It is not unusual to experience hip pain from time to time, particularly if you lead an active lifestyle. If the pain becomes a regular occurrence, however, it may be a sign of arthritis.
Arthritis is a progressive disorder, which means that it typically starts gradually and gets worse with time. It is associated with pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the joints. There are five main types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Psoriatic arthritis
Regardless of the type of arthritis, symptoms of hip arthritis include:
- Joint pain and stiffness. As you get older, it is not uncommon to experience stiffness in the mornings. This stiffness should ease as you start your day and get moving. If this stiffness doesn’t ease as you move throughout the morning, it could indicate arthritis. Hip arthritis can cause pain in your groin or thigh, which can radiate to the knee or outer thigh. It may be worse in the mornings, after sitting for a while, or when leaning over. This can cause limping or difficulty walking.
- You are struggling with day to day activities. Arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, loss of function and range of motion, and weakness in joints. This can prevent you from carrying out day to day activities with ease. If you are avoiding activities that you normally enjoy, give Dr. Hicken a call.
- Pain after exercise. It is natural to have some discomfort or soreness after exercise, however, arthritis can flare up after exercise as well. If you are suffering from hip pain, discomfort, or stiffness that has been triggered by being active and is becoming a more frequent problem, it may be a sign of arthritis.
- Joint pain at night. Sometimes joint pain can be overlooked during the day and can flare up at night. If you are experiencing hip pain at night, especially when sleeping on the side of the affected hip, you may be experiencing arthritis.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you may suspect you have arthritis of the hip. A diagnostic evaluation to determine whether or not you are dealing with arthritis will include:
- Your medical history, including where you experience pain and if you limp at times.
- A physical examination, in particular, to see how well you can move the hip.
- Radiographs or X-rays to determine if there are any abnormalities in the joint.
- Blood tests to determine antibodies that may be associated with a specific type of arthritis.
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or stiffness of the hip on a regular basis, it could be a sign of arthritis. Give us a call at 435-787-2000 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hicken.