Most hip pain cases in adults that are treated with surgery are caused by osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis in the UK.
However, hip pain can also be caused by a number of less common conditions including the joint being the wrong shape or in the wrong position (dysplasia), a fracture, an infection, and others that will be listed in detail in causes.
Hip pain in children is most often caused by a condition called ‘irritable hip’. This is something that gets better on its own, but should always be checked because it may be a sign of a more serious condition.
In the cases of both adults and children with hip pain, don’t try to diagnose yourself or your child and call to speak to an expert at Ahmeys.
- Joint pain and or groin pain
- Limping and inability to put weight on the joint
- Loss of motion in the hip
- Warmth, redness, and swelling over the hip
- A tender hip
- Difficulty sleeping on the hip
When to see an expert at Ahmeys
If you are experiencing the symptoms above, your symptoms are getting worse, have not gone away within a few weeks or months, have not gone away with home treatment and self-care, or have begun to affect your mobility and day to day life, we recommend that you call Ahmeys to book an appointment.
One of our experts can check your symptoms and conduct tests to confirm a diagnosis and rule out any other problems. Call Ahmeys to make an appointment if:
- Your hip is still painful after a full week of resting it at home
- You have a rash or fever in addition to hip pain
- Your hip pain came on suddenly and you also have sickle cell anemia
- The pain is in both hips and in other joints as well
When to seek an emergency care
Severe hip pain symptoms can indicate a more severe medical problem.
Seek immediate care if:
- Your hip pain was caused by a serious injury or fall
- Your hip is badly bruised, misshapen or bleeding
- You are not able to move your hip or bear any weight on your leg
- You have a temperature and feel generally unwell in addition to hip pain
Hip pain can develop for a variety of reasons, but most cases of hip pain resulting in surgery are caused by osteoarthritis.
- Inflammation of the tissues surrounding the hip joint
- Worn or damaged cartilage (the flexible, strong tissue that lines the bones) around the hip
- Bony growths (osteophytes) that develop around the hip joint
- Pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion
- Femoroacetabular impingement: the bones of the hip rubbing together due to being abnormally shaped
- Hip dysplasia: wrongly shaped hip joint or a hip socket that isn’t in the correct position to completely cover and support the top of the leg bone
- Hip labral tear: a tear in the cartilage surrounding the socket of the hip joint
- Hip fracture: a crack or break in the top of the thigh bone (femur), close to the hip joint. Usually caused by a fall or injury to the side of the hip and more common in older people with weaker bones
- Infection: in either the bone or joint, such as septic arthritis or osteomyelitis. Call an expert at Ahmeys immediately if you are experiencing hip pain alongside fever
- Osteonecrosis: reduced blood flow to the hip joint, causing a breakdown of the bone
- Bursitis: inflammation and swelling of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) over your hip joint
- Hamstring Injury: a strain or tear to the tendons or large muscles at the back of the thigh
- Iliotibial band syndrome: an inflamed ligament in the thigh, often caused by too much running
If you are concerned about your hip pain symptoms, call Ahmeys to book an appointment with one of our experts to discuss your symptoms and potential treatments.
An expert at Ahmeys will review your symptoms and potentially perform the following diagnostic tests:
- Physical examination of your hip and assessment of your ability to stand, sit, walk and lift your legs.
- Internal and external rotation of the hip to detect pain-aggravating positions
- Palpating (touching) of the inflamed areas to detect tenderness
- Straight leg raising can be used to detect sciatica
- One of our experts may also ask you to rate your pain on a scale of zero to ten and talk to you about how well you are functioning with your pain
- Assessments to determine where the pain comes from, how much you can move, your range of motion before the pain stops you, and whether you have muscle spasms
If an Ahmeys expert has reason to suspect that a specific condition might be causing your hip pain, they might conduct or order one or more further tests including X-ray, MRI or CT scans, Blood tests, Bone Scans, or Nerve studies (using electrical impulses)
Depending on the type of hip pain you have been diagnosed with, one of our experts at Ahmey’s may recommend the following:
- Over the counter (OTC) pain relievers: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to help control pain and reduce inflammation
- Menthol or capsaicin creams: to apply topically to the affected area and block the pain signals from your joints
- Steroid injections: Steroids contain manmade versions of the hormone cortisol and can be used to treat painful hip problems. Injections of cortisone (an anti-inflammatory medication) can be made directly into the affected area (usually after a local anesthetic is used to numb the area and reduce pain), to help decrease inflammation around the nerve roots
- Arthroscopy: removal of inflamed hip joint tissue through a small cut in the skin using a thin tube with a light source and camera called an arthroscope. This is a relatively non-invasive procedure and typically does not require an overnight stay in hospital
- Joint replacement or arthroplasty: surgery to replace a severely damaged hip joint with an artificial one may be suggested. This is a major operation that involves several days in the hospital, followed by months of rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The latest joints have a lifespan of ten to 20 years
Supportive and alternative therapies
- Physiotherapy Therapy
- Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function, can help you to increase your flexibility and strengthen your muscles. Regular physiotherapy can release stiff muscles and soft tissues to reduce pain and the use of these techniques can help to prevent pain from coming back
- Acupuncture: is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine in which fine needles are inserted into certain sites in the body for preventative and therapeutic purposes
- Chiropractic: is a treatment where a practitioner (Chiropractor) uses their hands to help relieve problems with the muscles, bones, and joints
- Massage: physical manipulation, stretching, and massaging the muscles and joints to prevent and relieve health problems and pain
- Yoga: Yoga can stretch and strengthen muscles, improve posture, and can be modified to avoid aggravating your symptoms
How to manage your symptoms
- If you are overweight, weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce symptoms if you have hip pain
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet with fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs
- Experiment with ‘inflammation reducing’ foods such as fish and nuts and try taking fish oil supplements to help reduce joint pain and stiffness
- Apply hot or cold packs to joints to relieve pain
- Use stretching techniques provided by one of our experts at Ahmeys or a physiotherapist
- Take painkillers to reduce pain, but make sure that you follow the recommended dose and that the medication does not conflict with any other medication you are currently taking
- Exercise regularly to keep joints flexible, but avoid overexerting yourself or putting too much pressure on your joints. Swimming is a good non-weight bearing activity
- Avoid activities that make the pain worse, such as downhill running
- Wear flat shoes and avoid standing for long periods of time
- Warm-up before exercising, stretch afterward and make sure you do not overexert yourself or do excessive amounts of physical activity