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When to See a Doctor about Hip Pain

Hip pain is not something to ignore. When this joint hurts, exercise, walking, and even sleeping may be difficult. You may even feel throbbing and discomfort when you sit still, drive, or lay down. 

At Integrated Spine and Pain Care, with locations in Farmingdale and Deer Park, New York, our experienced pain management team is ready to evaluate your hip issue and give you relief. Some causes of hip pain are more urgent than others, but if you have pain that’s persistent, you should come to us for a consultation. 

In this blog, Mikael Sarij, MD, explains some of the most common causes and symptoms of hip pain to help you determine if you need to come in for medical attention.

Immediate need for medical attention

If you have a sudden onset of pain, that’s a sign that you need immediate medical care. Hip pain that’s intense, involves sudden swelling, or shows signs of infection requires a visit to urgent care or the emergency room.

If you’ve been in an accident and the joint appears deformed or you’re unable to move or bear weight on your hip or leg, this also requires emergency assistance. 

Concerning hip symptoms

The following symptoms may not require a visit to the emergency room, but they do warrant a call to our office:

Hip pain may be constant and achy, intermittent and sharp, or present only when you’re active. Regardless, it’s important to have it evaluated so you can find relief.

Possible causes of hip pain

Hip pain can be caused by a sudden accident or injury. For example, a fracture in the upper portion of the thigh bone can cause significant pain that’s particularly noticeable in the outer portion of the upper thigh and groin. If you get this kind of fracture, you’ll likely have trouble flexing or moving the hip. 

Other causes of hip pain can include the following:

Arthritis

When the cartilage that lines your joint wears away — which is usually due to past injuries and normal wear and tear — you may experience pain, swelling, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis develops over time and is most prevalent in adults older than age 50. 

You may feel pain in your hip that radiates to your buttocks or knees. Arthritis pain can flare up with activity. It may feel like the joint is grinding or locking. 

Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause hip pain. This is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, thus causing inflammation and pain. 

Treatment options for arthritis include physical therapy, exercise modifications, stem cell therapy, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.

Bursitis

Bursae are small jelly-like sacs that help cushion areas throughout the body. When it comes to the hip, they act as cushions between the hip bone and soft tissues.

Bursitis of the hip occurs when a bursa becomes inflamed. With bursitis, you may have pain in your hip that extends to your outer thigh. It may worsen with activity or show up when you’re resting or sleeping. 

Joint injections and physical therapy may help you find relief from bursitis pain.

Of course, many other issues can also cause hip pain, so the first thing you should do is get evaluated by our specialists. Once we know what’s causing your pain, we can design a treatment plan to get you well again.

If you have hip pain, we can help you get the treatment you need. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Integrated Spine and Pain Care today.

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