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 and the cause for pain is multifactorial. The exact location of your hip pain suggests the probable cause or underlying condition causing pain. Pain felt inside the hip joint or your groin area is more likely to be because of the problems within the hip joint such as osteoarthritis. Likewise, the pain felt on the outer side of your hip, or in the upper thigh or buttocks may be a result of problems outside the hip joint such as of the muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues surrounding the hip joint itself. However certain disease conditions affecting other parts of your body such as lower back or knees also may be a cause of referred pain to the hip.
The main cause of sudden pain in the hip is an injury resulting in fracture of the hip bone. Hip fractures are common in the elderly individuals because the bones wear out often weaken with osteoporosis as age advances. Other causes of hip pain may be arthritis, bursitis, infection, low back pain, osteonecrosis of the hip, sprains or strains and tendinitis resulting from repetitive use. Your doctor will evaluate the condition based on the medical history, physical examination of the hip and thigh region, and diagnostic tests including X-rays and other scans.
Self-care and pain relieving medications such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatories offer symptomatic relief. However, the exact cause for the pain may need to be addressed. Avoiding physical activities that may worsen the pain, stretching the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, performing warm up exercises before exercise may improve the symptoms. Applying ice packs over the region of pain for about 15 minutes three to four times daily can reduce both pain and swelling. But if you have an injury with severe hip pain and swelling, talk to your local doctor or orthopaedic surgeon immediately for review.