Hip pain is a common problem, and it can be difficult to diagnose and treat because there multiple causes. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from an orthopedic hip specialist so that appropriate treatment can be targeted at the cause, not just the symptoms.
Diagnosing Hip Pain
If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you need attention from an orthopedic hip specialist. A thorough diagnosis involves obtaining a detailed history of your condition and performing an examination of your hip and the surrounding area. To ensure the most accurate diagnosis, we also offer such options as open MRIs and CT scans. Other tests may include X-rays, a bone density test, blood tests, an EMG or a discography.
Treating Hip Pain
Often people get pain relief on their own - taking over-the-counter pain relievers and resting can help. However, staying in bed for more than one day can make your hip problem worse.
The first treatment for most conditions that cause hip joint pain is to rest the joint and allow the acute inflammation to subside. Often this is the only step needed to relieve hip pain. Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for inflammation. Stretching the muscles and tendons that surround the joint can help with some causes of hip pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are some of the most frequently prescribed medications, especially for patients with hip pain caused by problems such as arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis.
Again, treatment depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms. If your hip pain is due to an injury, is severe and comes on suddenly, or doesn't improve after three days (becomes chronic), contact us for further evaluation.
Physical therapy is an important aspect of treatment for almost all orthopedic conditions. Our physical therapists use a variety of techniques to increase strength, regain mobility and help return patients to their pre-injury level of activity.
Treatment options include individualized hip rehabilitation programs; instruction; exercise physiology; aquatic therapy; posture correction; and functional capacity monitoring. In addition, we embrace non-traditional treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, meditation/relaxation and Qui-Gong. Our goal is to return you to good health without pain.
When conservative measures fail to control pain and improve hip function, we will discuss surgery. In most cases, surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using minimally invasive procedures, which reduces pain, risk, recovery time and expense.
What are hip pain causes?
If you have hip pain, some common causes include:
- Muscle strains
- Hip fracture
- Stress fracture
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Lumbar pain
- Snapping hip syndrome
- Developmental dysplasia - in children
- Legg-Calve-Perthes (Legg–Calvé–Perthes) disease - in children
What are the symptoms of hip problems?
While some hip injuries, such as minor bruising, resolve on their own, many hip injuries require professional help. Signs that you should be seen by a doctor include:
- Inability to walk comfortably on the affected side
- Deformity around the joint
- Pain that occurs at night or while resting
- Pain that persists beyond a few days
- Inability to bend the hip
- Swelling around the hip or thigh area
- Signs of an infection, such as fever, redness, warmth