When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You may not need to see a doctor if your hip pain is minor. Try these self-care tips:

  • Gentle exercise. While certain exercises may cause some discomfort, in general, exercise is much more likely to help than to do any significant harm.
  • Weight loss. Taking off just 5 to 10 pounds (2.25 to 4.5 kilograms) can make a significant difference in the amount of pain or discomfort you experience.
  • Rest. Avoid repeated bending at the hip and direct pressure on the hip. Try not to sleep on the affected side and avoid prolonged sitting.
  • Pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may help ease your hip pain.
  • Ice or heat. Use ice cubes or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to apply cold treatments to your hip. Conversely, a warm bath or shower may help prepare your muscles for stretching exercises that can reduce pain.

If self-care treatments don't help, make an appointment with your doctor.

Seek immediate medical attention
Ask someone to drive you to urgent care or the emergency room if your hip pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by:

  • A joint that appears deformed
  • Inability to move your leg or hip
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected leg
  • Intense pain
  • Sudden swelling
Jul. 31, 2013