Generally, hip pain is not a serious symptom and can be treated at home by applying hot water bags on the hip and rest, avoiding impact exercises like running or climbing stairs, for example.
However, when hip pain is severe, persistent, lasts for more than 15 days, and does not improve with rest and with painkillers such as Dipyrone, or appears to worsen, it is recommended you see an orthopedist because it may be a sign of a problem such as arthritis, osteoarthritis or bursitis.
Main causes for hip pain
Hip pain can be caused by:
1. Sciatic nerve compression
In this case, the pain is in the hip, especially in the back of the butt, and radiates to the leg and may cause a burning sensation or difficulty in moving.
What to do: If you suspect you have this you should go to a doctor for tests to prove that there really is nerve compression. If the doctor confirms your suspicions you can take painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, depending on the severity of your pain, and start physical therapy. You should also rest and avoid doing impact activities like running, tennis or soccer, for example. Learn more about the treatment for sciatica.
2. Bursitis on the hip
In cases of bursitis in the hip the pain is deep, affects the middle of the joint and radiates from the side of the thigh, the most indicated exam is a magnetic resonance.
What to do: Go to the doctor to perform tests that can confirm the condition and start treatment that can be done with hot patches, taking Dipyrone and other anti-inflammatory drugs, stretch the tensor fasciae latae muscle, located on the side of the thigh, near the knee and it is also important to lose weight.
3. Arthritis or arthritis
In people over 60, hip pain is usually a sign of arthritis, osteoarthritis, or even osteoporosis and can cause more pain when you walk, sit or do other activities that mobilize the hip joint.
What to do: You should consult an orthopedist to start treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Diclofenac or Ibuprofen, and do physiotherapy sessions to reduce inflammation of the joint.
When you are older than 50, hip pain may be being caused by arthritis, rheumatism or arthrosis due to inflammation and progressive wearing of the hip joint.
What to do: An orthopedist should be consulted to start treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Diclofenac or Ibuprofen. While waiting for the appointment you can apply warm patches to the hip for 15 minutes and pass an anti-inflammatory ointment.
Tendonitis usually causes pain in the hip joint that worsens while doing exercises, walking or running, the pain may cause a sense of heaviness that can indicate the presence of a muscle injury or tendonitis, especially after the gym for example.
What to do: Put a warm patch on the hip for 15 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day for at least 3 days and apply an anti-inflammatory ointment, such as Cataflan or Traumeel, for example.
6. Hip fracture
When the pain is very intense and it becomes uncomfortable to walk and is difficult for you to sit or stand up, a fracture may be suspected, especially if you are an older adult, or when the pain arises after an accident involving a car or motorcycle.
What to do: In case of an accident you should immediately call 911 (US) or 999 (UK) because the treatment is done with surgery. In the elderly it is also recommended you seek medical help as soon as possible.
When the pain in the hip takes a long time to go away or is very intense, you should see an orthopedist to diagnose the cause and initiate appropriate treatment, which may include medication, changes in eating habits or even surgery.
7. Hip pain in pregnancy
Hip pain in pregnancy affects about half of pregnant women and is due to the effect of the hormone relaxin on bones and joints. So, the hip joint becomes looser and generates more discomfort, especially if the she adopts a poor posture during the day.
What to do: To reduce hip pain in pregnancy, you can use a hip brace that helps reduce mobility of the joints and may improve well-being.
Warning signs to go to the doctor
It is recommended you go to the doctor or seek an orthopedist when the hip pain is very strong, appears suddenly and can make it impossible to perform movements such as walking and sitting or it takes more than 1 month to disappear.