Orthopedic medicine can help you with musculoskeletal system injuries and deformities, including issues with ligaments, tendons, and joints. That means it’s the right branch of medicine to deal with hip pain. The hip joint is a common source of pain because it’s susceptible to sports injuries, arthritis, and other ailments. Here’s more about why you should consult an orthopedic doctor for your hip pain.
Orthopedic doctors have the tools and expertise to find the cause of hip pain and recommend treatments that will reduce or eliminate it. Diagnosis usually begins with a physical examination and x-rays to look for joint damage and inflammation. The doctor may also test feet and legs to see if other problems contribute to your hip pain. Additional imaging and testing may be necessary if initial checks are inconclusive.
Wide-Ranging Treatments Available
The field of orthopedics was created in 1780 to treat children with skeletal abnormalities. It quickly expanded to include diagnosis and treatment of people of all ages. This broad medical specialty now offers treatments that include massage, chiropractic care, anti-inflammatory joint injections, oral pain medications, and physical therapy. Doctors trained in orthopedics also provide hip resurfacing and hip replacement surgery for patients who don’t get relief from conservative treatments.
Lifestyle Changes May Be Enough
For mild hip issues, lifestyle changes can be enough to reduce or eliminate pain. These might include losing weight, increasing activity to overcome a sedentary lifestyle, strength and flexibility exercises, and stress management. Your orthopedic doctor will probably also recommend that you stop smoking and limit alcohol consumption. They may recommend dietary supplements, including omega-3 capsules and other products that help reduce joint inflammation.
Physical Therapy May Work
Physical and rehabilitation therapy are among the most powerful treatments orthopedic doctors prescribe, but you must do at-home exercises regularly and perhaps attend in-person appointments to get results. Your orthopedic doctor can work with a physical therapist to create a personalized program of exercises and stretches to improve your mild to moderate hip pain. Physical therapy also includes periodic assessments by the therapist or doctor to see how well the treatment is working.
When you have hip pain that continues for more than a few days, it’s time to see a doctor. Check with your insurance company to see if you can see an orthopedic doctor without a referral or need to see your primary care physician first. Orthopedics has evolved into a reliable branch of medicine for diagnosing and treating your hip pain so you can feel better and get on with your life.