Adam C. Young, MD
Alan C. League, MD
Albert Knuth, MD
Alejandra Rodriguez-Paez, MD
Alexander E. Michalow, MD
Alexander Gordon, MD
Alfonso Bello, MD
Ami Kothari, MD
Amy Jo Ptaszek, MD
Anand Vora, MD
Andrea S. Kramer, MD
Andrew J. Riff, MD
Angela R. Crowley, MD
Angelo Savino, MD
Anthony Savino, MD
Anuj S. Puppala, MD
Ari Kaz, MD
Ashraf H. Darwish, MD
Ashraf Hasan, MD
Bernard J. Feldman, MD
Bradley Dworsky, MD
Brian Clay, MD
Brian J. Burgess, DPM
Brian R. McCall, MD
Brian Schwartz, MD
Brian Weatherford, MD
Brooke Vanderby, MD
Bruce E. Noxon, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Bruce Summerville, MD
Bryan Waxman, MD
Bryant S. Ho, MD
Carey E. Ellis, MD
Carla Gamez, DPM
Cary R. Templin, MD
Charles L. Lettvin, MD
Charles M. Lieder, DO
Chinyoung Park, MD
Christ Pavlatos, MD
Christian Skjong, MD
Christopher C. Mahr, MD
Craig Cummins, MD
Craig Phillips, MD
Craig S. Williams, MD
Craig Westin, MD
David Beigler, MD
David Guelich, MD
David H. Garelick, MD
David Hamming, MD
David Hoffman, MD
David M. Anderson, MD
David Norbeck, MD
David Raab, MD
David Schneider, DO
Djuro Petkovic, MD
Douglas Diekevers, DPM
Douglas Solway, DPM
E. Quinn Regan, MD
Eddie Jones Jr., MD
Edward J. Logue, MD
Elliot A. Nacke, MD
Ellis K. Nam, MD
Eric Chehab, MD
Eric L. Lee, MD
Evan A. Dougherty, MD
Garo Emerzian, DPM
Gary Shapiro, MD
Giridhar Burra, MD
Gregory Brebach, MD
Gregory J. Fahrenbach, MD
Gregory Portland, MD
Harpreet S. Basran, MD
Inbar Kirson, MD, FACOG, Diplomate ABOM
Jalaal Shah, DO
James M. Hill, MD
James R. Bresch, MD
Jason G. Hurbanek, MD
Jason Ghodasra, MD
Jason J. Shrouder-Henry, MD
Jeffrey Ackerman, MD
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
Jeffrey Staron, MD
Jeffrey Visotsky, MD
Jeremy Oryhon, MD
John H. Lyon, MD
Jonathan Erulkar, MD
Jordan L. Goldstein, MD
Josephine H. Mo, MD
Juan Santiago-Palma, MD
Justin Gent, MD
Justin M. LaReau, MD
Kellie Gates, MD
Kermit Muhammad, MD
Kevin Chen, MD
Kris Alden MD, PhD
Leah R. Urbanosky, MD
Leigh-Anne Tu, MD
Leon Benson, MD
Lori Siegel, MD
Lynn Gettleman Chehab, MD, MPH, Diplomate ABOM
Marc Angerame, MD
Marc Breslow, MD
Marc R. Fajardo, MD
Marie Kirincic, MD
Mark A. Lorenz, MD
Mark Gonzalez, MD
Mark Gross, MD
Mark Hamming, MD
Mark Mikhael, MD
Matthew L. Jimenez, MD
Mehul H. Garala, MD
Michael C. Durkin, MD
Michael Chiu, MD, FAAOS
Michael J. Corcoran, MD
Michael O'Rourke, MD
Nathan G. Wetters, MD
Nikhil K. Chokshi, MD
Paul L. Goodman, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Peter Hoepfner, MD
Peter Thadani, MD
Phillip Ludkowski, MD
Priyesh Patel, MD
Rajeev D. Puri, MD
Rhutav Parikh, MD
Richard J. Hayek, MD
Richard Noren, MD
Richard Sherman, MD
Ritesh Shah, MD
Robert J. Daley, MD
Robert J. Thorsness, MD
Roger Chams, MD
Ronak M. Patel, MD
Scott Jacobsen, DPM
Sean A. Sutphen, DO
Serafin DeLeon, MD
Shivani Batra, DO
Stanford Tack, MD
Steven C. Chudik, MD
Steven G. Bardfield, MD
Steven Gross, MD
Steven Jasonowicz, DPM
Steven M. Mardjetko, MD
Steven S. Louis, MD
Steven W. Miller, DPM
Surbhi Panchal, MD
T. Andrew Ehmke, DO
Taizoon Baxamusa, MD
Theodore Fisher, MD
Thomas Gleason, MD
Timothy J. Friedrich, DPM
Todd R. Rimington, MD
Todd Simmons, MD
Tom Antkowiak, MD, MS
Tomas Nemickas, MD
Van Stamos, MD
Wayne M. Goldstein, MD
Wesley E. Choy, MD
William Robb, MD
William Vitello, MD

How to Manage Hip Pain without Surgery

This article is part of the the Ultimate Guide to Hip Pain Relief.

Experiencing hip pain may lead to questions around surgery. Many times, patients associate having pain with needing surgery. Luckily, this isn’t always the case. For hip pain, there are other methods of treatment that can be utilized before surgery.

IBJI recently chatted with Dr. Alexander Gordon, board certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in lower extremity reconstruction. Dr. Gordon advises patients how they can manage hip pain without having surgery. His responses—below—have been edited and condensed for space.

Learn more about Hip Care at IBJI

Understanding the Hip Structure and Function

Dr. Gordon explains the structure of the hip joint to help patients understand its functionality. “The hip joint is made of the ‘ball’ of the femur and the ‘socket’ which is part of the pelvis. The surfaces are covered with cartilage, the joint is sealed by the labrum, and the capsular ligaments connect the femur and pelvis. A large series of muscles attach to the femur and pelvis to allow hip joint function, the most commonly known are the ‘glutes.’ All these structures work in concert with each other to provide stable, painless, hip joint function. Any dysfunction within this series of structures can lead to pain, limping, and loss of function.”

When the pain doesn’t go away with time and basic treatment, it may be time to see a hip specialist. When patients seek care from a hip doctor, the doctor will listen to the patient’s history, perform a physical examination, and evaluate X-rays and/or MRI. They will then make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.

In some cases, the patient can manage the pain without surgery. Dr. Gordon says, “I see many patients in the office who are relieved when I don’t recommend surgery for their hip pain.”

Managing hip pain without surgery is possible. IBJI’s hip specialist give tips on what you can do to manage your hip pain. “Image by: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

Common Hip Diagnoses

Hip Arthritis

This common condition is when the cartilage in the hip breaks down leading to pain and loss of function.

Watch a Video on Inflammatory Arthritis of the Hip

Watch a Video on Osteoarthritis of the Hip

Gluteal Tendonitis/Tear

The gluteal attachment on the femur can deteriorate leading to pain.

Bursitis

A bursa is a structure that normally allows muscles and bone surfaces to glide smoothly against one another. In some cases, it may become inflamed leading to pain.

Watch a Video on Bursitis of the Hip

Treatment Options to Manage Hip Pain

Dr. Gordon explains a variety of treatment options that can help manage your hip pain before having to consider surgery. He explains each treatment option:

Activity modification

Most people have tried this before coming in. Avoiding activities that cause pain is a logical step to take, but often time is ineffective if the problem is severe.

Medications

Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used safely and effectively for pain relief. As they are over the counter, these are considered safe medications if taken as recommended. Extended use of these medications should be monitored by your doctor and further evaluation of the underlying cause of pain can be considered. Prescription, non-narcotic medications are often used if over the counter medications are not effective.

Weight Loss

The hip joint “feels” several times more body weight in force during normal walking due to the muscle contraction of the hip. For people above their ideal body weight, this can lead to pain in the joint. Weight loss and proper nutrition can make a huge difference for people suffering with hip pain. IBJI offers the OrthoHealth (medical wellness) program which includes nutritional counseling and weight loss strategies.

Injections

The most commonly used injection around the hip is the cortisone shot. This is a steroid which acts as a powerful pain reliever and reduces inflammation. It can be used in the joint for arthritic conditions or in the bursa for inflammation. While useful, there is a lot of variability in how well and for how long an injection may work for an individual. In some cases, steroid injections may have detrimental effects on the body. If considering a steroid injection, discuss the pros and cons with your physician.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a prescribed treatment for many hip conditions. Under the guidance of a physical therapist, patients can improve mobility and reduce pain for many of these conditions. Physical therapy can help build muscle strength and flexibility through a prescribed series of exercises. Other modalities, such as therapeutic massage and dry needle therapy are used to reduce pain emanating from the soft tissues. After the course of prescribed therapy, it is important to keep up with the home program recommended by the therapist.

The above treatments are very often effectively used alone or in combination with one another to help manage hip pain without surgery. If you are having pain in your hip, it does not automatically mean you will need a hip replacement. An IBJI hip specialist can help you diagnose and treat your hip pain.

Get Relief from Your Hip Pain Today

Manage Your Hip Pain with IBJI

Whether you are just starting out in your hip care journey or need a second opinion for your hip pain, IBJI’s hip surgeons are here to help provide you with the necessary care for your ailment. Get the relief you are seeking with the help of IBJI.

Request an appointment with an IBJI hip surgeon to discuss treatment options and create an individualized approach to your care.

Check out IBJI’s additional online resources for hip care to learn more about conditions and read patient testimonials.

Request an Appointment with a Hip Doctor →

*The blog is for general information and educational purposes only regarding musculoskeletal conditions. The information provided does not constitute the practice of medicine or other healthcare professional services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. Readers with musculoskeletal conditions should seek the advice of their healthcare professionals without delay for any condition they have. The use of the information is at the reader’s own risk. The content is not intended to replace diagnosis, treatment or medical advice from your treating healthcare professional.


Download the Ultimate Guide to Hip Pain Relief

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