Hip pain is the primary symptom of a number of injuries and disorders treated by the outstanding doctors of Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. Our doctors are all physiatrists — medical doctors who specialize in pain management and rehabilitation. We provide hip pain treatment to patients of all ages who are suffering from hip problems that interfere with daily living or make it unbearable.
The precise location of the pain is very helpful in diagnosis. Hip joint pain typically presents on the inside of the hip or groin, whereas pain originating in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments is usually felt on the outside of the hip, upper thigh or outer buttock.
Pain in the hip region can also be the result of certain and more rare disease conditions (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, bone cancer, osteoporosis, osteomyelitis — an infection of the bone), or by pain referred from another part of the body. Most of the time, however, hip pain is caused by an injury, often a sports injury, or by the natural degeneration of aging. Below, we will focus on the three most common reasons for hip pain and their symptoms. The physiatrists at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine are particularly skilled at deciphering when a hip pain complaint is in fact arising from the hip itself rather than the spine or if a more localized bursitis from outside the hip joint is causing the pain. Establishing the correct diagnosis early is essential to introduce proper treatment, avoid wasted time, and to allow more prompt healing.
Common Causes of Hip Pain:
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, most often occurring in older individuals, and most prevalent in weight-bearing joints like the hips. Over time, cartilage that surrounds the ends of the bones wears thin, placing excessive pressure on underlying bone tissue. This is when joint pain is apt to occur in the groin and thigh, especially during lifting or other weight-bearing activities.
The pain of arthritis can range from mild and aching to acute and severe. Patients with arthritis of the hip also experience stiffness, swelling, and/or locking of one of the joints. The joint can also become inflamed and warm to the touch.
Hip bursitis is inflammation of one of the fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that provide a cushion between the bones and tendons, assisting in smooth movement. While at times this condition has no known origin, it often occurs due to overuse or as a result of an injury.
The symptoms of bursitis also include pain, tenderness, and a sensation of warmth over the inflamed area, particularly when walking or when sleeping on the affected side. Pain may be severe and will either be on the outside of the hip or the inside of the groin, depending on which bursa is affected.
Hamstrings are a group of muscles and tendons at the rear of the upper leg between the hip and the knee. While hamstring injuries are nearly always associated with pain in the back of the leg that worsens when you flex the knee, if the hamstring has been injured higher up, the symptoms are frequently felt in the hip itself or in the buttock.
Swelling, bruising, tenderness, and weakness along the back of the affected leg are typical symptoms of hamstring injuries. You may also be unable to put any weight on the injured side. Some patients hear a popping or tearing sensation at the moment of impact. Those who play soccer, basketball, football, tennis or are runners or dancers are at increased risk of suffering hamstring injuries.
Diagnosis of Hip Pain
During your initial consultation with our attentive doctors, your medical background, description of your lifestyle and activities, and report of the nature of your pain will go a long way to helping us detect the cause of your difficulty.
Knowing how important precise diagnosis is, however, our experienced physiatrists take nothing for granted. At Long Island Spine, we use up-to-date diagnostic methods and equipment, such as diagnostic injections into the hip that will both relieve pain temporarily and pinpoint its source; we may also perform electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies if necessary. Of course, we also use tried and true imaging techniques, such as X-rays, CT and MRI scans.
Hip Pain Treatments
At Long Island Spine, we are focused on treating our patients holistically by designing a customized treatment plan for each unique individual. Depending on your age, overall health, and the cause, nature, and location of your hip pain, we may recommend weight loss and/or administer:
- Hip pain physical therapy, including exercises to strengthen and stretch your muscles and maintain your range of motion
- Education in ways to protect your hip joints during sports and everyday activities
- Assistive devices for as long as necessary, such as canes, walkers, or rollators
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) or prescribed analgesics
- Ultrasound-guided corticosteroid/analgesic injections that target the site of the pain
- Fluoroscopically guided intra-articular hip injections for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to promote more rapid healing
- Pulsed electromagnetic field technology (PEMF) to decrease pain
- Acupuncture to alleviate inflammation and pain (available in our East Meadow and Great Neck offices)
As noted, our doctors believe in conservative treatment of hip pain. If surgery is absolutely necessary, however, after a catastrophic injury, we will refer you to an excellent orthopedic surgeon and remain available to provide hip physical therapy after your surgical procedure in order to minimize your pain and maximize your postsurgical function.
Contact Us for the Very Best Hip Pain Diagnosis and Therapy
Don’t just suffer ongoing hip pain and increased immobility. Call for a consultation with one of our first-rate professionals today. Don’t let the hip you depend on for mobility deteriorate. Contact Long Island Spine and begin a course of hip pain treatment that will put you on a path to healing and wellness.