When Should I Seek Emergency Care
Contact your doctor if you have hip pain that lasts longer than a few days. They can come up with a plan to manage pain and treat your condition.
However, you should contact your doctor immediately if the hip is bleeding or you can see exposed bone or muscle, a popping noise occurs, or you cant bear weight.
Also, seek immediate help if your hip joint appears deformed or is swollen, or if you have severe pain.
Prompt medical attention is necessary for hip pain accompanied by any of the following:
These may be signs of serious conditions, including septic arthritis, which is a joint infection. If its left untreated, septic arthritis can lead to deformed joints and osteoarthritis.
For pain that could be related to a condition such as arthritis, your doctor will ask you a range of questions, including:
- Is the pain worse at a time of day?
- Does it affect your ability to walk?
- When did your symptoms first appear?
You may need to walk around to let your doctor observe the joint in motion. Theyll measure the motion in the normal and abnormal hip and compare the two.
To diagnose arthritis, your doctor will perform fluid and imaging tests. Fluid tests involve taking samples of blood, urine, and joint fluid for testing in a laboratory. Imaging tests may include:
The treatment of hip pain depends on the cause. For exercise-related pain, rest is usually enough to allow the hip to heal. This type of pain is typically gone within a few days.
How To Soar To Self
3. Tendinitis and bursitis Many tendons around the hip connect the muscles to the joint. These tendons can easily become inflamed if you overuse them or participate in strenuous activities. One of the most common causes of tendinitis at the hip joint, especially in runners, is iliotibial band syndrome the iliotibial band is the thick span of tissue that runs from the outer rim of your pelvis to the outside of your knee.
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Another common cause of hip pain in women is bursitis, says , an orthopedic surgeon in Vail, Colorado. Fluid-filled sacs called bursae cushion the bony part of the hip that is close to the surface. Like the tendons, these sacs can become inflamed from irritation or overuse and cause pain whenever you move the hip joint.
4. Hernia In the groin area, femoral and inguinal hernias sometimes referred to as sports hernias can cause anterior hip pain in women. Pregnant women can be susceptible to inguinal hernias because of the added pressure on the wall of their abdomen.
5. Gynecological and back issues Hip pain in women can have gynecological causes, Siegrist says. Its important not to just assume that the pain is caused by arthritis, bursitis, or tendinitis. Depending on your age and other health issues, the pain in your hip could be coming from some other system.
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Common Hip Bursitis Symptoms
The most common early symptom of iliopsoas bursitis is the sound or feeling of the tendon snapping in the hip with activity at any level. For both types, another common early hip bursitis symptom is pain. Pain is universal at all stages and for both types of this condition.
Here are additional symptoms to look for. As the condition persists, people with hip bursitis may experience an increase in symptoms, both in the kind of symptoms they experience and their severity.
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Types Of Hip Bursitis
There are two major types of hip bursitis: trochanteric bursitis and iliopsoas bursitis.
Trochanteric bursitis is primarily diagnosed in older adults. It is commonly caused by trauma or the degenerative effects from aging. However, differences in prevalence or incidence of trochanteric bursitis based on gender have not been identified.
On the other hand, iliopsoas bursitis occurs when the bursa that is connected to the iliopsoas tendon becomes inflamed. This form of bursitis is common in young adults and adolescents, especially women. It is referred to as the snapping-tendon syndrome. This is due to the abnormal movement of swollen muscles in the hip region that cause snapping which can be felt or heard when the hip flexes.
Get Help With Your Hip And Leg Pain Today
While there are many potential causes of hip and leg pain, the most common include arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, dislocation, and sciatica. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. With the proper care, you can find relief from your pain and get back to enjoying your life.
Contact the team at Southern Pain Clinic for help if you suffer from hip and leg pain. Fill out the form below to get started today.
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How Is Hip Pain Diagnosed
A doctor or physiotherapist can work out what is causing the pain in your hip. They might talk to you and examine you. They will check how you stand, how you walk and what movements cause pain. They may suggest blood tests, or imaging such as:
You might find pain relief with home treatments such as:
- gentle exercises for hip pain
You can also use devices such as canes and crutches. These may help to relieve pain and improve mobility.
Your doctor may suggest you see an orthopaedic surgeon if surgery or other specialist treatment is needed.
Top 5 Causes Of Hip And Leg Pain
The pain in your hip or leg can result from various medical issues, ranging from problems with muscles and tendons to diseases affecting nerves and bones. As with any pain, its essential to understand what could be causing your symptoms so you can get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
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How To Tell The Difference
If you have leg pain without significant back pain, it can be hard to tell if the problem is your back or your hip. Vinita Mathew, MD, FAAPMR, is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Northwestern Medicine Integrated Spine Center. Here, Dr. Mathew explains what to look for and what to expect if you see your physician for leg pain.
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome Symptoms
The most common symptom of greater trochanteric pain syndrome is outer thigh and hip pain. Many people find this pain to be a deep pain which may be aching or burning. The pain may become worse over time.
The pain may be worse when you are lying on your side, especially at night. The pain may also be made worse by doing any exercise. You may find that you walk with a limp.
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome often goes away on its own over time.
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I Have Pain That Shoots Down My Hip And Leg Help
Modern daily life can put strain on our hip joints and our legs. And the more overweight you are, the higher the risk of joint pain.
Weight loss is often the best course of action in dealing with joint pain, and with almost 70% of Northern Americans being overweight, its common to leave the explanation at that. Yet, its not only joint problems that cause issues in the hips and legs. Hip pain can often radiate down the leg and masquerade as a source of discomfort in your knee or lower leg and, with doctors and specialists pushing the concept of joint stiffness and problems, its easy to generalize and cast your own diagnosis. While joint stiffness shares a common denominator with any hip/leg issue, in that it makes daily activities harder to perform, there are often other factors at play. Hip pain can stem from anywhere in the area, with this pain fed down the nerves that travel down into the lower leg. This can cause affliction in the thigh, the knee, and down towards your feet. So whats the potential diagnosis? Here are some of the most common causes of pain that radiate from the hip and down your leg.
Repetitive Strain Injury Of The Hamstring
Repetitive strain injury of the upper leg is caused by consistent repetitive use.
You do not need treatment, just rest from your overuse. Wearing a brace and physical therapy might be helpful.
Top Symptoms: upper leg numbness, thigh weakness, hamstring pain from overuse
Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the hamstring: hamstring pain from overuse
Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the hamstring: upper leg injury, severe upper leg pain
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Common Hip Flexor Injuries And Treatments
The hip flexor muscles are a group of muscles attached to the hip joint that allow you to both bring your knee toward your chest as well as bend at the waist. In other words, the hip flexor muscles are fundamental to everyday movement. When these muscles are injured, they are painful and limit your ability to live a normal life.
Injuries can occur in either the inner hip muscles, anterior compartment of the thigh, medial compartment of the thigh, or gluteal muscles however, the pain of an injury is rarely felt in just one area. This makes the cause of hip pain difficult to pinpoint.
This article contains descriptions of common hip flexor injuries as well as conservative, at-home treatments for managing mild to moderate symptoms. To accurately diagnose the source of your pain and receive the most effective treatment, contact a hip specialist.
Move Of The Month: Seated Pretzel
Stretches the buttocks, hips, and outer thighs.
Hold: 1030 seconds
Starting position: Sit up straight in a chair and rest your left ankle on your right thigh above your knee. Place your hands on your thighs.
Movement: Keeping your spine neutral, slowly hinge forward from your hips until you feel a stretch in your left hip and buttock. Hold. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat with your right ankle on your left knee. This is one rep.
Tips and techniques: Keep your spine neutral, not rounded, and your chest lifted as you lean forward. Keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears, as you stretch. For a deeper stretch, gently press down with the hand on your bent leg.
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Pain That Originates From The Side Of The Hip
Certain conditions may cause hip pain to originate from the side of the hip and travel down to the thigh. A few examples are discussed below.
External snapping hip
When a muscle or tendon slides over the bony protrusion at the top of the thigh bone , it creates a snap, pop, or clicking sound. This condition causes pain that increases with direct pressure over the side of the hip. The pain may also travel down the side of the thigh.1Wilson JJ, Furukawa M. Evaluation of the patient with hip pain. Am Fam Physician. 2014 89:27-34.
Read more about 3 Types of Snapping Hip Syndrome on Sports-health.com
Inflammation of the large trochanteric bursa located on the side of the hip joint may cause hip pain. The pain typically increases upon direct pressure on the side of the hip and may travel down the side of the thigh.1Wilson JJ, Furukawa M. Evaluation of the patient with hip pain. Am Fam Physician. 2014 89:27-34.,7Nurkovic J, Jovasevic L, Konicanin A, et al. Treatment of trochanteric bursitis: our experience. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016 28:20782081. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.2078
See Hip Bursitis
Both these conditions belong to a spectrum of hip disorders called the greater trochanteric pain syndrome. This syndrome also includes tears of the gluteus minimus and/or medius muscles located on the side and back of the hip that may cause pain in these areas.1Wilson JJ, Furukawa M. Evaluation of the patient with hip pain. Am Fam Physician. 2014 89:27-34.
Severe Upper Leg Pain Symptoms Causes & Common Questions
Severe leg pain located around the thigh can be caused by trauma from a femoral break or muscle strain. A deep, shooting pain in the upper leg can also be caused by deep vein thrombosis, spinal stenosis, or a thigh bone infection. Read on for more information on causes and treatment options.
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How Is Hip And Leg Pain Treated
There are many treatment options for severe cases of hip and leg pain. Depending on the cause, treatment usually begins with conservative methods that include having the patient remain active and participate in physical therapy, in addition to taking NSAIDs or acetaminophen .
A good home remedy for hip pain is holding ice to the area for about 15 minutes a few times a day, and allowing the hip or leg to rest as much as possible until it feels better. Sometimes heating the painful area can also help reduce pain.
If the cause of the pain is arthritis, exercising the hip joint with low-impact exercises, stretching, and resistance training can reduce pain and improve joint mobility. Physical therapy can help improve the hip stability in osteoarthritis patients, and help increase the range of motion.
If hip pain is the result of muscle or tendon problems, osteoarthritis, or tendinitis, relief can usually be found with over-the-counter pain medications. Rheumatoid arthritis treatments can also include prescription anti-inflammatory medications, such as corticosteroids and biologics that target the immune system.
A joint injection of corticosteroids is also helpful for patients with symptoms suggesting arthritis. This minimally-invasive procedure can help relieve pain by reducing the inflammation and numbing the joint. The injection has long-acting effects for many patients.
When To See A Doctor
Leg pain encompasses a wide range of symptoms and can result from many different causes. In some cases, leg pain is minor, temporary, and easily treated at home. However, persistent or severe leg pain may be an indication of a more serious condition related to the bones, nerves, muscles, joints, or blood vessels in your legs. Sometimes this type of leg pain needs medical attention.
When assessing whether you should seek medical care for your leg pain there are several factors to consider such as the intensity and duration of the pain as well as what caused it. It is important to see a doctor immediately for any sudden onset of intense or severe pain that is accompanied by numbness or tingling in your lower extremities or genitals.
When these symptoms present themselves it can be an indicator that you need immediate emergency care due to a possible spinal cord injury or vascular issue in your legs or pelvis.
In other cases where the pain signals an underlying condition but is not deemed an immediate emergency any leg soreness that lasts more than a few days calls for a visit to your physician as it could be indicating something more serious like rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome which can cause long-term damage if left untreated.
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How Does It Feel
A groin strain causes sharp pain or spasms in the groin area or lower abdominal region. The pain can quickly resolve, or it can last, and become a throbbing pain at rest with sharp stabs of pain when you try to move your leg or walk.
A lower-grade strain can be relatively pain free with everyday activities and walking, but aggravated with quick movements of the legs such as cutting, kicking, performing sit-ups, or sprinting/running.
Higher-grade strains can cause the muscles to feel tight or weak. Simple movements that involve lifting the leg or knee, or bringing the knees together, can provoke pain, and even cause the groin muscles to spasm.
If the groin strain involves a Grade 3 tear, you may hear or feel “pop” at the time of injury. With a Grade 3 injury, using the leg at all can be extremely painful.
What Kind Of Physical Therapist Do I Need
All physical therapists are prepared through education and experience to treat groin strains. However, you may want to consider:
- A physical therapist who is experienced in treating people with groin strains.
- A physical therapist who focuses their practice in orthopedics or sports rehabilitation.
- A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist or who completed a residency or fellowship in sports physical therapy. This physical therapist has advanced knowledge, experience, and skills that may apply to your condition.
You can search for physical therapists in your area who have these and other credentials by using Find a PT, the online tool built by the American Physical Therapy Association.
General tips when you’re looking for a physical therapist :
- Get recommendations from family, friends, or other health care providers.
- When you contact a physical therapy clinic for an appointment, ask about the physical therapists’ experience in helping people who have groin strains.
- Be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible, and describe what makes your symptoms worse.
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Hip And Leg Stretches
You may experience hip and leg pain due to tight muscles or tendons. Routinely stretching these muscles or rolling them out with a foam roller can sometimes help relieve pain.
When stretching and using a foam roller, make sure that you:
- Stay consistent
- Keep a diary of how you feel
- Make sure the activity doesnt cause more pain
Foam rolling can be painful at first, so make sure you pick a foam roller thats the right firmness for your experience.
The experts at REI have some tips on picking a foam roller in their article How to Choose Foam Rollers.
Pain On The Side Of Your Hip Is More Likely From Tendinitis Tight Muscles Or Another Condition
Hip bursitis an inflammation between your thighbone and nearby tendons is commonly diagnosed when patients have pain on the outer side of the hip. However, several other conditions can cause similar pain, and require different treatments. “Doctors often assume that pain on the outer side of the hip is due to bursitis. But 90% of the time, it’s not bursitis,” says Dr. Lauren Elson, a physiatrist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
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