Hip pain, one of the common symptoms patients complain of, may not always be felt precisely over the hip joint. Pain may be felt in and around the hip joint, with the cause being multifactorial. The exact position of your hip pain suggests the probable cause or underlying condition causing the pain. Pain felt inside the hip joint or your groin area is more likely to be because of the problems within the hip joint. Likewise, the pain felt on the outer side of your hip, upper thigh or buttocks may be a result of the problems of the muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues surrounding the hip joint. However, certain disease conditions affecting other parts of your body, such as lower back or knees, also cause hip pain.
The main cause of sudden pain in the hip is an injury, resulting in the fracture of the hip bone. Hip fractures are common in the elderly because the bones wear out as age advances. Other causes of hip pain may include arthritis, bursitis, infection, low back pain, osteonecrosis of the hip, sprains or strains, or tendinitis, resulting from repetitive use.
Your doctor will evaluate your condition based on your medical history, physical examination of the hip and thigh region, and diagnostic tests including X-rays and other scans.
Self-care and pain relieving anti-inflammatory medications offer symptomatic relief. However, the exact cause for the pain needs to be addressed. Practicing certain measures can avoid aggravation of pain and improve your quality of life. Avoiding physical activities that may worsen the pain, stretching the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, performing warm up exercises before the actual exercise regimen can improve the condition. Applying ice packs over the region of pain for about 15 minutes, three to four times daily reduces both pain and swelling. But if you have an injury with severe hip pain and swelling, talk to your orthopaedic surgeon immediately for better treatment outcomes.