The hip joint is composed of the ‘ball of the femur’ and the socket, which is part the pelvis. The joint surfaces are covered in cartilage and sealed by the labrum. The capsular ligaments link the pelvis and femur. To allow hip joint function, a large number of muscles attach to the pelvis and femur. The most well-known are the ‘glutes’. These structures all work together to ensure stable, painless hip joint function. Any disruption in this chain of structures could lead to pain, loss of function, or even limping.
Why is my hip hurting?
Hip pain can come from many causes. I treat these common conditions non-operatively in my office:
- Hip Arthritis
- Tendon or Muscle Strain
- Hamstring Injuries
- FAI – Femoroacetabular Impingement
- AVN – Avascular Necrosis
Is my hip pain serious?
You should not ignore hip pain. The body’s defense mechanism is pain, so you need to pay attention. You should seek treatment for any hip pain that is persistent or prevents you from engaging in daily activities and playing the sport you love. I am happy to talk with you about your hip pain and tell you if you need to be seen in my office.
What are the signs you need a hip replacement?
You should first try conservative treatment before considering surgery. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications can ease hip pain. Walkers and crutches can help improve mobility and make it easier to walk.
However, if you haven’t seen improvement in your hip pain, or if pain medication and physical therapy haven’t made it easier to move around, then it might be worth considering hip replacement surgery.
1. Physical therapy and pain medication don’t work.
Some people find pain medication to be an effective treatment for their hip pain. However, side effects such as sleepiness or decreased appetite can occur. It may also make you addicted. These side effects can make it difficult to accept, especially if you don’t get the relief you need.
2. Your day-to-day activities, mood and mobility are affected by hip pain.
Is it hard to get up, walk, bend, grocery shop, or climb stairs because of hip pain? Are you feeling depressed or irritable because of your hip pain? These are all signs that hip-replacement surgery might be an option.
3. When you rest, your hips hurt.
Walking or going upstairs can cause hip pain and irritation. Hip pain is often relieved by taking a break from moving. If your hip pain is worse when you rest during the day, or at night, consider having surgery.
4. Your hip pain is likely to be caused by your hip.
Sometimes, pain around the hip can be caused by problems in your back or knee. These cases will not be helped by hip replacement surgery. Your doctor will numb your hip to determine where the pain is coming. If your hip pain persists, your doctor can numb your hip.
5. The hip joint is broken.
It may be worth considering hip replacement surgery if your doctor has advised you that your hip joint might be deformed or damaged. Over time, damaged joints can become more severe. It may take longer for a doctor or surgeon to repair damaged joints.
6. Your hip is affected by severe arthritis.
Hip joints can be affected by different types of arthritis. Ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis are two examples. Surgery may be an option if your arthritis has resulted in severe damage to your hip joints. Hip replacement surgery may be an option to relieve your pain and allow you to return to your normal activities.
7. Stiffness makes it difficult to lift or move your leg.
Hip replacement surgery may be the best option if your hip joints become so stiff it is difficult to lift or move your leg.
8. Long-lasting relief is what you want.
The majority of hip pain treatments are temporary. Most injections last for about two months. Most pain medications last for a few hours. Hip replacement surgery lasts decades. Nearly 85 percent of hip replacements last for 20 years.
Managing hip pain treatment without surgery
Hip pain – There is nothing more irritating than a dull ache in your hips that radiates down to your legs and back. Hip pain can range from mild to severe enough that it can interfere with your daily activities.
Simple tasks like picking up objects and climbing stairs can become difficult due to hip pain. If the pain becomes severe enough to affect your quality of living, it is time for professional medical attention.
Hip Pain Relief at home
When you are experiencing hip pain, it is important to tap into your body’s natural healing instincts and provide the support that it requires. It is sometimes the only way to relieve pain and improve mobility.
Physical therapy for hip pain: Your orthopedist might recommend that you see a physical therapist to assess any areas of weakness which may be causing your pain. Based on your examination, mobility, strength and education are used to treat impairments and improve the quality of life. Your doctor will consult with your physical therapist to help diagnose your condition and prepare you for surgery.
OTC hip pain medication: These non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can not only relieve the pain but also reduce inflammation, which continues the cycle between stiffness, pain, and inactivity. To calm the hip joint and heal inflamed muscles, tendons and bursa, your orthopedist might recommend NSAIDS.
Losing weight can make a big difference for overweight people suffering from hip pain. Often, the origin of the pain-inactivity-weight gain cycle is hard to pinpoint, but your medical team can support your efforts to break the chain through a sustained program of healthy eating and exercise.
- Your body will feel five times the pressure that gravity puts on your hip joints for every five pounds you lose. Weight loss is a great way to improve your health, blood flow, healing, and heart health, as well as avoiding chronic diseases that can impact your joints.
- Aquatic therapy: Swimming in a pool allows for the release of gravity from the hip joint. This allows for smooth and controlled rotation that improves muscle tone, strength, flexibility, and muscle tone. Aquatic therapy may be recommended by your orthopedic team as physical therapy. They might suggest classes in your area or, if you have one, you can do home exercises.
If your hip pain isn’t severe and you know the cause, you can reduce it at home. If you cannot avoid surgery, non-surgical treatment is often recommended. There are many ways to treat hip pain without having surgery.
Other treatment options
Hip pain can be treated with RICE. RICE stands for rest ice, compression and elevation.
The rest is about avoiding the pain-causing activities. The best way to relieve pain is to rest the hip for a few days before slowly returning to the activity.
It can help reduce inflammation by icing the area. You can reduce inflammation by icing the area for 10 to 15 minutes multiple times per day.
A thick bandage wrapped around the hips and pelvis can help to reduce compression. Reclining with your feet raised can elevate the hips, which will reduce the pressure and pain.
Warm baths or showers can help. However, this is not recommended if you have bursitis. This type of inflammation can be made worse by heat.
Many people suffering from osteoarthritis have a high body mass. Many people with osteoarthritis are overweight.
Each ten pound of additional weight you have can cause fifty pounds of weight-bearing stress on your hips, knees, and hips. Weight loss can lead to reduced pain and better function, especially when walking.
A routine of exercise can increase flexibility and range of motion, as well as strengthen your legs. Exercise can often be effective in relieving pain and improving function. Exercise can sometimes cause pain in your knee and hip joints, especially if you have advanced arthritis. A physical therapist or your physician can create a program tailored to meet your specific needs.
The shock may be absorbed by physical therapy that strengthens the muscles surrounding your joint. Physical therapy can reduce pain, swelling, stiffness, and joint function. Physical therapy can make it easier to move, bend, kneel and squat as well as for your joints.
For osteoarthritis of knee and hip, pain relievers are often the first option. Pain relievers such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) are simple and effective. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are other medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Advil, that can be used to reduce joint pain and swelling. More potent types of pain relievers are prescription-strength, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can be prescribed by your doctor.
Cortisone injections are a great way to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. These injections can be very beneficial if you have severe swelling. However, they are not recommended for those with arthritis that affect the movement of the joint. Your doctor will limit the number of injections you can receive per year.
Viscosupplementation involves injecting hyaluronic (HA) into the joint. It acts as a lubricant and can improve joint function. Your doctor may offer several types in different treatment plans. Because of the anatomy of the hip joint, injections are less common and more complex. Synvisc and Orthovisc are some examples of such medications.
Alternative therapies include acupuncture, magnetic pulse therapy, and acupuncture. Acupuncture uses fine needles that stimulate specific areas of the body to temporarily numb or relieve pain. It is widely used around the globe and has been shown to reduce the pain associated with arthritis. Magnetic pulse therapy works painlessly by sending a pulsed signal through the knee. The electromagnetic field is then applied to the knee. This data is not conclusive.
A cane or walker may be necessary if you have hip pain that makes it difficult for you to walk. A cane or walker is recommended for those with severe hip pain.
You can use tools that are specifically made to assist you with everyday activities like putting on your shoes and reaching for things far away.
Hip pain is something that no one wants to experience. However, there are many options for pain relief. These include injections, physical therapy and medications. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you.
When is it a good idea to see a doctor about my hip pain?
In certain situations, you may need to see me immediately or book an appointment. These hip pain symptoms require immediate attention:
- Hip pains that come on suddenly and are severe.
- Hip pain that doesn’t allow you to carry weight.
- A sudden and severe pain in the hips due to injury, accident, fall, or other trauma.
- You heard a popping sound when you hurt your hip.
- Unable to move your hips without pain.
- If the joint is deformed or bleeding.
Some hip pain does not need to be surgically treated. My practice has great success in conservative, non-operative management for hip pain.