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Ten Self-Help Strategies to Ease Hip Pain

Strategies to Ease Hip PainHip pain is a wide term used to describe pain felt on the outer side of the hip. Regarded as the body’s biggest ball-and-socket joint, the hip joint connects the most powerful muscle groups (such as the glutes, quads, and hamstrings) and is important for all movement in day-to-day life. Pain can occur on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock, and can begin either suddenly or develop gradually over time. Hip pain treatment in Brooklyn, NYC based pain management centers involves the use of several non-surgical treatment modalities that help reduce the immediate symptoms associated with the condition.

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that about 7 percent of adults in the United States suffer from hip pain – the third most common joint pain (behind shoulder pain and knee pain). The condition is more common in women than men and is most prevalent in women aged 40-60 years.

The muscles and tendons in the hip joint keep the joint in place, make movement possible and support your body weight.  If these structures becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and discomfort in the area. Hip pain can be caused by a variety of different conditions affecting the joint, connected muscles, or surrounding tissue. Common reasons for hip pain include – tendinitis, sprains, strains, bursitis (inflammation of a joint), arthritis, pinched nerves, overweight and obesity, bone infection and hip dislocation or hip fracture.

Symptoms

Hip pain may vary in location and will directly depend on the causes of the condition. The pain can be felt in the side hip, groin, lower back and knee. Typical symptoms include –

  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Loss of motion
  • Limping

If the pain becomes chronic, it is important to consult a pain management physician.

Self-help Tips to Manage Hip Pain

Generally, most cases of hip pain improve within a few weeks with proper rest and self-care strategies. The following self-care strategies can relieve hip inflammation –

  • Lifestyle changes – Making simple lifestyle changes can help ease hip pain at night. These changes include – avoiding long periods of sitting with legs crossed, trying not to stand with weight on one hip pushed out to one side, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle that focuses equally on a healthy diet and adequate physical exercise.
  • Rest – If you have injured your hip, one of the best things you can do is to give it rest to allow the injured area to heal. Keep the weight off your hip for a while. Avoid activities that may strain your hip or groin area such as running or hill walking. Try to avoid things that will put direct pressure on the hip such as bending, sitting or lying on that side.
  • Avoid high-impact activities – If the pain is severe, limit or avoid activities like climbing stairs, running or jumping. These high-impact activities will cause your joints to become more inflamed, causing more pain. Instead, try brisk walking – this will have much less of an impact on your joint.
  • Ice your joints – Icing an inflamed joint can help you manage strained hips. Applying an ice pack to the affected area (for at least 15 minutes several times a day) can reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Gentle exercises and stretching – Gently stretching your body may reduce hip pain, especially if the cause is a strain or pinched nerve. It will also help maintain mobility, function and strength. Try low impact physical therapy exercise programs like stretching, strengthening, isometric and aerobic exercises that help improve balance problems, strength and pain.
  • Lose weight – Carrying extra weight can significantly strain your hip muscles and spine. Maintaining an ideal weight or losing extra pounds can help reduce stress on the hip joint and relieve pain.
  • Heat therapy – Consider taking a hot bath or shower, or soak in a hot tub (if it is available), or using heating pads. Avoid applying too much heat as it can cause skin burn. Do not use heat to soothe your joints if you have bursitis. Heat can cause hips affected by bursitis to actually become more inflamed.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers – Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can reduce inflammation and alleviate the pain for several hours.
  • Compression – Wrapping a thick elastic bandage can reduce swelling and promote recovery. Make sure that the bandage is not wrapped too tight.
  • Choose the right shoes – People with hip pain should wear low or flat heel shoes. High heels can create unstable posture and increase pressure on your lower spine. Look for supportive and orthotics shoes that have great cushions, or have removable insoles that take the extra stress off the tendon. The sole should have good shock absorption, should limit pronation (turning or rotating the foot) and should evenly distribute pressure along the length of your foot. In multispecialty healthcare centers, physicians recommend Foot Levelers Functional Orthotics soles that can be easily slipped into any type of closed footwear. By supporting the foot’s natural structure, orthotics soles help alleviate hip pain and improve balance.

In most cases, these simple strategies can lessen hip pain and restore mobility. However, if the pain doesn’t improve or seems to get worse, approach a reputable multispecialty healthcare center in Brooklyn, NYC. Pain management physicians in such centers treat hip pain utilizing nonsurgical treatment modalities like physical therapy, Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroid injections. Surgery will be recommended only as a last resort when nonsurgical treatment modalities don’t provide the desired results.

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