Are you having hip pain? Is it just going to go away on its own, or is it more serious and needs to be seen by a doctor?
It’s often hard to know. If you’re worried about your hip pain, it’s important to know what kind of hip pain can go away on its own and what kind of hip pain needs medical attention.
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Some hip injuries are serious, while others might not be a big deal and might resolve on their own. How can you know the difference?
One way to tell would be based on where you feel the pain.
Pain from the hip joint is typically felt in the groin or front of your upper thigh. Pain here can be a sign of hip arthritis, a femoral neck stress fracture, a labral tear, or maybe a hip flexor strain or tear.
Pain felt on the outside of your hip is very often a type of bursitis called trochanteric bursitis or a tendinopathy of the small muscles that attach to the bony prominence on the outside of your hip.
Pain in the buttock usually stems from the lumbar spine, possibly a herniated disc or sciatica.
While it might be an oversimplification, that rule of thumb generally holds up. And so if the pain is felt in the groin, then the conditions that cause groin pain – arthritis, labral tear, stress fracture or hip flexor – might not go away on their own, and you might consider seeing an orthopedic surgeon.
The same applies to buttock pain that is likely coming from a herniated disc or other problem in your back or sciatic nerve.
On the other hand, pain on the outside of the hip often does resolve on its own with simple strategies such as anti-inflammatory medications and stretching.
Also, if you have pain when you bear weight on that leg, or pain that causes you to limp, it could indicate a problem that might not resolve on its own. Seeing a doctor sooner rather than later might be a good idea. Similarly, pain that persists despite a period of rest can also indicate a more serious problem.
If you have hip pain, you might try ice, heat, anti-inflammatory medications, activity modification and rest for a few days to see if your problems go away on their own. But if you have signs that they won’t, or if the pain is getting worse or not getting better, seeing a physical therapist, doctor or orthopedic surgeon can be a good idea.
We are looking for 5 patients with hip pain who want to get significantly better in the next 30 days, without cortisone shots, physical therapy, or surgery. Click this link and enter the term ‘Interested’ in the description box to learn more.