What is hip pain?
Hip pain can be caused by many different things, but the good news is that it is usually nothing to be worried about and should get better on its own.
It could be from over use of the muscles and tendons, or general wear and tear of the hip socket as you age. However, long-term hip pain may be linked to another condition, such as arthritis, which we will cover later on.
If you are struggling with hip pain, our doctors can help. Book an appointment today and get the diagnosis and treatment you may need.
Hip pain can affect people of all ages. However, as mentioned above, as you get older you are more likely to experience it because of normal day-to-day wear and tear.
If you are younger, you may have experienced an injury or strain that is causing the pain you are feeling. The hip joint is designed for repetitive movement, but if you are very active or participate in a sport that involves a lot of twisting, you may be at higher risk of hip injury and pain.
The symptoms of hip pain will depend on what is causing it. There are some common things that you can look out for.
What does hip joint pain feel like?
- You may feel pain in your outer hip.
- The pain may radiate into your groin, down the front of your leg and into your knee.
- The pain may be felt in your bottom.
See a GP as soon as possible if:
- The pain is severe or becomes worse.
- If you struggle with day to day activities, like climbing stairs.
- You are also losing weight unexpectedly.
- Have hip pain and sickle cell anaemia.
- The pain is affecting other joints.
You should go straight to A&E if:
- You have had a bad fall or injured your hip another way.
- You have a fever or are feeling unwell, as this could be a sign of septic arthritis, a serious infection.
- You cannot bear any weight on your hip.
- Your leg is bleeding badly, is bruised or deformed in any way.
The hip pain you are experiencing may simply be due to overuse or injury. However, it can sometimes be related to an underlying condition, including:
There are many types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis that can cause hip pain. The inflammation of the hip joint caused by arthritis can lead to you having a reduced range of motion in the hip and it may sometime lead to surgery.
Bones can become weak and more brittle as you age. This makes the hip ball and socket joint more susceptible to breaking (known as a fracture) during a fall. If you are younger, you can fracture your hip through an injury. A sudden pain is a sign of a fracture.
If your hip joint is not the right shape, or if the socket isn’t the correct depth, it may not be able to support your leg properly, causing hip pain.
Sprains and strain
Repetitive use of your muscles and tendons can put a strain on them, leading to a problem with the hip joint.
If blood flow to the hip bone slows, it can lead to avascular necrosis. It is most common in the hip bone, although it can occur in other bones such as the thigh. It can sometimes be caused by a fracture or dislocation of the hip.
Hip labral tear
The circular thick bands of tissue that are around the outside rim of the hip joint, known as the labrum, can tear. If you do a sport that involves a lot of twisting movements, you may be more at risk of developing a hip labral tear.
Some cancers can start in the bone or spread to the bone. This cancer may cause pain in the hips and other parts of the body.
This is when the fluid filled sac that helps reduce friction between moving parts of the tissue becomes inflamed. It is best to rest up, treat the area with ice and take anti-inflammatory medication.
This is not an extensive list, your hip pain may be caused by something else entirely. By speaking to one of our caring doctors, you can work together to figure out whether your hip pain is caused by an underlying hip condition, or something else. They can then find the right course of treatment for you.
When to see a doctor
If you believe you may have an underlying condition, or you are worried about your hip pain, then it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
At Push Doctor you can see a GP online, from work, home or even on the go. Our doctors can discuss your hip pain over video consultation, listen to your symptoms and suggest the right treatment to get you back up on your feet as quickly as possible.
This can include medication, physical therapy or treatment of an underlying health condition that could be causing the symptoms.
If your hip pain is caused by a muscle or tendon strain, you may be able to relieve the pain with over the counter medicines like ibuprofen or paracetamol. If you find these medications are not helping, then a doctor may prescribe something stronger to deal with the pain.
You may also find some relief from using an ice pack on the hip for around 15 minutes at a time. Resting as much as you can will help to minimise the symptoms of hip pain too.
If the problem is more serious, a doctor may refer you to another health care professional, such as a physical therapist, or to a hip specialist.
A doctor may look at long term care for conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, with medications that target the immune system to help alleviate the symptoms. You may need anti-inflammatory prescription medication to deal with your condition as well.
How we can help
You can see a GP about your hip pain at a time that suits you. Our doctors are available 7 days a week and can offer you the advice, diagnosis and any treatment you may need. They can also refer you to a specialist for further investigation or treatment.