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What treatments are there for hip pain?

If your hip pain doesn’t improve with simple medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, you should see your doctor for further advice. They may recommend the following treatments.

Drugs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Your doctor may prescribe you stronger NSAIDs to help ease the pain. Like all drugs, NSAIDs can sometimes have side-effects, but if you’re taking prescription NSAIDs your doctor will take precautions to reduce the risk of these.

Bisphosphonates

Bisphosphonates are used to treat Paget’s disease. They work by slowing bone loss, which reduces the risk of hip fractures. Depending on the type of bisphosphonate, you may need to take them by mouth (but not with food), or they may be given by intravenous infusions, which is a slow injection into a vein.

Bisphosphonates are often used to treat osteoporosis.

Steroid injections

Steroid injections can help hip problems if they’re caused by inflammatory joint pain or inflamed bursae.

The injections are often given with a local anaesthetic, and they’re usually very helpful in treating trochanteric bursitis.

Iliopsoas tendinitis can also be treated with steroid injections, but the injection will need to be done by a radiologist because the ilipsoas tendon is so deep.

A snapping iliopsoas tendon can be treated with steroid injections which are done under videofluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) to make sure the injection is in the right place. Ultrasoundguided injections are also becoming more popular.

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy

Physiotherapy may help you to maintain your hip movements with gentle range of movement exercises and activities.

physiotherapist can also suggest specific exercises to maintain or improve the strength of the muscles around the hip joint. They may advise you about the best way to walk with your hip pain and may help you to use a stick or crutch.

You’ll need to use the stick in the opposite hand to your affected hip and make sure that it’s the correct height for you, so it’s important to see a physiotherapist before you start using one.

If you think your work or certain activities you do might be the main cause of your pain, it’s worth discussing this with an occupational therapist.

They’ll be able to advise on how to change your movements to help prevent pain continuing or returning. If your place of work has an occupational health department, they may also be able to help.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
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