How to relieve hip pain

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Hip pain can arise from a variety of factors. The joint is very complex system, and the hip, in particular, takes a great deal of pressure and stress.

Issues with the skin, nerves, bones, blood vessels and soft tissues can all cause pain. Most often, hip pain can be managed through home treatment. However, it can sometimes indicate more serious issues.


Diseases of other joints can also cause hip pain. This will include arthritis, tendinitis and bursitis. Another cause of pain is trauma, including bone fracture. Trauma, including bone fracture, is also a cause of hip pain.

Pain in the hip area may also originate from painful infections or other conditions of the skin, such as shingles.

Hip pain may also occur because of a problem with the back or spine. Treatments for hip pain depend on the underlying cause.

Finally, it is possible that hip pain is caused by a condition in a completely different part of the body. This is called “referred pain,” since the actual cause of the pain may come from a completely different part of the body.


A common cause of hip pain is arthritis in some form or another. This can be either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” version of arthritis, meaning that it can be caused by age and normal use of the joint.

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease. It is a result of the body’s immune system attacking the tissue of the joints. Either can cause pain in your hips.


Fractures are a major cause of hip pain among older people. Older people often have frail bones, and these are more susceptible to fracture.

In addition, they are also more susceptible to falls since they might already be taking multiple medications, have some vision problems, as well as some pre-existing balance issues.

Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs. The bursae act as cushions for your among your bones and joints and the tendons and muscles around your joints.

Generally, treatment is achieved simply by resting the affected joint and protecting it from any further trauma. Bursitis symptoms will often disappear within a few weeks, but it will often recur and cause flare-ups long after the initial symptoms have been dealt with.

hip rotation pain relief


This refers to inflammation or irritation of any tendon. The tendons are the thick, fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. The condition can cause pain in your hip joint. It can occur on any tendon, but it is most commonly found on tendons near the shoulders, elbows, wrists, or heels.

Tendinitis can lead to the need for surgery if it is left and becomes severe. However, most cases can be treated effectively with rest, physical therapy and medication.

Muscle or tendon strain

Through repeated activity, it’s possible to put strain on muscles, tendons and ligaments around the hips.

This strain will then cause you pain. The most available solution to this is through the R.I.C.E. treatment method, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

You can also take over-the-counter painkillers. If this inflammation continues, then it’s worth getting it checked out to make sure there isn’t anything more serious going on.

It’s possible to get cancer in the bone, either by having it start there or by it metastasizing from other areas. The disease will cause tumors that will cause hip pain and problems with mobility in the hip.

Avascular necrosis (also called osteonecrosis)

Bones need a regular supply of blood for the same reasons that every other tissue in the body does. When blood flow to the bone is restricted or interrupted, necrosis sets in and the bone tissue dies.

Although the condition can affect other bones, it most commonly affects the hip bone. It is generally caused by a hip injury, such as fracture from a fall. It can also be caused by the long-term use of steroids such as prednisone, and from other medications.

Self-Care measures

If hip pain is minor, you will have several self-care measures you can take to deal with your pain.

Gentle exercise

Certain exercises will cause discomfort and might exacerbate the problem, but generally, exercise is helpful. It will be important, however, to do some research to make sure that you plan on doing the right exercises.

Weight loss

Every pound that you carry on your body, is pressure you place on your joints every time you take a step. If you can take off just 5 or 10 pounds will make a large difference to how your hip joint will feel.


Repeated bending at the hip will create pressure on the hip joint. Try to give your hip a rest, and avoid the bending. Also try to avoid sleeping on your painful hip, and try to avoid sitting for too long either.

Pain relievers

You can also take some over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may help ease your hip pain.

As with any medication, make sure to read the label and ensure you follow directions, especially as far as dosage quantity. If pain is ongoing, it can be tempting to simply “pop” more pills, which can lead to overdose with any kind of drug.

Ice or heat

Something as simple as applying either heat or ice to the area. There are cold packs available that are often used for athletic injuries, but you can also just use ice cubes or frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel.

It might be advisable to apply heat, instead. Again, you can use a heating pad, or just take a warm bath or shower. This is especially helpful before you exercise to prepare your muscles for the stretching exercises that can reduce pain.

If self-care treatments don’t help, make an appointment with your doctor.

Further Reading

“Pain Management Health Center—Hip Pain: Causes and Treatment.” WebMD.

“Symptoms—Hip Pain: Definition. By Mayo Clinic Staff. Mayo Clinic.

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