Why Your Hip Pain Might Be More Serious Than You Think

Your hip joint is designed for maximum flexibility as well as the ability to handle some serious wear and tear. After all, it is your body's biggest ball-and-socket joint. However, hip pain is a common problem and can be caused by a wide variety of issues, according to the Mayo Clinic. While some of these issues, like simple bruises due to falls or sports injuries are rarely cause for concern and tend to resolve themselves within days or weeks, intense or chronic hip pain may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.

According to WebMD, hip pain may be a symptom of arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, avascular necrosis, hip fractures, and even bone tumors. While some of these conditions are related to specific injuries, some can be products of lifestyle and tend to occur with more frequency in older people than younger. In fact, according to a 2002 study published in the Journal of Family Practice, nearly 15% of adults over the age of 60 reported experiencing hip pain on a daily basis. If your hip pain appeared suddenly or the pain is so intense you can't put weight on it, you should seek medical attention immediately (via WebMD).

How is hip pain treated?

Hip pain is usually treated by identifying the root cause and attempting to remedy or treat it. If an injury causes hip pain, then physical therapy, rest, and ice may be the best treatment options (via Cleveland Clinic). In serious cases, you may need surgery to repair damaged tendons. In the most severe cases, you may be advised to consider hip replacement surgery. Always talk to a qualified professional and get an accurate diagnosis before attempting to treat hip pain on your own.

If your hip pain is caused by arthritis or other chronic inflammatory conditions, your doctor may prescribe you a painkiller or an anti-inflammatory type of medication, according to Cleveland Clinic. Specific stretches and exercises may also help you relieve hip pain, including walking and swimming, but they should be low-impact and avoid placing excessive weight on the hip joint (per Harvard Health Publishing). These exercises not only help those with hip injuries to recover faster but can lead more active lifestyles. Hip pain caused by bone cancer may require surgery or chemotherapy (via MedicineNet).