Hip Pain Treatment: What Are Your Non-Surgical Options?
Hip pain is a common cause of functional disability that affects almost 50% of aging adults. It can affect each patient differently and may have varying signs and symptoms. Typically, mild hip aches may be caused by non-threatening conditions, such as poor posture or altered gait.
Fortunately, these conditions may be corrected with therapy and rest, which can eventually help treat temporary hip pain. However, some causes of hip discomfort may not go away on their own. These include the following:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Pinched nerves
Getting diagnosed with one of these diseases does not automatically mean that you require surgery. There are several non-surgical methods that can help manage your pain so that you can get back to your active life. Learn more about them below.
Non-surgical treatment options for hip pain
If your discomfort does not get better with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, then it’s time to see your doctor or pain specialist. Generally, they will prescribe and recommend a combination of these techniques to decrease your hip pain.
Drugs and medications
Hip pain caused by chronic conditions usually comes with inflammation. If OTC medications like ibuprofen do not work, then your doctor may prescribe a more potent drug, such as:
- NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – these are used as the first line of treatment for pain associated with inflammation. Some examples of hip disorders that can be treated with NSAIDs include bursitis, arthritis, and tendinitis.
- Corticosteroids – steroidal drugs that can reduce pain and inflammation in the hip area.
- Opioid analgesics – these are prescribed pain-relievers that can effectively decrease hip pain. However, these are only prescribed for a select number of patients with chronic symptoms, as they can cause dependency and addiction.
- DMARDs or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs – can treat pain and reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Physical and occupational therapy
Physical therapy plays an integral role in treating the different hip diseases that cause pain, stiffness, and weakness. Although it might not address the underlying cause of the disorder itself, it’s still an essential technique that can reduce pain and bring back functional mobility if combined with other treatment options.
Some of the benefits of undergoing rehabilitation and working with a physical therapist include the following:
- Strengthening the surrounding muscles and tendons of the hip, thus preventing further damage to other structures.
- Enhancing the range of motion and flexibility.
- Learning adaptive ways to improve mobility, thus taking the pressure off of the hip joint.
- Manual manipulation of joints and soft tissues decreases pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
- Guidance on using assistive devices to increase mobility.
- Advice on improving posture and how to function properly when the hip hurts.
A therapeutic injection is a minimally invasive technique used to treat chronic conditions that cause pain in the hips. It works better than oral medications as it is injected directly into the affected hip joint. Some examples of drugs used in therapeutic injections include:
- Corticosteroid injection – this involves injecting a mixture of steroid and anesthetic medication into the affected hip structure to relieve pain and swelling. A corticosteroid injection will take effect 2 to 3 days after the procedure and may last for months in some patients.
- Hyaluronic acid injection – the procedure involves injecting hyaluronic acid (a natural component of the synovial fluid) into the affected joint. This helps address the pain in hip osteoarthritis by providing lubrication to improve the joint’s gliding motion.
Therapeutic injections have different effects on different patients and conditions. Some may experience immediate relief, while others may require additional injections for the medications to take effect.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy
Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, is a relatively new treatment option that addresses the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis. Although not yet approved by the FDA, many studies (1, 2) have demonstrated its potential as a treatment option for degenerative arthritis.
The platelet-rich plasma being injected in this therapy comes from the body’s own blood. Ideally, your doctor will draw a vial of your blood, then put it in a centrifuge to separate its components and extract the plasma part that’s heavily concentrated with platelets. It will then be injected directly into the problematic hip structure.
According to studies, PRP therapy works in treating hip arthritis and other hip problems through a number of mechanisms:
- PRP contains many bioactive factors that enhance tissue healing by promoting tissue repair and collagen synthesis.
- It contains growth factors that stimulate cell growth and proliferation to heal damaged tissue structures.
- It stimulates angiogenesis, or the creation of new blood vessels. This increases the rate of tissue healing as damaged cells get their much-needed supply of oxygen and nutrients.
- Platelet activation can also significantly enhance tissue repair and healing.
Moreover, platelet-concentrated plasma has a low risk of causing side effects since it comes from the patient’s own blood.
Get the best pain management treatment plan at Advanced Pain Medical Center
Our Advanced Pain Medical Center focuses on treating your pain symptoms by addressing the underlying medical problem. We offer high-quality treatment and services that can bring long-lasting relief to patients with varying conditions. Some of the pain management techniques we provide include:
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.