Recently we’ve been highlighting the importance of bracing for low back pain and knee pain. We’ve been giving particular attention to how durable medical bracing, along with other conservative forms of treatment like chiropractic adjustment or physical therapy, can reduce the need for OTC or prescribed pain medication and hold off the need for surgical intervention.
But what if your hips hurt?
The hip joint is the body's largest joint and it fits together as a ball-and-socket which allows for fluid movement. Nothing interrupts that fluid movement like pain. While there is such a thing as a hip brace they are generally used for specific situations and under the direct management of a medical professional.
So what can you do if your hips hurt now?
We encourage you to get medical help right away if:
- The hip pain comes on suddenly
- A fall or other injury triggers the hip pain
- Your joint looks deformed or is bleeding
- You hear a popping noise in the joint where you injured it
- The pain is intense
- You can’t put any weight on your hip
- You can’t move or leg or hip
If the pain isn’t from an obvious fracture or a serious condition, most hip pain improves with self-care. Try these steps:
- Rest and keep weight off of your hip for a while. Avoid activities that put pressure or stress on the affected hip. This may include bending, sitting, or lying on the affected side.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, Advil, or Alieve.
- Apply cold packs to the painful area for 15 minutes several times a day to reduce swelling and pain.
- Gentle, low-impact exercise like walking or swimming, stretching, and resistance training can help with chronic hip pain from arthritis.
- Warm baths to help the muscles relax and elongate.
- Losing 5 to 10 pounds will decrease the load the hip joint must bear and can reduce stress and pain.
If self-care treatments do not give you relief then it’s important to identify the underlying cause of your hip pain. Visiting your primary care doctor or one of our specialists at QOMC is recommended but some common causes of hip pain are arthritis, fracture, bursitis, tendinitis, muscle or tendon strain, hip labral tear, or even cancer. Treatment of these issues will vary with regard to the severity of the root cause so it’s important to work with a trusted medical professional to understand the source of the hip pain and to discover the appropriate treatment.
Stay tuned to this page for a deep dive into at-home stretches you can do to improve your hip pain.