Hip Pain | Hip Injuries

Hip pain can seriously limit your activities and be a constant source of discomfort. Doctors at MaineHealth strive to provide the right treatment and intervention for patients with hip pain.

What is hip pain?

The hip is a ball and socket joint that attaches the leg to the torso of the body. Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint. Pain may be felt directly over the hip area, or it may be felt in the groin, thigh, or knee.

The cartilage in the hip can wear down or become damaged with age and use. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused from daily activity. The hip bone itself can break during a fall or other injuries. Some hip injuries include:

  • Strains

  • Sprains

  • Dislocations

  • Fractures 

Hip pain causes

Hip pain may be caused by arthritis, injuries or other problems. Some common conditions that may cause hip pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Dislocation
  • Hip fracture
  • Hip labral tear
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Sprains and strains
  • Tendinitis

If you have hip pain that will not go away,  talk to your provider. The following are some signs and symptoms.

Hip pain symptoms

Symptoms of hip pain depend on the type, location, and severity of pain. Some common symptoms include:

  • Discomfort in the thigh, groin, or buttocks

  • Pain inside or outside of the hip joint

  • Reduced range of motion

  • Unable to walk or bear weight on legs

  • Limping

  • Swelling

  • Tenderness

  • Soreness

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms associated with hip pain.

Hip pain diagnosis

There are various methods and tests that doctors may use to diagnose hip pain and hip injuries. Some of these methods include:

  • Physical examination
  • Observation of the hip at rest, while standing, or while walking
  • Range of motion and strength testing
  • Blood and joint fluid ab tests
  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • Ultrasounds

After your provider receives the results of your screenings, a treatment plan will be developed and discussed with you.

Hip pain treatment

Treatment for hip pain depends on the problem. Some treatment methods may include:

  • The RICE method: Rest, ice, compression, elevation to reduce swelling and inflammation

  • Pain medication

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Physical therapy to learn and perform exercises to improve hip joint motion

  • Joint or bursa injections

  • Surgical repair of fractures

  • Hip replacement surgery

Talk to your doctor about what you can do to prevent hip pain and hip injuries. The following are some prevention tips.

Hip pain prevention

It is important to prevent hip overuse and injuries to avoid problems both now and in the long-term. Some preventive measures include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stretch daily to maintain hip mobility
  • Exercise regularly to preserve range of motion
  • Warm up and cool down before and after exercise
  • Stop exercising if you are experiencing pain at any time
  • Wear proper footwear
  • Use a cane or walker for stability
  • Make walking areas at home free of clutter to prevent falls that could result in fractures

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