Hip discomfort can have many causes, including strained muscles, over-exercising, or the level of support your body gets from your mattress. You might notice that the pain comes and goes. However, if the pain or discomfort only worsens, you might have the beginnings of hip trouble.
The certified orthopedic surgeons at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates can help you figure out what is causing the pain in your hips and come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.
What are some hip issues you may have?
The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that allows your legs to move freely and fluidly. The ball of the femur (thigh) bone fits into a socket in your pelvis. They’re connected by cartilage and ligaments, and are surrounded by muscles and tendons.
Your hip pain can have a variety of causes, within or from outside of your body. The issue may come from the joint itself, which you usually feel as pain in the groin or inside the hip. You may also experience pain on the outer part of your hip or buttock, which can indicate a problem with muscles or ligaments.
Among the many possible causes of the annoying aches in your hip are:
- Several forms of arthritis
- Hip labral tear
- Pinched nerves
- Hip fracture
- Bone infections
Some of these problems may seem daunting, but knowing what signs to look for early on can help you get the treatment you need to get back on your feet.
Early signs to keep in mind
When you consider joint issues, you probably think about pain as one of the first signs that there's an issue brewing. Pain is usually a sign that you might have a problem with your hips. The pain can come and go, either in the hip itself or in the groin. The pain may be worse after exercise, and can even cause difficulty sleeping.
Another common early sign from a hip problem is stiffness of the joint. This can be worse in the morning when you get out of bed, or may get worse as the day goes on. If you have stiffness, you may have trouble bending down or leaning over to put on your shoes.
As a hip issue develops, you might experience a loss in your range of motion, keeping you from putting weight on the leg. If you can still walk, you might find yourself limping or needing an assistive device.
Some symptoms should prompt you to seek immediate medical attention if your hip pain doesn’t subside within a few days. These symptoms include:
These could be signs that you have an infection in your hip, which requires prompt medical care to ensure a quick recovery.
All of these symptoms may vary in severity, depending on what is causing your hip problem.
Treatments for hip disorders
When you seek help for your hip pain, our surgeons will do some diagnostic exams such as X-rays or an MRI. Pinpointing the cause of your hip pain determines the course of treatment that our surgeons suggest.
If your hip problem is mild, treatments may involve rest, ice to the site, not putting weight on it for a few days, or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. If there is inflammation around the hip, our surgeons may recommend a steroid injection to tame the discomfort.
Hip infections usually require you to receive treatment with antibiotics, with the type and length of treatment you need depending on the cause of the infection.
Hip fractures usually require you to undergo surgery to repair the injury with plates, screws, and pins. For more severe cases, a joint replacement may be required to help you fully recover.
No matter the cause of your hip trouble, acting early on symptoms can get you back to your normal activities quicker than if you let the problem further worsen.
If you’re dealing with hip pain and are ready to seek treatment, call one of our four Bay Area locations in California, two in Daly City and one each in San Francisco and Atherton. You can also or book an appointment online today, or send a message to the Peninsula Orthopedic Associates team here on our website.