Are you worried about your Hip Pain?
While there are a variety of different causes for hip pain you are more likely to experience it as you get older. The symptoms you experience and the type of sensation you have will indicate what the underlying cause is likely to be and help diagnose your specific problem. If you are over the age of 45 and you notice that your movements are getting more difficult, your joints have swollen and are tender, you have stiffness, loss of mobility, or you hear cracking or grating sounds when you move, it could be a sign of osteoarthritis a common complaint that causes pain in the joint when you move. You may find that your symptoms come and go, or they may be constant and interfere with your daily activities.
You are more at risk of developing osteoarthritis if you are female, particularly if you are overweight as this extra weight can put a strain on the joints. Diagnosis for osteoarthritis may include ordering blood tests or x-rays to confirm the condition, this will also rule out conditions that may have similar symptoms like fractures or rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is a long-term condition, managing symptoms to lessen the discomfort or pain are helpful but in severe cases surgery may be recommended to replace the hip joint entirely.
Provided your symptoms are mild to moderate, there are a number of things you can do at home to try and alleviate the pain you are experiencing.
Rest - It is not advised that you stop physical activity all together, but rather that you limit the stress you put on the joint. Avoid strenuous physical activity like sports or lifting heavy weight, try to avoid sleeping on the side that is feeling pain, but also avoid sitting for long periods of time.
Pain relievers - Over the counter medicines like ibuprofen can help to alleviate pain short term
Ice - Apply an ice pack to the area for 10-15 minutes, a few times a day to help reduce inflammation
Correct footwear - Ensuring adequate support whilst walking and or running can be achieved through well fitted, shock absorbing footwear
Stretches - Gentle stretching exercises can help to alleviate hip pain by improving the flexibility of our muscles around the joint
Although it is common and often not severe, there are occasions when hip pain can be linked to more serious medical conditions and if accompanied by certain symptoms, will warrant either an appointment with your GP or more immediate medical attention.
You should contact your GP if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Affected sleep and daily activities
- Pain gradually worsening and comes back often
- No improvement after homecare for a couple of weeks
You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Sudden severe pain with no fall or obvious injury
- Other symptoms include feeling nauseous, fever, chills
- Avascular necrosis
- Bone cancer
- Inguinal hernia
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
- Meralgia paresthetica
- Pinched nerves
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Septic arthritis