and outside the home. While people with good eyesight use visual cues to detect an imminent fall, older adults with impaired vision can do this.Certain medications such as sedatives and antipsychotic drugs
can reduce mental sharpness, cause problems with balance, and also cause faintness.
For people over age 65, falls are the leading cause of death from injury. One in every 200 falls results in a hip fracture and once age 85 is reached, one in 10 will result in a hip fracture. The most debilitating result of falling is a loss of independence. Many falls require lifelong nursing care. Not only that, the psychological impact is huge. The fear of falling severely restricts an elderly adult’s quality of life.
But by being proactive, it is possible for the elderly to never experience debilitating hip pain or suffer with a hip fracture from a fall. When you realize the devastating effect severe hip pain can have on an older adult’s life, making sure you do all you can to prevent it for your loved ones is the smartest and kindest thing you can do.