Hip Pain – When Is It a Sign of More Serious Condition?
Hip pain is very common and can stem from a variety of sources. The location of the pain can provide important clues regarding the underlying cause. For instance, pain felt on the outside of the hip, the outer part of the buttock, or the upper thigh may result from an issue with a tendon, ligament, or muscle around the hip. Conversely, pain felt on the inner part of the hip is more likely to indicate a problem with the hip joint itself.
Should you see a physician for hip pain?
Not all types of hip pain warrant a visit with a doctor. In general, you should seek prompt medical attention if you experience intense discomfort, are unable to support any weight on your hip, or notice a sudden change in the appearance of your hip joint.
On the other hand, mild to moderate hip pain often responds well to self-care measures. At MedRite Urgent Care in New York City, we generally recommend starting out with home remedies, such as:
- Rest – Avoid putting weight on your injured hip or otherwise stressing the joint as it heals.
- Cold therapy – Apply an ice pack to your painful hip for approximately 20 minutes as needed to reduce painful inflammation.
- Heat therapy – Apply a hot compress or take a warm bath to loosen taut muscles around your hip.
- Medication – Take an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, to bring down the swelling.
If at-home treatment measures do not provide sufficient relief within approximately one week, it may be time to seek medical attention.
How to prepare for a visit with a physician
When you see a doctor about hip pain, he or she will typically perform a physical examination focused on your hip and the surrounding tissues. Be ready to answer questions about when the pain started and how it feels, and also to discuss the results of any home treatments you’ve tried. If the doctor suspects a hip injury or structural problem, he or she may order an X-ray.
Depending on the outcome of the diagnostic process, the doctor may discuss further testing, a prescription medication, physical therapy, or a surgical procedure, such as a total hip replacement (arthroplasty).
If you are dealing with hip pain and would like to see a physician, please contact or visit MedRite Urgent Care in New York City today – no appointment or referral is necessary.