7 Ways to Relieve Hip Socket Pain

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The hips provide the most force and power that the lower body needs to walk, run, and jump. Strong, balanced, and pain-free hips are crucial to improving walking or running strides and preventing injuries during motion.

However, the hip socket joint can experience inflammation and pain.

Chronic hip pain can take a toll on both mental and physical health. The pain, which can radiate to the legs, buttocks, and lower back, impairs one’s movement and ability to perform everyday tasks.

To help alleviate pain, we’ve listed ways to relieve hip socket pain.

What is the hip socket and why is it important?

The hip is one of the most flexible and important joints in the body. It’s so powerful that it provides overall stability and the ability to perform many physical tasks and motions.

The hip joint, which is a ball-and-socket joint that gives stability and allows motion, can withstand body weight, a fair amount of wear and tear, and repetitive motion.

Each hip is in actuality a ball-and-socket joint where the ball is the top of the femur or thigh bone, and the socket is in the pelvic bone. The cartilage allows the ball and socket to glide against each other during movement. Meanwhile, Synovium, which is a thin lining, covers the cartilage to ease rubbing.

The hip also connects the lower extremities to the upper body, with its primary function of bearing the weight of the body during static motion like standing, and during dynamic movements, like walking or running.

Any injury or inflammation in the hip socket joint can impair your ability to move freely. The pain becomes worse over time, and without proper treatment, it can affect your quality of life and mobility.

What are the causes of hip socket pain?

Inflammation and injury to the hips may cause debilitating pain, affecting your movement and ability to perform daily tasks. Hip pain can be temporary or chronic, depending on the cause.

The most common causes of hip socket (joint) pain include:

Arthritis

The inflammation of the hip socket joint such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common causes of hip pain, especially in the elderly. When you suffer from arthritis, there is inflammation of the hip joint due to the breakdown of the cartilage that helps cushion the hip bones.

Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” type of arthritis that people experience as they grow older. The cartilage on the ball end of the femur or thigh bone and in the socket breaks down, leading to the grinding of bones against each other.

Core muscle injury

Core muscle injury, also called a strain or tear of muscles in the lower abdomen, can lead to hip pain. This type of injury is common among athletes, especially those who perform turning and twisting.

Hip fracture

A hip fracture means there is a break in the hip bones. This usually occurs in older people. With age, the bones become weaker and brittle, making them prone to breaks during falls.

Dislocation

Hip socket joint dislocation can occur when the ball at the top of the femur is removed from its pelvic socket. This usually happens during a fall or a vehicular accident.

Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, the fluid-filled sacs that help cushion muscles, tendons, and joints. The iliopsoas bursa, which is found on the inner side of the hip, causes anterior hip pain when it becomes swollen.

How do you relieve hip socket pain?

Many people experience hip socket pain at some point in their life. Many factors can cause this type of pain, but knowing where it is coming from can give important cues to its cause. Going to a doctor that specialises in the treatment of conditions affecting the bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and tendons, can help diagnose the condition appropriately. Further, the orthopaedic doctor can provide the needed intervention to prevent damage and long-term pain.
dr andrew dutton ways to relieve hip socket pain infographic

Meanwhile, here’s a list of ways to relieve hip socket pain.

At-home remedies

(1) Rest. The most important way to relieve hip pain is by getting ample rest. Avoid doing activities that require you to put a lot of pressure on the hip, like bending, standing for a long time, and sitting for long periods. Avoid strenuous activities that require big movements of the hip area like running.

(2) Cold and Heat. Doctors recommend using an ice pack over the injured hip every 15 minutes throughout the day. A cold compress can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Meanwhile, when hip pain is caused by arthritis,  doctors recommend using a warm compress to reduce pain and swelling.

(3) Stretching. Perform stretching to alleviate hip socket pain. There are many stretches you can do, but make sure to visit a physical therapist first to determine the stretching suitable for your pain.

(4) Exercise
Certain exercises can help relieve hip pain. People who experience hip pain or discomfort can try exercises like hip abduction, heel-to-buttock exercise, bridging, chair stand, mini squats, and abdominal exercises, among others.

Medical Intervention

(5) Pain RelieversThe doctor will prescribe pain relievers that can also help reduce swelling. These include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen sodium.

(6) Steroid injectionsFor severe swelling, steroid injections can help. Doctors will administer it after a local anaesthetic. They help treat conditions such as iliopsoas tendonitis and arthritis.

(7) StretchingUsually, surgery is a more aggressive treatment for hip socket pain. This is prescribed for people with conditions like avascular necrosis and cancer, a pelvic fracture, inguinal hernia, septic arthritis, a pinched nerve, and osteomyelitis, to name a few.

How do you relieve hip socket pain?

In some cases, home remedies to relieve pain may not be effective. If the pain lasts for over two weeks, schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor.

Seek emergency help if you have:

  • A deformed-looking joint
  • Inability to move your hip or leg
  • Problems with walking or bearing weight on the affected leg
  • Intense pain and swelling
  • Signs of infection – redness, chills, and fever

Takeaway

Hip pain can take a toll on the body and mind, particularly if it lasts for long periods. Relieving pain can only provide a temporary remedy as finding the source is the most important thing to do.

Consult with a doctor to undergo a series of tests and assessments. This way, they can determine what’s causing the pain and discomfort, and at the same time, initiate the required treatment immediately.

Hip pain is a very debilitating discomfort that may hinder you from performing certain tasks, even the ones as simple as moving or walking. Visiting a doctor can help you plan for your treatment regimen and get back to your normal life. 

We hope that the information we shared in this blog can help alleviate hip pain. The information we provide, however medically factual and vetted by a doctor, should never replace a medical consultation. If you wish to learn more about treating hip pain and other related concerns, you can book a consultation with Dr Andrew Dutton at (+65) 6836 8000.

Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic Insurance


The Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton Orthopaedic & Sports Clinic offers minimally invasive and surgical treatments for sports-related injuries and orthopaedic conditions.

To aid in the expenses that you may incur, we accept a number of corporate and international insurance. If you have any of the insurance plans below, please let us know when you book an appointment with us. If you need further assistance, you may drop us an e-mail at info@eliteortho.com.sg or call us at (+65) 6836 8000.

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About Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton

Dr. Dutton has been in clinical practice since 1996 after graduating from Marist College, Canberra and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Dr. Dutton has worked at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney and the St. George Hospital, Sydney before completing his orthopaedic surgery training in Singapore.

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