Hip Pain: A Guide To Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, And Prevention

Are you having problems when moving your hips? Is it painful when you try to do functional and regular movements, such as walking or standing? Hip pain is a term used to describe pain around the hip joint. Usually, hip pain does not come from the hip itself but the thigh and groin area.

If your daily activities are affected by the pain and home remedies, such as pain relievers, hot and cold compressions, and rest are not working anymore, it’s time you consult a specialist. The experts you need to ask about hip pain are orthopedists.

If you’re looking for an orthopedist for your hip pain, you may visit Orthospecialistsofidaho.com or call your local clinics and hospitals for more information. Moreover, here is a comprehensive guide about anything you need to know about hip pain, including its causes, treatment, and more.

What Causes Hip Pain?

What Causes Hip Pain

Hip pain is not a condition, but a symptom of a condition around your hips. Here are the injuries and conditions that may cause your hip pain:

  • Hip Tendonitis

Hip Tendonitis (or tendinitis) is an inflammation of your tendons around the hips, often due to excessive exercise or performing strenuous activities. The inflammation results in stiffness, joint pain, and movement difficulties. Also, it may cause intense pain, depending on the severity of the condition. However, it may heal on its own after two to three weeks.

  • Arthritis

Arthritis is the number one cause of hip pain, especially rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive autoimmune disease affecting the joints and other body organs. On the other hand, osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage surrounding the hip joint deteriorates, commonly due to aging. Arthritis may cause stiffness, intense pain, and the inability to perform basic movements, such as walking or standing.

  • Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis is the inflammation of the liquid-filled sac found outside your hip joints. Possible causes of bursitis may include overuse of joints, injuries, and improper posture. Usually, hip bursitis is treated with ice, pain relievers, and rest. Also, this condition is much more common in men than women.

  • Osteonecrosis

Osteonecrosis is a less common cause of hip pain. Usually, it occurs when there is not enough blood circulation around the bone, causing it to collapse and the cells around it to die.

  • Hip Fractures

This condition is common for people experiencing osteoporosis, which is a result of weakened bones due to old age and other factors. It can cause severe pain and may require immediate medical treatment to prevent further complications, such as blood clots.

  • Snapping Hip Syndrome

When you are dancing or performing activities using your hip and you hear a snapping sound, you could be experiencing a snapping hip syndrome. If you have this condition, you would hear a snapping sound even when doing basic movements, such as walking or standing up from a chair. The good thing about this syndrome is that it’s usually painless but in severe cases, it may cause pain.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Hip Pain?

What Are The Symptoms Of Hip Pain

  • Sudden and intense hip pain
  • Inflamed or swelled hip
  • Deformed hip
  • Redness and warmth in the hip
  • Bleeding
  • Inability to perform basic movements
  • Hip pain at night
  • Tenderness and stiffness around the hip area

If you experience the following symptoms and home treatments don’t work, it would be best to consult a professional about your condition.

How Is Hip Pain Diagnosed?

A proper and accurate diagnosis is required to receive the right treatment you need. When you make an appointment with an orthopedist, they will examine your body and may ask you to receive additional tests, such as X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, fluid test, and more. These tests will help your doctor pinpoint the cause of pain accurately.

Before your doctor proceeds with tests, they will ask specific questions as part of the assessment, including where the pain lies, how often it occurs, and how painful it is. After this, your doctor may also evaluate your posture when you walk. Additionally, your doctor may press your hip and ask if you feel any pain.

An expert orthopedist may diagnose your condition without performing tests. However, these tests could help them have a more accurate diagnosis. Here are the uses of X-ray, MRI, and CT scans in diagnosing hip pain:

  • X-ray: The first test your doctor will require you to undergo. With this, they can examine and see if there’s a loss of joint space, which is a symptom of arthritis.
  • MRI scan: The imaging test can show accurate details about the condition of your soft tissues, such as tendons, cartilages, bursa, and muscles around the hip. There may be instances where your doctor will inject a liquid to make the scans and outlines more visible and in detail.
  • CT scan: The imaging test can provide more details compared to X-ray and MRI. Your doctor may require you to undergo this test once or twice, depending on the result of other tests.

Once your doctor has evaluated the results and created a proper diagnosis, they may now introduce you to treatment options, which may include surgical operations.

What Are The Treatment Options For Hip Pain?

The treatment may vary depending on the results of the exam and the severity of your condition. Here are the treatment options your doctor may recommend:

  • Resting

Since most causes of hip pain are due to excessive force, resulting in hip injury, your doctor may require you to have adequate rest for a period of time. During this period, you should avoid doing strenuous activities that may constantly pressure your hip, such as running. Also, you should avoid activities that require you to bend your hip as much as possible. Failure to rest properly may result in more complicated conditions.

  • Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications

Your doctor may prescribe you medications to help with the pain, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium. These medications can also reduce the inflammation and swelling of the affected area.

  • Hot And Cold Compression

Compressions may also help reduce the pain in case you don’t want to take pain-relieving medications. If you want ice compression, don’t put it directly in your hip. Instead, you may wrap it in a towel before using it to decrease swelling. For hot compression, you may use hot pads or take a warm bath to calm down the pain.

If these home remedies do not work, your doctor may ask to proceed with surgical operations, such as the following:

  • Hip Arthroplasty

Hip arthroplasty, commonly known as total hip replacement, is a surgical operation that removes the damaged parts of your hip joint. After being removed, it will be replaced with a prosthesis usually made of constructed metal, hard plastic, or ceramic. The surgery is most common for people experiencing arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or trauma-induced arthritis.

Hip arthroplasty is also recommended for people with osteonecrosis, which may cause bone deformities and collapses.

  • Hip Resurfacing

This is another form of hip replacement, where implants replace damaged soft tissues and bones, reducing pain and stiffness around the area. Usually, men below 60 years old are the best candidates for this surgery.

Additionally, the main difference between hip replacement and resurfacing is the number of soft tissues and bones removed. With hip resurfacing, you can keep most of your bones, especially in your thigh and hip socket. However, with a hip replacement, the entire head of your thigh bone will be replaced with a prosthesis.

  • Hip Arthroscopy

This is a minimally-invasive surgery compared to hip resurfacing and replacement. With general anesthesia, your doctor may insert a small camera and other surgical tools into your hip to treat soft tissue tears and bursitis. Usually, hip arthroscopy may take 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the severity of your condition.

Furthermore, unlike open surgeries, hip arthroscopy has a shorter recovery time, less scarring and wounds, and less risk of complications and infections.

How To Recover From Hip Pain?

The best way to recover from hip pain is to consult your doctor and follow all of their advice. If you fail to obey them, your condition may worsen. If they tell you not to perform activities concerning your hips, then you should not do those activities.

Furthermore, if you undergo hip surgeries, it is crucial to follow the rules your doctor may require after the surgery. This is to prevent severe complications that could lead to another surgery.

How To Prevent Hip Pain?

You may do these simple and helpful tips to prevent hip pain:

  • Practice proper posture by sitting and standing correctly to reduce stress around your muscles and soft tissues
  • Wear comfortable shoes for proper movement
  • Warm-up and stretch before performing exercises and sports activities to ensure good blood flow
  • Listen to your body and stop if some activities may cause pain.
  • Perform resistance activities to strengthen the muscles around your hips
  • Rest well after performing a series of exercises to prevent injuries and allow your muscles and joints to recover completely

Moreover, if you’re overweight, you may prevent hip pain by losing extra weight to reduce stress on your hips.

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Final Words

Hip pain is one of the most commonly experienced body pain, which may come from bone deterioration due to old age and other factors, including performing sports and other strenuous activities. The best way to address hip pain is by resting your body and allowing it to heal on its own. You may also consult your doctor if the pain persists for several weeks or months.

During your consultation, your doctor may assess your condition with the help of medical tests. After evaluating the results, they may introduce you to treatment options. Your doctor may require you to undergo surgery when needed.

But before anything else, the best way to address hip pain is to prevent it from occurring. You may follow some tips presented above to help you avoid overusing or misusing your hip.

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