Experiencing pain and stiffness in the hip is quite common among adults. Some of the most common symptoms are aching muscles, joint pain, heat and swelling. These types of pain may range from mild to severe, depending on the underlying cause. There are many possible causes for hip pain and stiffness. These include arthritis, injury, muscle imbalance and conditions that lead to gait abnormalities. Other medical causes include bursitis, sciatica, infections and tumours.
To ease pain and restore movement in your hips, your doctor may at first suggest some conservative treatments. These could include strengthening exercises - to help to build muscles around the hip joint and to improve your flexibility. They may also suggest that you change activities that currently cause discomfort. However, if your pain remains unmanageable your doctor may recommend injections or surgery. This will depend on several factors, including the severity of your condition, your health, and your age.
It is important to make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any kind of persistent hip pain or stiffness. These symptoms may be due to an underlying condition that should be investigated to avoid future complications. Blackrock Health offer easy access to Ireland's leading orthopaedic consultant surgeons. So if stiff and sore hips have been limiting your everyday activities for some time, ask your GP to get in touch with us.
Blackrock Health offer a range of non-surgical and surgical options for hip pain at our three hospitals. Our experts work together to try and diagnose, treat or manage acute and chronic conditions that affect the hip. We aim to identify the underlying causes of your hip pain by performing tests and exams - then recommending tailored treatments.
Blackrock Health is home to some of the most established private orthopaedic faculties in Ireland. We can carry out minimally invasive surgeries in hi-tech facilities across all our hospitals. We offer comprehensive musculoskeletal care, with dedicated inpatient orthopaedic and spinal wards. If you have day-case surgery, our team will care for you on our comfortable day wards.
We offer the full range of orthopaedics, including consultation, diagnosis, treatment, and aftercare. Our orthopaedic consultants are internationally recognised and conduct thousands of procedures every year. Our hospitals have expert multi-disciplinary teams - including clinical nurse specialists and physiotherapists. And we use the latest technology, from robot surgery to spinal navigation techniques and real-time imaging.
Blackrock Clinic is also one of the first private hospitals in Ireland to use the Irish National Orthopaedic Register (INOR). This is a national database informing on orthopaedic surgeries and outcomes in Ireland. [LINK]. The aim of this register is to improve patient outcomes. Both the Hermitage Clinic and Galway Clinic are expected to enrol with INOR in 2023.
You can access our services easily with a referral from your GP and can then enjoy world-class clinical care and comfort. Over 75% of our rooms are single occupancy - to help you make a quicker recovery in a safe environment. We aim to provide you with best possible outcome, and to restore your quality of life.
How can hip pain be treated?
Hip pain and stiffness can be treated with a variety of methods depending on the underlying cause. These include physiotherapy or medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid injections. Heat and cold therapy may also help to reduce inflammation and improve range of motion. Lifestyle modifications like yoga may also help increase flexibility and reduce pain. There are also surgical options for hip pain, ranging from minimally invasive to full joint replacement.
What are some conditions that cause hip pain or restricted movement in hips?
Hip pain and restricted movement can be caused by a variety of conditions. These include bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis, fractures and joint inflammation. Additionally, everyday activities that put strain on the hips or cause them to become misaligned can lead to pain or limited mobility. Poor posture can also lead to hip issues over time. On rare occasions, a tumour on the hip may cause pain or immobility. It is important to consult with your doctor about hip discomfort to receive a personal diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.
Our Hip Specialists
Hip conditions are typically treated by an orthopaedic surgeon or a chartered physiotherapist. An orthopaedic surgeon can offer treatment for hip injuries or arthritis - and perform surgery if needed. Physiotherapists treat hip problems with exercises that improve hip strength and motion.
Our Consultant Radiologists work closely with the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons. Together, they aim to find a swift diagnosis and the very best treatment plan for all their patients. Here are some of the tests we can offer to help diagnose the cause of your hip pain.
An X-ray can be used to diagnose any structural changes in the tissues and bones in the hip, such as fractures. They are also the most useful way of diagnosing arthritis.
An ultrasound scan is used to check for signs of tendonitis, bursitis, or joint inflammation in the hip.
An MRI may be ordered to rule out other potential causes of hip pain like tumours or fractures that cannot be seen on an X-ray.
A CT scan allows doctors to see detailed images of structures within the body to help identify sources of pain. They can provide more information about underlying conditions like arthritis or ligament tears.
Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used for both diagnosis and treatment. In this procedure, a thin and flexible instrument with a light - called an arthroscope - is inserted into the joint. The procedure might be necessary for several reasons. This could be for diagnostic purposes, or to treat certain conditions. These include impingement syndrome, osteoarthritis, and synovitis. Arthroscopy may be done under general anaesthesia or sedation. Tiny incisions are made around the joint to insert the arthroscope. A fluid is then used to expand and fill the area so that the surgeon can see more clearly during surgery. A small camera attached to the arthroscope projects images of internal structures on a large video screen. This allows your surgeon to investigate damage in the joint and usually diagnose any existing problems. The main benefit of a Hip Arthroscopy is diagnostic, but occasionally can provide pain relief for patients who have sore or stiff hips.
What kind of treatments and procedures can we offer to patients with hip pain?
If the pain comes on suddenly, rest is often the best medicine. For longer-lasting symptoms, there are a range of helpful treatments.
Physiotherapy can be very helpful. Our physio team provides strengthening exercises that are specific to your injury and its severity. These exercises will help strengthen muscles around the hip and so reduce your pain levels.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin may also be prescribed. These will help reduce pain and inflammation in the hip.
Corticosteroid injections are also sometimes used. These are only considered if other medications and treatments have not succeeded in reducing your pain levels.
There are also supporting or secondary treatment options that may help relieve symptoms. These include ultrasound therapy, massage therapy, hot and cold therapy (such as heating pads), or acupuncture. We can discuss all options with you, depending on your individual needs.
Surgery can also be an option for more severe hip problems. This line of treatment is only pursued if other treatment options have not delivered the hoped-for results. Surgery can significantly improve ones quality of life, but it is an invasive procedure. This can be associated with potential risks and complications.
As well as minimally invasive procedure like arthroscopy, a hip replacement is another surgical option. A total hip replacement replaces an individual’s damaged hip joint with a prosthetic one. In general, it is only considered when other treatments have not improved your pain and mobility issues. Patients can expect their range of motion to significantly improve after a hip replacement. They should also experience less pain when standing and walking compared to what they felt before the surgery. They will need physiotherapy after their surgery to help strengthen their muscles so they can regain their full mobility.
What can you expect after attending Blackrock Health with hip pain?
The underlying causes of hip pain can vary greatly and are often complex. While self-care and nonsurgical therapies can succeed at managing symptoms, some cases may need surgery. No matter which approach you choose, the best path to treating chronic hip pain is to get an accurate diagnosis. We can then give you comprehensive guidance from our team. With their expertise, we aim to reduce hip pain and optimise your mobility.
How do I get this?
You will need a referral letter from your GP or consultant before you make an appointment. Please see our Request Appointment Form here.
Is this insured?
Not all services are covered by health insurance. To find out if you're covered, please check your health insurance before your visit. You can do this on our health insurance Cover Check page here, or by contacting your health insurer.
How do I pay?
If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page here. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.