July 2, 2019

When You Should See a Doctor for Hip Pain

Developing some type of hip pain is pretty common as you get older. Joints don’t work like they used to, and there is always the chance you are starting to develop minor arthritis.

That being said, some hip pain can actually be a symptom of more serious conditions, and those require a visit to your doctor in the near future. There are several diseases and serious chronic conditions that present as pain in the hip (doctors call this referred pain).

The location of your hip pain can actually help your doctor determine potential underlying conditions that are creating the problem. If you have hip pain in the joint itself or on the inside of your hip or groin, the problem is likely the hip joint itself. Pain in the upper thigh and outer buttocks indicates some problems with the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissue surrounding your hip joint.

You also need to consider that you may be experiencing hip pain due to an accident or injury, and you may need to seek immediate medical attention depending on the severity of the pain and any accompanying symptoms. How will you know the difference between minor and severe hip pain? Here’s a quick overview:

Minor Hip Pain

If your pain is manageable but consistent, try a few of these home remedies before you contact your family doctor or an orthopedist.

Get Some Rest

Limit or reduce the amount of bending at the hip or putting direct pressure on your hip. When you sleep, avoid resting on the affected side. It’s also a good idea not to spend too much time seated, as that can aggravate hip pain, too.

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium (Tylenol, Advil, Aleve) may help reduce your hip pain in the short term or at least make it easier to rest.

Apply Heat or Ice

A plastic bag of ice wrapped in a hand towel makes an easy cold compress. Take a hot shower or use a heating pad to heat the affected area. Alternating hot and cold treatment of the affected hip can help reduce inflammation and relieve your hip pain.

Severe Hip Pain

Ask someone to drive you to an urgent care facility or an emergency room if you experience hip pain after an injury. You should see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • a deformed hip joint
  • you are unable to move your leg or hip
  • you are unable to put weight on the affected leg
  • intense pain
  • sudden swelling
  • any symptoms of infection (fever, chills, redness around the affected joint)

Are you experiencing hip pain? If you’re local to East Brunswick, New Jersey, contact Mid-Atlantic Orthopedic Associates. Our team of physicians and surgeons can help evaluate your hip pain and propose solutions for a less painful future.

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