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Hip Pain

Understanding Hip Pain and How to Treat It

Hip pain can cause a sharp, throbbing, or dull ache. This issue is typically caused by problems with the hip muscles, joints, or bones connecting to the hip. In some cases, hip pain can even be referred from other areas of the body, such as the lower back or knees. 

If the pain remains unchecked, it can be hard to walk, sit, or even sleep.  As such, it’s important to see your orthopedic doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

What Causes Hip Pain?

There can be several culprits of hip pain. These include:


The cartilage that cushions your hip joint starts to break down. This can lead to inflammation, swelling, and a lot of pain.

Stress Fracture

This happens when too much pressure on your hip joint causes the bone to crack. This is often seen in athletes who overtrain or in older adults with osteoporosis.


This is a condition that can cause pain and inflammation in your tendons. The tendons are the tough, fibrous cords that attach muscles to your bones.


This is a condition that can be extremely painful and frustrating. It occurs when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints become inflamed.


A hernia is a protrusion of an organ or tissue through a weak point in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue.

Types of Hip Pain

Hip pain can take many forms, and it can be tough to determine what’s causing the discomfort. However, the issue can generally be categorized into three types:

Hip Flexor Pain

As the name suggests, hip flexor pain is felt in the hip area when the muscles and tendons become inflamed, sore, and painful. The issue happens when these muscles are overused when running, sitting for a prolonged time, or kicking.

Hip Joint Pain

The hip is a weight-bearing joint, which means that any pain in this area can make it difficult to walk, sit, or even stand. Fortunately, there are several treatments available for hip joint pain. It commonly results from wear and tears on the cartilage that cushions the hip joint. 

Referred Hip Pain

Referred hip pain is a common complaint, but the source of the pain isn’t always obvious. You may think the pain comes from your hip joint, but it’s referred from another source. Possible causes include sciatica, a herniated disc, piriformis syndrome, and sacroiliitis.

Symptoms of Hip Pain

Hip pain can be a real pain in the…well, hip. It can make it difficult to walk, sit, or even stand up straight. But what exactly are the symptoms of hip pain?

  • Dull Ache
  • Sharp and Severe Pain
  • Warmth and Tenderness Around the Hip Area

Diagnosing Hip Pain

When you visit the orthopedic doctor for your hip pain, they will ask you about the pain. When did it start? Where is it located? What makes it feel better or worse? The doctor will also want to know about your medical history and whether you have any other conditions that could be causing the hip pain. 

They will examine your hips and may order MRI Scans and other Imaging in the Triangle Area, to better look at the bones and joints. Based on all of this information, the doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your hip pain and recommend treatment options.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain

Hip pain can be extremely uncomfortable, whether it’s a sharp twinge when you move in a certain way or a dull ache that seems never to go away. If you’re dealing with hip pain, you may be wondering what treatment options are available.

Here are a few things you can try to find relief:

Nonsurgical Treatment

Rest and Ice

This is often the first course of action for dealing with any pain. Limit your activity and apply ice to the area for 15-20 minutes.

Regular Exercise

Believe it or not, exercise can help relieve hip pain. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help take pressure off the joints and ease stiffness.

Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and pain. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medication if needed.

Injections and Infusions

With injections, medications are delivered directly into the hip to reduce inflammation. Infusion therapy involves providing medications intravenously or now into the muscles. This can also help to reduce inflammation and improve your pain levels.


Several supplements are effective in treating hip pain, including glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. 


If conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be an option. The type of surgery will depend on the underlying cause of the hip pain. For example, a joint replacement may be necessary if the pain is caused by arthritis. 

If a fracture causes pain, a metal rod may be needed to stabilize the bone. Ultimately, deciding whether to have surgery will depend on your situation and preferences.

Expert Hip Pain Treatment in Wake County

Raleigh Orthopaedic is the leading provider of hip pain treatment in Wake County. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained hip specialists are dedicated to helping you find relief from your hip pain and get back to your life. 

We offer a comprehensive approach to care that includes the latest non-surgical and surgical treatments. We also offer a wide array of physical therapy and rehabilitation services to help you recover from your hip injury or surgery. If you’re experiencing hip pain, contact Raleigh Orthopaedic to schedule an appointment today.

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