Hip pain is discomfort or pain in the hip joint or surrounding areas, including the groin, thigh, buttocks, or lower back.
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint where the thigh bone (femur) fits into the pelvis. Hip pain can range from mild to severe and can be acute (sudden onset) or chronic (long-term).
Hip pain is more common in women than in men, and the risk of hip pain increases with age. In the UK, it has been estimated that up to 15% of adults aged 60 years and older have hip pain caused by osteoarthritis, which is the most common cause of hip pain in this age group. Other risk factors for hip pain include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, previous joint injuries, and certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
What causes hip pain?
Hip pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:
- Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in the hip joint to wear down, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, including the hip joint.
- Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac that helps cushion the hip joint.
- Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendons that attach muscles to the hip joint.
- Hip fracture: A break in the hip bone, usually caused by a fall or injury.
- Sciatica: Pain that radiates from the lower back through the hip and down the leg, caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
- Muscle strain or sprain: Overuse or injury to the muscles and ligaments in the hip joint.
- Other conditions: Hip pain can also be caused by other conditions, such as hernias, infections, or tumours.
What are the Symptoms of Hip Pain?
The symptoms of hip pain can vary depending on the underlying cause of the pain. Some common symptoms of hip pain include:
- Pain in the hip joint: This is the most common symptom of hip pain. The pain may be a dull ache, a sharp stabbing pain, or a burning sensation.
- Pain in the groin: Hip pain may also be felt in the groin area, especially if the pain is caused by osteoarthritis or a hip fracture.
- Stiffness: Stiffness in the hip joint may make it difficult to move the leg or perform activities that require hip movement, such as bending or walking.
- Reduced range of motion: A limited range of motion in the hip joint can make it difficult to move the leg in certain directions.
- Swelling: Swelling around the hip joint may be present in some cases, especially if the pain is caused by bursitis or tendinitis.
- Limping: In some cases, hip pain may cause a noticeable limp when walking or standing.
- Clicking or popping sounds: Some people with hip pain may experience clicking or popping sounds in the hip joint when moving the leg.
How can I relieve my hip pain at home?
If you are experiencing mild to moderate hip pain, there are a number of things you can do at home to help relieve your symptoms.
Here are some tips:
Rest: Avoid activities that aggravate your hip pain, and rest your hip as much as possible. You may also want to consider using crutches or a stick to take pressure off the affected hip. However, if your symptoms are helped by these measures, it’s time to get checked over by your medical professional.
Apply heat or ice: Applying heat or ice to the affected hip can help reduce pain and inflammation. Use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm towel for 20 minutes at a time, or apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel for 10-20 minutes at a time.
Gentle exercise: Gentle exercise such as walking or swimming can help improve hip flexibility and reduce pain. However, avoid high-impact activities such as running or jumping that may worsen your symptoms.
Over-the-counter pain relief: Over-the-counter pain relief medications such as Paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help reduce hip pain and inflammation. You MUST seek advice from your pharmacist or other medical professionals if you need medication for pain relief.
Lose weight: If you are overweight, losing weight can help reduce the stress on your hip joint and improve your symptoms.
Stretching: Gentle stretching exercises for the hip muscles can help reduce pain and improve mobility. Consult with a physical therapist or healthcare provider before starting a stretching routine to make sure you’re doing it safely and effectively.
Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, getting regular exercise, and avoiding activities that aggravate your symptoms can help reduce hip pain and prevent further damage to the hip joint.
Remember, these home remedies may help relieve mild to moderate hip pain, but if your symptoms are severe or are longstanding and worsening, it’s important to see a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your pain and receive appropriate treatment.
Treatment options for hip pain
The treatment options for hip pain depend on the underlying cause of the pain.
Here are some common treatment options:
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relief medications such as Paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help reduce hip pain and inflammation. In some cases, stronger prescription pain medications or corticosteroids may be necessary.
- Physiotherapy: Our Physiotherapists can work with you to develop a personalized exercise program to help improve hip flexibility and strength and reduce pain.
- Injections: In some cases, injections of corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation and pain in the hip joint.
- Assistive devices: Using a stick or crutches can help take pressure off the affected hip and reduce pain.
- Surgery: If other treatments are not effective, surgery may be necessary. Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, surgery may involve repairing or replacing the hip joint.
It’s important to see a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your hip pain and receive appropriate treatment. They can help you determine which treatment options are best for your specific situation.
How can I prevent hip pain?
Here are some tips that may help prevent hip pain:
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts added stress on your hips, which can lead to pain and other problems. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help reduce this stress.
- Stay active: Regular exercise can help keep your hips strong and flexible. Choose low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling that don’t put too much stress on your hip joints.
- Practice good posture: Poor posture can put added stress on your hips and other joints. Make sure to stand up ‘tall’ with your shoulders back, and avoid slouching or hunching over.Wear comfortable shoes: Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes can help reduce the stress on your hips and other joints.
- Use proper form when lifting: When lifting heavy objects, use your legs instead of your back to reduce the stress on your hips.
- Warm up before exercise: Before exercising, warm up with some gentle stretching or low-impact activities to help prepare your hips and other joints.
- Get regular check-ups: Frequent check-ups with your healthcare provider can help identify any underlying issues that may contribute to hip pain and allow for early intervention.
By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of developing hip pain and other hip problems. If you do experience hip pain or other symptoms, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.
When should I worry about hip pain?
Hip pain can have many different causes, and while some cases may not be serious, others may require medical attention.
Here are some situations where you should consider seeking medical attention for hip pain:
Severe pain: If your hip pain is severe and interfering with your daily activities or ability to sleep, you should see a healthcare provider.Injury: If you’ve had a recent injury to your hip, such as a fall or impact, and are experiencing hip pain, you should seek medical attention to rule out a fracture or other serious injury.
Fever: If you have a fever along with hip pain, it may be a sign of infection, and you should seek medical attention.
Numbness or tingling: If you’re experiencing numbness or tingling in your hip or down your leg, it may be a sign of nerve damage, and you should see a healthcare provider.
Difficulty bearing weight: If you’re having difficulty putting weight on your affected leg or walking, you should seek medical attention.
Progressive pain: If your hip pain is getting worse over time and not improving with rest, you should see a healthcare provider.
History of cancer: If you have a history of cancer, particularly bone cancer, and are experiencing hip pain, you should seek medical attention to rule out metastasis.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or if your hip pain is interfering with your daily activities, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during my initial consultation?
Our priority upon your arrival is to ensure that you feel welcome, comfortable, and well-informed about your appointment. Typically, your initial consultation will last between 45 minutes to an hour. One of our experienced osteopaths will meet you and begin by attentively listening to you. We will inquire about your general health, any current pain you may be experiencing, your medical history, medications you may be taking, and review any medical examination results.
After this initial discussion, we may conduct specific tests to make a diagnosis. You may be asked to perform some gentle movements to allow us to evaluate your posture and mobility.
Using this important information, we will then create a personalized treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.
What will happen AFTER an initial consultation?
During your second visit to our clinic, we will provide a detailed explanation of our findings from your history and examination. By the end of this session, you will be able to answer several crucial questions, including:
- What is causing my symptoms?
- What are the available treatment options?
- How long is the expected recovery time?
- How much treatment will be necessary based on your personalized treatment plan?
- How much will your treatment cost?
- What can I do to help myself?
- What changes do I need to make to get better, faster?
We take the time to explain and clarify the causes of your symptoms and what can be done to alleviate them. At this stage, we will have created a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
What can I expect after my first treatment?
The response to treatment varies from person to person, as everyone is unique. The initial treatment is a crucial step in gauging the patient’s reaction to treatment and determining the best course of action to meet their individual needs.
Immediate relief may be experienced by some patients after the first session, while others may require multiple sessions to see significant progress. It’s vital for patients to realize that treatment is not a one-time fix and that it may take a number of sessions to achieve long-term results, particularly for chronic issues or long-standing musculoskeletal imbalances.
Is treatment painful?
The treatments themselves are not painful, but there might be some discomfort after the spinal manipulation as your body adjusts to the treatment and improved posture. This can result in stiffness in certain regions, which is a natural occurrence, and we recommend using an ice pack on the area for 10 minutes after your session and staying hydrated.
What causes the cracking sound during the treatment?
The cracking or popping sound heard during an osteopathic treatment is caused by the release of nitrogen gas from the joints. This is a normal and common occurrence and may not always happen depending on the technique used. The sound itself is neither significant or important to your progress.
What is the cost of the initial consultation?
The initial consultation is priced at £65, which comprises a thorough spinal evaluation including muscle and nerve testing, orthopaedic examination, as well as posture and movement analysis.
What is the cost of the each treatment?
Each treatment is £45 if you pay as you go. However, we do have discount options available depending on what works best for you.
What days and times are you open?
Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm,
Saturday – 8am – 2pm
Sunday – closed
How long will it take for me to feel better?
The length of time it will take to start to feel better varies a good deal between patients. This difference is based on several factors, including the how long you’ve had the problem and how severe it’s become, your lifestyle and demands of work and family as well as your individual capacity to respond to treatment.
Generally, patients with acute conditions (recent onset) may experience significant improvement within a few sessions, while those with chronic conditions (your symptoms have been present for more than 12 weeks) may require more treatment sessions to attain long-lasting outcomes.
The secrets to getting well are to always turn up for your treatment, follow the guidance of your practitioner and get involved in your own recovery. Don’t delegate your health to your practitioner. It is always a partnership!
What happens if I miss an appointment?
We recognize that we all have busy lives beyond the Backcare and Acupuncture Clinics, but please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to keep your appointment, and we will make every effort to reschedule it for you. We will make every effort to accommodate your particular schedule