Pain Management for Hip Pain

By Kelly Rocheleau PT

Pain management for hip pain? Pain to the hip region is a very common occurrence that can be caused by a variety of different problems.  Pain can be temporary, or long-lasting and chronic, which is common as the body ages.

Determining where exactly the pain is in the hip region can help diagnose the cause of the pain and therefore help improve recovery.  The hip joint is the largest joint in the body.  It is a very stable joint that supports most of the body’s weight.

The hip joint is involved in almost all movements of the body and is crucial to everyday living.  There are various exercises and lifestyle changes you can do for pain management for hip pain.

Rest

If your pain is minor, you may not need to see a doctor.  The first treatment you can try is to simply get some rest.  Avoid direct pressure to the hip which includes prolonged standing and walking.

Avoid repeated bending at the waist, and prolonged sitting positions.  Try not to sit or stand in one position for longer than 20 – 30 minutes at a time.  If you sit or stand for work, set a timer, and change positions every 20 minutes.

Avoid lying or sleeping on your affected side. One of the best pain management for hip pain treatments is simply to avoid any position or activity that aggravates your hip.  Put simply, if it hurts, don’t do it.

Pain Relievers

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one of the best pain management for hip pain.  Over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) will help alleviate pain and decrease inflammation for several hours.

If these mentioned above do not alleviate the pain, see your doctor.  He or she may prescribe a more powerful medication to decrease inflammation and pain to the hip.  Always check with your doctor before starting or changing your medications.

Ice or Heat

Applying ice to your hips can help decrease inflammation and pain to that region.  Keep the ice on your hip region for about 15 minutes several times a day.  Another method to soothe hip pain is to apply heat to that region.

Heat is a natural muscle relaxer that will increase blood flow and alleviate pain symptoms, especially if you have arthritis.  You can use a heating pad, or a warm shower or bath as well.

If the above self-care techniques do not work, it may be time to see your doctor.  There are many reasons your hip could be in pain, including arthritis, back injuries, foot problems, or previous injuries.  The doctor may take x-rays, possibly followed by an MRI or CT scan to better diagnose the exact cause of your hip pain.

Exercises

Exercise is an ideal treatment for pain management for hip pain.  Exercise should be low impact, and avoid any running, jumping, or high-impact activities that will further inflame the joint and aggravate it.

Exercise will increase blood flow and loosen the hip joint.   Performing gentle stretches to the hip joint, instructed by a physical therapist, can help ease hip pain and help prevent future injuries.

Strengthening the muscles around the hip joint can help improve stability and support the weight of your body.  An appointment with a physical therapist can educate you on the correct exercises to perform to decrease your hip pain and avoid aggravating the problem.

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