Hip pain can be troublesome as it makes a simple movement painful, affecting the quality of your life. The joint between the thigh bone (Femur) and pelvis is called the hip joint, which involves muscles, ligaments, bones, and other tissues.
This cartilage is naturally subjected to wear and tear or can be injured due to arthritis or bursitis, resulting in pain. When left untreated, it might ultimately result in disability of movement. Hence, It is crucial to find the root cause to relieve the discomfort with a proper treatment plan at an early stage.
Read more about hip pain diagnosis, treatment, and management strategies.
Diagnosis of Hip Pain
An early and right diagnosis of hip pain is important to plan the right care. Below are the common diagnostic procedures carried out to analyze hip joint pain.
A physician will perform a physical examination to evaluate the gait of the patient or the way they walk. The range of motion is also inspected to discover whether the issue arises from the spine. The professional will also check the external and internal rotation of the hips.
- Imaging Tests
- X-rays – X-rays often suggest imaging techniques used to diagnose hip pain. The process will expose the internal structure of the hip bone to learn more information.
- MRI – MRI is another common diagnostic test that shows the soft tissue and bone in your hip, depicting injury or any abnormalities.
- CT scan – CT or Computer tomography is a type of X-ray that provides digital images of your body for a detailed and cross-section image.
- Ultrasound – Ultrasound scan involves high-frequency sound waves to make a distinct image of the internal structure of your body.
Blood tests will be conducted to check the antibodies and analyze for infection to know whether the hip pain is associated with arthritis.
Common Treatments for Hip Pain
The options for hip pain treatment depend on the underlying reason for the condition. Therefore, consult with your healthcare professional to follow an effective treatment plan.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: NSAIDs are prescribed to treat most hip pain from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- Acetaminophen – Acetaminophen is another effective pain reliever for moderate and severe causes, including fractures and hip dislocation.
- Corticosteroids – Corticosteroidsares are prescribed to ease hip pain due to bursitis, injury, tear, and overuse.
Physical therapy is an essential aspect of the hip pain treatment plan. Research shows that physical therapy experts will use various effective modalities to enhance strength and regain mobility, aiding them to return to the pre-injury lifestyle and level of activity.
Corticosteroid Injections – Corticosteroid injections are prescribed to prevent the formation of inflammation or swelling in the hip joints.
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Injections –It is a regenerative therapy created from your blood sample to reduce the severity of pain and increase the range of motion.
Hip replacement surgery may be considered when the pain and other symptoms of the condition limit your everyday activities, including lifting your leg. Your doctor will recommend the surgery only after a careful and thorough analysis of your problem if you are not responding to medications and other treatments.
Management Strategies for Hip Pain
There is no need to struggle daily with your hip pain when you can manage the condition better. Here are some best hip pain management strategies that suit your lifestyle and overall health goals.
Exercise – Low-impact exercises will help you eliminate the pain, especially when it is caused due to strains and nerves. However, warm up and gently stretch your knees before following the exercise pattern.
Weight Management – If you are experiencing in your hip joints for a long period, it might be due to wear and tear of the cartilage in the area. Studies show that losing excess weight and following healthy weight management practices relieve pressure and pain. It will also keep the condition from getting worse.
Posture Correction – Sustaining a poor or inefficient posture while sitting or standing for a long time will exert pressure on your hip joints, resulting in pain. Therefore make sure to practice good posture that involves a minimal amount of muscle contraction to relieve pain and prevent fatigue.
Canes – Canes are valuable and the best assistive devices that will help you move safely while you are dealing with hip pain. It will also help you live comfortably and independently while ensuring you remain active and mobile.
Walkers – Using walkers when you are affected by hip injuries like pulled muscles or tenors or bursitis will maintain your range of motion and effective mobility.
Crutches – A properly sized crutch is a comfortable and effective assistive deice to use after injury. It will enable prompt recovery from hip pain with careful coordination and stability enhancement.
Pain Management Techniques
Heat and Ice Therapy – Warming up the hip joint with warm therapy using a hot shower or bag can soothe the pain. The heat will increase the blood flow and promote healing. Imparting ice therapy in your hip will lower swelling and help with pain management. You can try the strategy, especially after exercise if you have pain or sudden swelling.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – After you are diagnosed with hip pain, the pain management plan will have Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation to offer pain relief, relaxation, and better circulation while ensuring your joints are mobile and healthy.
Relaxation Techniques – Stretching and promoting strength in your hip muscles through relaxation techniques will be effective in eliminating the pain. It will also improve your flexibility and prevent any further complications and pain in future.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture is often recommended to relieve chronic hip pain by increasing the blood circulation to the affected area, improving the chances of healing and reducing swelling.
Chiropractic Care – Chiropractic care providers aid in correcting the misalignment in hip joints and relieve pain and discomfort.
Massage Therapy – Massage serves as a natural treatment to ease the hip pain that occurs due to imbalances in muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues.
Your hip joint is a complex ball and socket point, essential to perform every activity, including walking and standing. Hence, when you experience hip pain, it will cause severe discomfort and frustration. Moreover, when you suffer from chronic pain for a long time, it is time to seek medical advice immediately.
Even though it’s a common issue among people, it is important to diagnose hip pain early to know the cause of the symptoms and implement appropriate treatment to tackle the root cause. In a nutshell, incorporating healthy lifestyle changes and exercise routines will prevent the onset of the condition, keeping you healthy in the long run.