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Reviewed 7/21/2022

Test your knowledge of hip pain

Does your hip hurt? You've got company. A common cause of hip pain can be arthritis—especially as we get older. But don't think you just have to put up with an aching hip. This quiz can help you understand the signs of hip arthritis and some of the treatment options.

1. Arthritis hip pain may be worse in the morning.

TRUE: In addition to morning pain, you also may notice the pain (and stiffness) when you get up to move around after you've been sitting or resting. Or it may be worse after vigorous activity. This pain may also be felt in your groin or thigh. And it may spread to your buttocks or knee. Your hip also may be tender to the touch.

2. You don't have to wait for severe pain to have a conversation with your doctor.

TRUE: You should see your doctor if you're concerned about hip pain, especially if the pain lasts three days or more or occurs several times a month. The sooner you get a proper diagnosis and treatment, the sooner you can find relief.

3. You always need to see a joint specialist for hip pain.

FALSE: You can see your primary care provider to start. If you need a specialist to diagnose or treat your hip problem, your regular provider may refer you to one. Rheumatologists and orthopedists are two types of specialists who diagnose and treat hip pain problems.

4. Taking medication is the only way to relieve hip pain.

FALSE: Medications, including pain relievers and cortisone joint injections, can help treat arthritis hip pain. But other treatments also are effective. For example, exercise and physical therapy can decrease pain and improve joint pain and motion. Shedding any excess weight can also reduce stress on your hip.

5. You should wait for your doctor to mention surgery as a treatment option.

FALSE: If hip pain is limiting how you live your life, speak up. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor if surgery could be right for you, or if continuing with other treatments could be a better option for now.

One surgical option your doctor might recommend is hip replacement. This is a safe and effective surgery that usually results in less pain and a return to your normal activities.

Your doctor can help you understand the pros and cons of surgery and help you make the decision that's right for you.

Don't postpone arthritis treatment

If hip pain is troubling you, don't delay talking to your doctor. Putting off treatment can affect your quality of life and your mental and physical health.

Learn the risks of delaying treatment

Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons; Arthritis Foundation

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