What are the Best Treatments for Hip Pain?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
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The best treatments for hip pain vary depending on the condition and how severe it is. Reducing inflammation around the injured area is important with acute injuries and can be achieved through rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medication. Physiotherapy is also essential for reducing hip pain and preventing any recurrence in the future. Other potential treatments for hip pain include cortisone injections and, in the worst cases, surgery.

It’s important that a patient knows and understands his or her condition before treatments for hip pain are attempted. The wrong treatments will have little or no effect on the injury and may even make it worse. Treatment will also depend on whether the pain is chronic or acute. Chronic pain, for example, often responds better to heat, while acute pain should be treated with cold therapy. As the hip is such a complex joint, a professional examination is nearly always required.

With most acute hip injuries the initial goal is to reduce inflammation, which will result in less pain and a quicker recovery. There are a number of ways to achieve this, although resting from any activities which cause pain is probably the most important. Icing the injured area several times a day for about twenty minutes can be effective at reducing swelling, for example.


Once a diagnosis has been made, physiotherapy for hip pain can begin. A typical physiotherapy program contains stretches for muscles that are tight along with strengthening exercises to increase muscular balance. In most cases, physiotherapy won’t provide instant relief from hip pain, so it’s important that the patient consistently follows a routine over a period of several months. Physiotherapists might use other techniques to treat the hip such as ultrasound to promote healing.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication is also useful for decreasing swelling around the injured area. If the hip pain is the result of inflammation to a bursa in the joint, which is a small sack of fluid, a cortisone injection may be an effective treatment. These sorts of treatments for hip pain are also commonly used for arthritis.

Surgery is usually only required as a last resort for hip pain. For minor problems, an arthroscopy, sometimes known as keyhole surgery, can be effective. If the joint is badly damaged, often due to arthritis, a hip replacement may be required. With any type of surgery there is a risk of further problems, which is why conservative treatments for hip pain are attempted first.



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