We put our hips under a heavy load day in and day out. It follows that hip pain is a common condition for many people. From finding relief from a simple pain in the hips, like from bursitis, to overcoming chronic joint pain and mobility problems, hip pain treatment is essential to long-term quality of life. However, the large number of patients who struggle with chronic and debilitating hip pain only highlights the struggle in developing an effective plan of care.
At Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America (OJRCA,) we believe patient education is a cornerstone of effective hip pain treatment. Learning more about the steps that can lead to hip pain relief can help you be more engaged with your care and work more closely with treatment professionals.
Take some time to review this helpful guide to hip pain treatment. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find the care you need for your lifestyle and treatment goals, please get in touch with a member of our team. We’re here to help.
Effective Hip Pain Treatment is Different for Everyone
Personalized care is essential to overcoming hip pain. This is because not only are there a wide range of underlying causes for hip joint pain, but people also have different lifestyle and medical needs that impact treatment. For example, an older patient with hip arthritis causing joint pain will have different needs at nearly every stage of treatment compared to a younger athlete with a hip flexor strain.
Although some symptomatic treatment is similar, ensuring long-term relief for different conditions, injuries and medical histories requires individualized approaches. This is why it’s essential to be proactive about seeking treatment from a qualified medical professional for any pain in the hips that does not improve in a short period of time.
You should expect to undergo the following steps to diagnose hip pain and start to receive treatment:
- A review of your medical and treatment history
- Questions about your specific symptoms of hip pain and how they are affecting daily activities
- A physical examination that includes hands-on palpation and movement evaluation
- Diagnostic testing such as an MRI or X-ray to confirm a diagnosis or rule out other causes
From there, you and your doctor or other treatment professional can work together to develop a hip pain treatment plan that is right for you. In most cases of joint pain and/or hip injury, the first step in treatment will consist of nonsurgical conservative therapies.
Hip Pain Treatment Often Takes Patience and Commitment
Common conservative therapies for initial hip pain treatment include getting sufficient rest, taking over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and using cold therapy and hot therapy in alternation.
It is also important to stay active and keep the hip as mobile as possible without overexerting it. You may receive instructions for gentle stretches and low-impact exercises to help improve range-of-motion and maintain or improve hip strength.
Conservative hip treatment does not work overnight and may take some trial and error to get the results and relief you were expecting. If basic treatments don’t sufficiently relieve joint pain and improve function, it may be beneficial to undergo more advanced treatments such as physical therapy and therapeutic injections.
Hip Pain and Knee Pain May be Connected — Effective Treatment Can Help Both
Many people dealing with hip pain find themselves also living with other difficult problems, including knee pain. While in some cases they may be due to independent issues, often there can be a situation where one is contributing to the other. If chronic hip pain is causing you to change your posture or alter your gait, it can increase the strain on other areas, particularly the knees or even the lower back.
A qualified treatment professional can help you identify mechanical defects that could be contributing to interconnected hip pain and knee pain. Physical therapy can be a particularly effective way to address these problems.
Approaching Joint Pain from a Healthy Lifestyle Perspective
One aspect of hip pain treatment that so many patients overlook is addressing certain lifestyle factors that may be contributing to joint pain and dysfunction. Like any load-bearing joint in the body, increased stress on the hips leads to an increased risk of injury as well as accelerated degeneration that leads to conditions such as arthritis.
Here are the primary ways to relieve stress on the hip joints to potentially help with hip pain:
- Strengthening the supporting muscles in and around the hip, thereby taking pressure off of the bones, cartilage and connective tissue
- Losing excess weight, which adds to the compound force we place on the hips while moving and standing
- Engaging in routine strength training as well as low impact aerobic exercises
The above can help with both prevention and treatment of hip pain, at any stage of your journey. Getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and working with a trainer or physical therapist are just a few of the ways to not only improve hip health, but your overall health and well-being.
When to Seriously Consider Hip Surgery
Hip surgery, particularly for degenerative joint pain, generally becomes a consideration for patients when weeks or months of conservative therapy have not brought the relief necessary for a good quality of life. The exact procedure recommended by a surgeon will depend on factors such as the diagnosed condition, the patient’s age, and their state of health.
For many with extensive joint damage due age-related arthritis or recurring injury, a hip replacement procedure represents the best chance of long-term pain relief and improved function. Although traditional approaches to hip replacement required several nights of hospitalization and a long, often difficult recovery, there have been many important advancements in the field.
The OJRCA Difference for Total Hip Replacement Surgery
OJRCA and board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Philip J. Clifford takes a minimally invasive, muscle sparing, tendon sparing approach to joint replacement procedures that also utilize unique anesthesia and multimodal pain management protocols.
The result is an outpatient procedure performed at our state-of-the-art surgery center that offers a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication compared to traditional hospital based surgery. Even patients with certain medical conditions that require inpatient surgery can still benefit from the OJRCA method.
If you’re looking for lasting relief from hip pain, contact our team online to learn more about your hip pain treatment options.
You can also call us at (813) 492-4607.