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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
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Hip Pain


What is hip pain?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 8.5 million people in the UK. It develops gradually over time, causing joints to become stiff and painful.

With osteoarthritis of the hip you're likely to have pain mainly in the front of your groin, but sometimes around the side and front of your thigh, buttock or down to your knee.

Trochantric bursitis is a pain on the outside of your hip, made worse by:

  • Walking, climbing stairs
  • Sleeping on the affected side
  • Sporting activities, especially running

Clicking/snapping hip is when you experience a clicking or snapping sensation on the outside of your hip which may be painful.

It may be made worse by:

  • Flexing your hip
  • Rotating your hip
  • Sporting activities

The labrum is a type of cartilage that surrounds the socket of ball-and-socket joints. A labrum is found in both the shoulder and the hip joint. The labrum forms a ring around the edge of the bony socket of the joint. It helps to provide stability to the joint by deepening the socket, yet unlike bone, it also allows flexibility and motion.

There are two general types of hip labral tears: degenerative tears and traumatic injuries.

degenerative tear is a chronic injury that occurs as a result of repetitive use and activity. Degenerative labral tears can be seen in the early stages of hip arthritis.

traumatic hip labral tear is usually an acute injury as a result of a sports injury, fall, or accident. Hip labral tears are commonly associated with sudden, twisting movements that cause immediate pain in the hip.

Dealing with Hip Pain

You may be diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip - which is a normal part of getting older, but can lead to pain and disability. This shared decision aid can help you decide, what the best management might be for you.

Exercise
If possible, exercise regularly – swimming is ideal and even just a regular walk will help to strengthen the muscles around affected joints, to keep you fit, and to maintain a good range joint movement.

Weight control
If you are overweight, try to lose some weight. Even a modest weight loss can make quite a difference.

Shoe insoles and walking aids
When walking, try using a cane (walking stick). Hold it in the hand on the opposite side of the body to the affected joint.

Physiotherapy
Sometimes advice or treatment from a physiotherapist can be helpful.

Simple painkillers
Click here to find out more information about the use of paracetamol, co-codamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers.

Other therapies
Some people have found that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) machines help to ease pain from osteoarthritis. Acupuncture may also help to ease symptoms in some cases.

Surgery for osteoarthritis
Most people with osteoarthritis do not have it badly enough to need surgery. However, hip replacement surgery has become a standard treatment for severe osteoarthritis.

This shared decision aid can help you decide, what the best management might be for you.

To deal with trochanteric bursitis, reduce any activity that you know makes your symptoms worse.

  • Wear appropriate footwear if you enjoy sport.
  • Stretch the muscles on the outside of your leg
  • Keep the muscles around your hip strong by doing regular strengthening exercises

A clicking/snapping hip can be helped by reducing the activity that you know makes your symptoms worse.

Stretching the muscles on the outside of your leg may also help.

To deal with a labral tear, reduce any activity that makes your symptoms worse.

  • You should also keep the muscles in your legs and hips flexible and strong by performing stretching and strengthening exercises reguarly.

 

Avoiding Hip Pain

Trochanteric bursitis

  • Keep the muscles in your legs flexible by doing stretches regularly
  • Keep the muscles around your hip strong by doing regular strengthening exercises
  • Wear appropriate footwear at all times when doing sporting activities


Clicking/snapping hip

  • The clicking/snapping sensation may reduce on its own accord
  • Keep the muscles in  your legs flexible by doing stretches regularly


Labral Tear

  • Keep the muscles in your legs and around your hip flexible by doing stretches regularly
  • Keep the muscles in your legs and around your hip strong by doing regular strengthening exercises


Osteoarthritis

  • Make sure you are not overweight as this will increase the load on your hip joint
  • Keep active
  • Keep the muscles in your legs and around your hip flexible by doing stretches regularly
  • Keep the muscles in your legs and around your hip strong by doing regular strengthening exercises

 

 
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Useful Links: 

For a patient information leaflet please click here.