Hip pain, one of the common symptoms patients complain of, may not always be felt precisely over the hip joint. Pain may be felt in and around the hip joint and the cause for pain is multifactorial. The exact position of your hip pain suggests the probable cause or underlying condition causing pain. Pain felt inside the hip joint or your groin area is more likely to be because of the problems within the hip joint. Likewise, the pain felt on the outer side of your hip, upper thigh, or buttocks may be a result of the problems of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. However certain disease conditions affecting other parts of your body such as the lower back or knees also cause hip pain.
The main cause of sudden pain in the hip is an injury resulting in a fracture of the hip bone. Hip fractures are common in elderly individuals because the bones wear out as age advances. Other causes of hip pain may be arthritis, bursitis, infection, low back pain, osteonecrosis of the hip, sprains or strains, and tendinitis resulting from repetitive use. Your doctor will evaluate the condition based on the medical history, physical examination of the hip and thigh region, and diagnostic tests including X-rays and other scans.
Self-care and pain relieving anti-inflammatory medications offer symptomatic relief. However, the exact cause of the pain needs to be addressed. Practicing certain measures can avoid the aggravation of pain and improve the quality of life. Avoiding physical activities that may worsen the pain, stretching the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, performing warm-up exercises before the actual exercise regimen improve the condition. Applying ice packs over the region of pain for about 15 minutes three to four times daily reduces both pain and swelling. But if you have an injury with severe hip pain and swelling, talk to your orthopedic surgeon immediately for better treatment outcomes.
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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS
This article has been written and peer-reviewed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.