Pain Management

February 23, 2017

Enough Is Enough: Signs You’re Coping with a Chronic Hip Problem


Chronic medical conditions can cause hip problems that occur on a regular basis. Knowing what is causing these symptoms helps determine the best course of treatment. 

When you experience persistent pain and other symptoms of hip problems, it can indicate an underlying medical condition. Arthritis, which refers to several inflammatory diseases, is one of the most common causes of chronic hip pain and stiffness. Bursitis is another condition that can cause pain in these joints. Understanding the different symptoms that occur with these conditions can help ensure that you explore the right kinds of treatment options from your orthopedic doctor.

Causes of Hip Pain
Chronic hip pain can come and go on a regular basis. It might also flare up at certain times, such as after you have been sitting for long periods of time or when you get out of bed in the morning. This pain can range from a dull ache to more severe pain that makes it difficult for you to move in ways that involve your hips, such as bending or twisting.

  • Osteoarthritis: Hip pain associated with osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis caused by wear and tear, usually begins to develop at a slow pace. At first, this pain might be mild and only affect one hip, but it typically ends up affecting both hips and causing considerable pain.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Hip pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, a type of arthritis caused by an abnormal immune response, often affects both hips as it develops. This pain is sometimes worse in the morning after you first wake up.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: Hip pain associated with psoriatic arthritis develops in some people with psoriasis. This pain typically starts a number of years after the initial onset of this skin condition.
  • Bursitis: This condition occurs when sacs in one or both hips, known as bursa, become inflamed. Hip pain can become worse when you move the affected joint or when you press on it. You might also have hip pain flare up from time to time.

Treatments for Chronic Hip Pain
Treatment options for chronic hip pain depend on the underlying cause:

  • Osteoarthritis: Non-surgical treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Surgical options include hip joint replacement, hip resurfacing and osteotomy. Hip joint replacements involve removing the socket and femoral head and replacing them with artificial ones. Hip resurfacing involves removing damaged cartilage and bone and replacing them with metal. An osteotomy involves either cutting and realigning the socket or thighbone to ease pressure on your hip joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and physical therapy. Surgical options for this disease include arthroscopy and total hip replacement. Arthroscopy is used when this disease is in its early stages. Total hip replacements are done when there is severe pain that does not improve with nonsurgical forms of treatment.
  • Bursitis: Treatment options for bursitis include over-the-counter pain relievers, antibiotics if there is an infection, physical therapy and corticosteroid injections. For chronic or recurring pain, your orthopedic doctor might recommend a bursectomy. This surgical procedure involves removing the affected bursa in your hips.

If you suffer from chronic hip pain and other symptoms, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at (877) 918-7020 for help scheduling an appointment with one of our specialists. ASH offers interventional pain management, hip surgery options and other types of hip pain treatment.

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