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Overview:

Hip Pain

Hip pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages, although more prevalent in women.

Factors that cause hip pain range from trauma and injury to medical disorders and diseases. This condition is also prevalent among athletes and those that engage in rigorous sports/activities.

The hip is a ball and socket joint which attaches the legs to the torso. The hip joint forms a connection from the limb to the pelvic girdle and is known for its ability to bear weight and provide stability to the body. The hip joint itself does not have a wide range of motion; however, there are numerous structures surrounding the hip that are impacted if there is any injury or trauma to the hip which can affect range of motion. Hip pain is known to cause functional disability for those experiencing this condition, and levels of pain can range from mild to severe.

What are the causes of hip pain?

Hip pain is a general term used to designate pain or a feeling of discomfort in or around the hips, thighs or groin area. This type of pain is usually caused by an acute or chronic condition affecting the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and/or soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. In some cases, hip pain can also be expressed as lower back pain (known as “referred pain”).

Pain can be experienced in different regions of the hip – anterior, posterior, and lateral regions. The most common areas where hip pain is usually experienced:

  • Outside of the hip joint
  • Buttocks
  • Inside of the hip joint
  • Groin
  • Thigh
  • Outside of the hip joint
  • Buttocks
  • Thigh
  • Inside of the hip joint
  • Groin

Causes of hip pain are varied and can be triggered by specific medical conditions or diseases. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common causes of hip pain, and infectious (or septic) arthritis can also cause pain in the hips. This type of regional pain can also be triggered by poor posture and prolonged bouts of inactivity.

Some of the most common causes of hip pain include:

  • Strain in the muscles or tendons
  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Hip fracture
  • Tumor
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Femoroacetabular impingement
  • Snapping hip syndrome
  • Dislocation
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Sacroiliitis
  • Sciatica
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Gaucher’s disease
  • Hematoma
  • IT band syndrome
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Labral tear
  • Strain in the muscles or tendons
  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Hip fracture
  • Tumor
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Femoroacetabular impingement
  • Snapping hip syndrome
  • Dislocation
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Sacroiliitis
  • Sciatica
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Gaucher’s disease
  • Hematoma
  • IT band syndrome
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Labral tear

What are the symptoms of hip pain?

Hip pain varies in intensity from mild to intense acute pain depending on the patient, condition and pain tolerances. In some cases, hip pain can escalate into a chronic pain condition or even disability. The type of symptoms experienced from hip pain often depends on the underlying cause and specific area(s) of pain, and can include:

  • Warmth (or at times burning) in the region
  • Inability to bear any weight on the hip
  • Inflammation in the region
  • Feeling of tenderness
  • Redness in the joints
  • Fluid accumulation in the hip joint causing swelling
  • Sensations of clicking, catching or locking in the hip
  • Joint pain
  • Limping
  • Displacement of hip or leg after a hip injury/fracture
  • Reduced range of motion of the hip
  • Pain in the groin
  • Spasms
  • Fluid accumulation in the hip joint causing swelling
  • Warmth (or at times burning) in the region
  • Inability to bear any weight on the hip
  • Inflammation in the region
  • Feeling of tenderness
  • Redness in the joints
  • Spasms
  • Sensations of clicking, catching or locking in the hip
  • Displacement of hip or leg after a hip injury/fracture
  • Reduced range of motion of the hip
  • Pain in the groin
  • Joint pain
  • Limping

What are the risk factors associated with hip pain?

The hip plays a crucial role in stabilizing and bearing the weight of the entire body. There are several risk factors that can cause a higher prevalence of hip pain and disrupt the ability of the hips to provide stability to the rest of the body. They include:

  • History of high-impact sports and activities
  • Aging
  • Anatomical abnormalities
  • Genetic deformities
  • Joint trauma or injury
  • Obesity
  • History of high-impact sports and activities
  • Anatomical abnormalities
  • Genetic deformities
  • Joint trauma or injury
  • Aging
  • Obesity

What are the complications that can arise from hip pain?

If the issues causing hip pain are not addressed with timely medical treatment, complications can arise such as:

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Blood clots in the legs
  • Hip Dislocation
  • Stiffness of the hips
  • Infections
  • Blood loss
  • Urinary infections
  • Incontinence
  • History of high-impact sports and activities
  • Anatomical abnormalities
  • Genetic deformities
  • Joint trauma or injury
  • Aging
  • Obesity

A debilitating condition caused by untreated hip pain is called avascular necrosis of the femoral head. This disorder usually causes severe pain and can lead to osteoarthritis.

Loss of muscle mass can also weaken the hip joints, increasing the probabilities of injury due to instability within these weight-bearing joints.

When should I see a doctor for hip pain?

Acute hip pain is usually resolved with rest, application of hot/cold packs, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications to reduce pain and inflammation (such as ibuprofen).

If the pain does not subside from at-home treatments and you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, contact a physician at Advanced Pain Care for a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis and details on treatment options available:

  • Popping or clicking sounds at the hips
  • Shooting or radiating pain
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected side
  • Inability to move the hips or legs
  • Unexplained inflammation
  • Fever, chills, rash, or redness indicating an infection
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Soreness
  • Fever, chills, rash, or redness indicating an infection
  • Popping or clicking sounds at the hips
  • Shooting or radiating pain
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected side
  • Inability to move the hips or legs
  • Unexplained inflammation
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Soreness

Some of these symptoms can indicate a more serious condition, such as septic or infectious arthritis. When left untreated, the effects of this form of arthritis can be debilitating and lead to deformities, disability, or even death.

The Pain Management team at Advanced Pain Care offers expertise, experience, and the latest treatments and technology to address a wide variety of pain conditions, including hip pain. For same or next day appointments, visit www.austinpaindoctor.com or call 512-244-4272.

How is hip pain diagnosed?

To diagnose the cause(s) of your hip pain and develop a multi-modal treatment plan, the physician team at Advanced Pain Care will follow these steps:

1. Review Medical History

Your physician will ask you various questions to better understand your condition and determine if you have an acute or chronic case of hip pain, such as:

  • What time of the day/night do you experience an increase in the pain?
  • Which of your symptoms appeared first?
  • What are all the symptoms that you are experiencing?
  • Are there any specific activities that aggravate the pain?
  • Are you able to walk without additional effort?
  • Are you able to bear weight on the affected region?
  • Is there a history of arthritis or bone/joint issues in the family?
  • Have you experienced any recent injury or trauma?

2. Conduct Physical Examination

As a part of the physical examination, your physician will examine and observe the following:

  • Joint in motion — the physician will ask you to walk to see how the range of motion of the hips
  • Rotation of the hips — to detect the positions where the pain is aggravated
  • Signs of tenderness in the hips and other parts of the region
  • Raising of legs — to check for sciatica

Additionally, the physician might conduct the following tests:

  • Neurological tests to check for muscle weakness and reflexes
  • FABER test to check for hip pathologies (hip labrum tear, Femoroacetabular impingement, osteoarthritis, etc.)
  • Leg roll test
  • Straight leg test
  • Trendelenburg test

3. Order Additional Tests if Needed (such as lab, fluid, and imaging tests)

Imaging tests (such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and ultrasounds) may be ordered to examine the bones, cartilage, and surrounding tissues in the hip region. X-rays are commonly used to diagnose hip fractures and any changes of the bone due to hip osteoarthritis. MRIs are done to check for infections in the hip joint and osteonecrosis, and are effective in diagnosing hip labral tears.

In specific cases, the physician may request a nuclear medicine bone scan to determine if a bone is fractured or inflamed.

In case of a suspected infection, you may be asked to get fluid tests done. These can include joint fluid tests (such as synovial fluid analysis, blood and urine tests, etc.).

If your physician suspects the hip pain is from an issue in the muscles or other soft tissues (kidney stone, nerve pain, Aortoiliac occlusive disease, etc.) and not the hip itself, other tests may be prescribed.

How is hip pain treated?

Treatment plans to address hip pain depend on the diagnosed cause of the pain. If pain is from an acute injury or arthritis, rest and medication are prescribed to reduce pain, irritation and other symptoms. A simple protocol of RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation is often advised to reduce the pain and swelling. In most cases, physical therapy is also advised to increase overall function of the affected region.

If hip pain is chronic, the pain management specialists at Advanced Pain Care have a variety of multi-modal treatments to address and potentially resolve your pain based on your specific condition. Advanced Pain Care also offers Rheumatology, Orthopedics and Neurosurgery as sub-specialties to support your pain management treatment and recovery plan.

If you are in pain, there is no need to wait. Advanced Pain Care offers same and next day appointments so visit us at www.austinpaindoctor.com or call 512.244.4272 for more information.

When is surgery necessary for hip pain?

To resolve a chronic hip pain condition, surgery is often advised. Surgical interventions are recommended to address hip fractures, hip bone/joint abnormalities, or specific injuries that will require extensive injury repair. Some commonly prescribed surgeries to address hip pain include:

Patients with progressive forms of arthritis are often recommended to undergo hip replacement surgery. Hip resurfacing is advised for younger patients as an alternative to surgery. Hip arthroscopy is broader in its capabilities and is often used to fix conditions such as labrum and cartilage tears, early onset arthritis and hip joint damage.

At Advanced Pain Care, our physicians, pain management specialists, orthopedic surgeons and rheumatologists work together to arrive at the best pain treatment option for your specific condition. Surgery is only recommended to achieve the best clinical results for patients, as the goal is always to get them back to normal daily activities as quickly as possible.

What precautions can be taken to prevent hip pain?

Not all causes of hip pain can be prevented, although precautions can be taken to help prevent hip injuries from occurring in the future. Some steps include:

Follow an active lifestyle with a balanced nutrition plan

Maintain ideal body weight

Choose low-impact (vs. high-impact) activities and exercises

Choose low-impact (vs. high-impact) activities and exercises

Perform muscle strengthening exercises

Wear proper footwear

The pain management specialists at Advanced Pain Care and Advanced Orthopedics have decades of experience in identifying causes of the pain and developing comprehensive pain treatment plans for their patients. Call 512-244-4272 or visit https://austinpaindoctor.com/ to schedule an appointment online. If you are in pain, there is no need to wait.

FAQS

Q: What are the first signs of hip problems?

A: The first signs and symptoms of hip pain usually involve:

  • Reduced range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected side
  • Pain in the hip joint
  • Limping
  • Referred pain in the knees and thighs

Q: How do I know if my hip pain is serious?

A: If you experience any of the following symptoms with severe localized pain, it could be a sign that your hip pain is now a more serious condition that needs immediate attention by a healthcare professional:

  • Bleeding from the hips
  • Exposed bone or muscle
  • Popping or clicking sounds at the hips
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected side
  • Inability to move the hips or legs
  • Unexplained inflammation
  • Fever, chills, rash, or redness indicating an infection
  • Shooting or radiating pain

Q: What can cause hip pain in a woman?

A: The most common causes of hip pain in women are :

  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Hip fracture
  • Hernia

Q: Is walking good for hip pain?

A: For those experiencing (or recuperating from) hip pain, the best forms of exercise are low-impact exercises, like walking or light jogging. Even if you are living with a condition like arthritis, walking is advised as it helps relieve the pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the affected area(s).

Q: What does hip joint pain feel like?

A: Pain and stiffness are the most common indicators of hip joint pain. Those experiencing hip joint pain may also experience dull, aching pain in the hips and surrounding areas. Levels of pain are often highest when the body is not motion, with pain levels often slowly decreasing during a low-impact activity.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of hip joint pain:

  • Limping
  • Pain in the groin
  • Reduced range of motion of the hip
  • Warmth (or a burning sensation) in the region
  • Inflammation in the region
  • Feeling of tenderness
  • Redness in the joints
  • Inability to bear any weight on the hip
  • Spasms
Hip Pain Treatment

Downloadable Resources

Are You Experiencing Pain?

If you are experiencing any back pain or stiffness, call Advanced Pain Care at 512-244-4272 to schedule an appointment with one of our pain care and management specialists.

We have a range of pain management treatment options available right from surgical interventions to non-invasive and minimally invasive treatment options. Our team will work with you to develop a pain management plan based on the severity of your condition.

Advanced Pain Care/Advanced Orthopedics is a leading multispecialty medical group in Central Texas with locations in Austin, Waco, Amarillo and Killeen.

We offer an experienced staff of doctor, nurses and assistants with experience in the latest technologies and treatments for a wide variety of pain conditions. In addition, we offer state-of-the-art surgical facilities and same or next day appointments, so if you are experiencing hip pain call us at 512-244-4272 or visit https://austinpaindoctor.com/ to get professional medical care for your specific condition immediately.

Advanced Pain Care/Advanced Orthopedics – The Pain Stops Here.