How to Treat Hip Pain as You Age

Having hip pain as you age is more common than you might think. About 50% of older people say they have hip or knee pain. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make yourself feel better.

What Are the Causes of Hip Pain?

Hip pain can be caused by arthritis, injury, pinched nerves, or other causes, such as cancer. The location where you experience hip pain can help identify the cause. Chances are you can feel it inside your hip or groin. If you experience pain near your upper thigh, the outside of your hip, or the outside of your butt, the pain is probably due to some other problem with your ligaments, muscles, tendons, or muscles. other tissues near your hip.

Roy I. Davidovitch, MD, Julia Koch’s associate professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Health, says inflammation around the hip is not uncommon. It often has to do with “the mechanics of the modified gait” or the way you move.

“The most common thing that happens as you get older is that you can have an inflamed purse,” says Davidovich. If you have hip bursa inflammation, you will likely feel it when you move.

“When they start to walk, it can irritate the bursa because of this imbalance, and it’s usually the type of hip pain that’s tender to the touch,” he says. “People feel that when they walk, but also, they can push on the pain, and it’s right on the hip side. It’s actually the bump on the side of the hip that most people call my hip.

Davidovitch said hip joint pain is usually in the groin, where the lower abdomen and upper thigh meet. While there are many reasons why your hip can hurt, osteoarthritis of the hip could be the solution. It is quite common with age.

“It can hurt when sitting, sleeping, walking, and it’s not the kind of pain you can push or touch. It’s deeper inside. I’ve heard my patients describe it as a toothache, ”he says.


Ways to prevent hip pain

Kevin Perry, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says there are many ways to prevent hip pain.

“In general, the best way to prevent hip pain as we age is to maintain a healthy weight, participate in a regular low-impact exercise program, and maintain strong, healthy bones,” says he.

“There are some things that I think are really good for the hips, especially from an exercise standpoint,” says Davidovich. “Riding a bike is great for all of your joints below the waist – your hip, your knee, your ankle – but definitely the hip.”

Other steps you can take to prevent hip pain include:

  • Clear the walking areas of your home to avoid falls.
  • Warm up and cool off before and after your workout.
  • Do not work if you are in a lot of pain.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, as extra weight can put more strain on your joints.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Stretch daily to maintain flexibility in your hip.
  • Use a walker or cane if you need to.
  • Wear good shoes.

Perry also suggests avoiding high-impact sports that put stress on your joints. High impact sports include:

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Operation
  • Volleyball

What to do in case of hip pain

If your hip pain is not severe, you can try some self-care tips, including:

  • Heat or ice. Taking a hot shower or bath can prepare your body for stretching exercises for pain relief. On the other hand, you can try using a bag of frozen vegetables or ice cubes wrapped in cloth to put on your hip.
  • Pain relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help.
  • To rest. Try not to put direct pressure on the joint or bend your hip too much. Don’t sit for long periods of time, and try not to sleep on the side that hurts.

Davidovich said there are a few things you can do to relieve hip pain.

“If you’re starting to have hip pain, you probably don’t want to be a runner,” he says. “Before I send someone to physiotherapy, I would like them to go first and take a few Pilates classes to see if it really helps them, because Pilates is very impact-free and focuses on the strengthening and toning of the trunk.


Although he suggests Pilates, he says people with hip pain should avoid yoga. While Pilates can ease hip pain, certain types of yoga can make it worse.

“If you start to feel pain and you start to develop early arthritis or hip cartilage injuries,” yoga postures that involve twisting and splitting can be harmful, says Davidovich.

Some older people have found relief with hip surgery, especially hip replacement, when exercise, physical therapy, and medication have not helped. If your doctor tells you that your hip joint is damaged or deformed, hip surgery might be a good option.

“When people develop hip arthritis it is a very merciless pain unlike knee arthritis, so the average age of people to have hip replacement surgery is several years older. compared to the average age of those undergoing knee replacement, ”says Davidovich.

When to consult a doctor

You should see a doctor any time you have hip pain that interferes with everyday life, Davidovich says. If the pain doesn’t respond to rest or to over-the-counter pain relievers, you’re unable to support your weight by the hip, or if your symptoms suddenly change, it’s time to see a doctor, Perry says.

Taking anti-inflammatory drugs all the time is not good for you, especially as you get older. The older you get, the more you’ll want to avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, says Davidovich.

Tell your doctor if you have pain in your hip. They can advise you if you need to see a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon.

You should go to the emergency room if you injure yourself and experience pain in your hip with symptoms such as:

  • Having trouble moving your hip or leg
  • Not being able to move your hip or leg
  • Noticing that your joint seems deformed
  • Severe pain
  • Signs of infection, such as redness, chills, or fever
  • Sudden swelling



The Journal of Nurse Practitioners: “Exercises for Seniors With Knee and Hip Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Hip Pain: Symptoms.”

MaineHealth: “Hip Pain | Hip injuries. “

University of Utah Health: “When Should You Have Hip Replacement?”

Roy I. Davidovitch, MD, Julia Koch Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, NYU Langone Health.

Kevin Perry, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

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