Hip pain, a common reason patients seek medical treatment, may not always be felt precisely over the hip joint. Pain may be felt in and around the hip joint and the cause for pain is multifactorial. The exact location of your hip pain suggests the probable cause or underlying condition causing pain. Pain felt deep inside the hip or in the groin area is more likely to be because of the problems within the hip joint itself. In contrast, pain felt on the outer side of your hip, upper thigh or buttocks may be the result of problems of the muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. Certain disease conditions affecting other parts of your body such as lower back or knees can also cause hip pain.
A common cause of sudden pain in the hip is an injury resulting in fracture of the hip bone. Hip fractures are common in elderly individuals because bones tend to weaken with age. Other causes of hip pain include arthritis, bursitis, infection, low back pain, osteonecrosis of the hip, sprains or strains and tendinitis resulting from repetitive use. Your doctor will evaluate the condition based on the medical history, physical examination of the hip and thigh region, and diagnostic tests including X-rays and other scans.
Self-care and pain relieving anti-inflammatory medications offer symptomatic relief. However, the exact cause for the pain should be addressed. Practicing certain measures can avoid aggravation of pain and improve the quality of life. Avoiding physical activities that may worsen pain, stretching the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, and performing warm up exercises lessen or improve hip pain. Applying ice packs over the region of pain for about 15 minutes three to four times daily reduces both pain and swelling. If you have an injury with severe hip pain and swelling, talk to your orthopaedic surgeon immediately for better treatment outcomes.