Diagnosis and Treatment of Hip Pain in Wake County

What is Hip Pain?

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.

Causes of Hip Pain

There are several aggravating factors and conditions that can lead to hip pain. These include:

  • Arthritis: The cartilage that cushions your hip joint starts to break down. This can lead to inflammation, swelling, and severe 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.
  • Tendonitis: 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.
  • Bursitis: This is a condition that can be extremely painful and frustrating. It occurs when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints become inflamed.
  • Hernia: 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 of pain:

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. This happens when these muscles are overused while running, kicking, or sitting for a prolonged period of time.

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 tear 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 incredibly disruptive to everyday life. It can make it difficult to walk, sit, or even stand up straight. But what exactly are the symptoms those with hip pain tend to notice?

  • Dull ache
  • Sharp and severe pain
  • Warmth and tenderness around the hip area

How is Hip Pain Diagnosed?

When you visit an 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? Your doctor will also want to know about your medical history and whether you have any other conditions that could be causing discomfort. 

They will examine your hips and may order MRI scans and other imaging in the Triangle Area to get a clear picture of the nearby bones and joints. Based on all of this information, your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your hip pain and recommend treatment options, answering any questions you have along the way.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain

Hip pain can be extremely uncomfortable, whether it’s a sharp twinge when you move a certain way or a persistent and dull ache. There are both conservative and non-surgical treatment options for hip pain, and your doctor will let you know which treatment path is best suited for you.

Nonsurgical Treatment

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  • Rest and Ice: This is often the first course of action for dealing with any type of orthopedic 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 into the muscles. This process can also help to reduce inflammation and improve your pain levels.
  • Supplements: Several supplements are effective in treating hip pain, including glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

Surgical Treatment Options

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If conservative treatments are not effective, surgery for hip pain may be an option. The type of surgery your doctor recommends 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.

Recovery from Surgery for Hip Pain

After a hip replacement, it may take you a few months to fully recover and regain strength and range of motion in your hip. Your physical therapist will likely get you started with a physical therapy plan shortly after your surgery. They will also give you recommendations on how to move about your home as you recover. Full recovery from hip surgery can take anywhere from six to twelve weeks.

How to Prevent Hip Pain

When thinking about how to prevent hip pain, it is important to make sure you are not overusing the hip. Maintaining a healthy weight will prevent added stress on the hip joints, and in turn, prevent pain. Stretching and exercising can also be an effective way to build strength in the hip, but it is important to stop if you are experiencing any pain. Warming up and cooling down before and after exercise is a great way to prevent injuries from occurring. If necessary, using a cane or walker for stability can also take stress off the hip and decrease pain.

Expert Hip Pain Treatment in Wake County

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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 living your best life. 

We offer a comprehensive approach to care that includes the latest non-surgical and surgical treatments. We focus on conservative methods first, helping patients avoid surgery whenever possible. 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.