If you’re suffering excruciating hip pain, you aren’t alone. Hip pain is a common complaint that can be caused by a wide variety of problems. The precise location of your hip pain can provide valuable clues about the underlying cause.

Problems within the hip joint itself tend to result in pain on the inside of your hip or your groin. Hip pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttocks is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround your hip joints.

Reasons why your hips might hurt

Most causes of hip pain in adults is caused by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes inflammation of the tissue in and around the hip joint, damage to the cartilage and bone growths develop around the edge of the hip joints. This can lead to pain, stiffness and difficulty doing certain activities.

A burning sensation in the side of your hip could be something known as ‘bursitis’, which is an inflammation and swelling of a fluid-filled sac acting as a cushion between the tendons and the bones. Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint is the wrong shape, or the hip socket isn’t in the correct position to completely cover and support the top of the leg bone.

Hip fracture is a sudden hip pain and is more common in older people with weaker bones. Hip labral tear is a tear in the ring of cartilage surrounding the socket of the hip joint. Iliotibial band syndrome is caused by too much running causing inflammation in the thigh ligaments.

How you can get better

Choose proper footwear to support your body in everyday activities. Wear flat shoes with good support. Avoid standing for long periods of time to prevent straining the hip joints. If you are overweight, consider losing weight to alleviate the strain on your hip. Avoid activities that make the pain worst.

Exercise can also strengthen the muscle that support your joints. If you can, get in at least 30 minutes of low-impact, non-weight bearing cardio at least three times a week. Think cycling, swimming or using the elliptical machine at the gym. Running is an activity you should avoid as the impact on your hip joint can make things worse.

Hip pain can be managed with anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. There are dozens of medications available with or without a prescription to treat pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Prescription doses can help curb inflammation. Narcotic pain relievers are available by prescription only and may be used to help with more severe pain.

Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can treat many conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. Although effective, steroids can have many side effects, especially when taken as a pill and used long term. Often, doctors try to avoid these problems by injecting the steroid into the affected joint or trying other medications in combination to keep the dose of steroids as low as possible.

If your pain persists, contact Florida Pain Medicine to determine if treatment can help you. Treatment can help provide specific exercises to maintain flexibility, increase strength, and decrease pain.