Your hip is one of your largest joints and you use it constantly. Your hip joint helps you walk, climb stairs and even balance. So, when you feel those first twinges of pain, it’s time to act.
Your first step? “See your primary care doctor,” says Akira Yamamoto, MD, an orthopedist in the Sutter Health network in Mountain View. “Although rare, hip pain can be caused by infection or metastasis. You want to rule out those problems right away.”
Next, see an orthopedist to get the right diagnosis. Many problems can cause hip pain, including bursitis, bad running form, and even improper shoes. But the most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage in your hip joint that occurs with age.
About 80% of older adults have some degree of osteoarthritis, and of those more than half have pain or stiffness as a result. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to manage hip pain at home, and effective treatments when you can no longer ease hip pain on your own.