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Nonsurgical Treatments for Hip Pain: Managing Discomfort without Surgery - New Jersey Pain Relief

Nonsurgical Treatments for Hip Pain: Managing Discomfort without Surgery

Hip pain can significantly impact one’s quality of life, making even simple tasks like walking or climbing stairs difficult and uncomfortable. While surgery may be an option for some, non surgical treatments can effectively reduce hip discomfort and improve mobility. This article examines nonsurgical hip pain treatment remedies, including their advantages, disadvantages, and potential outcomes. These treatments often involve lifestyle modifications, prescriptions medication, and anti inflammatories to manage pain without surgery. Additionally, specific therapies may focus on hip arthritis treatment and hip injury recovery, helping patients return to their daily activities with less knee pain and overall discomfort.

 Physical Therapy and Exercise

Physical therapy is crucial in treating hip pain since it focuses on strengthening and developing flexibility of the muscles surrounding the hip joint. Physical therapists with specific training play a significant role in establishing customized exercise programs, including stretching, strengthening exercises, and low-impact aerobic workouts. These therapeutic exercises help to relieve pain signals, enhance joint stability, and improve overall hip function. This treatment approach often integrates non-surgical treatments, prescription medication, and lifestyle modifications to support tissue regeneration and address muscle weakness. X-rays may be used to assess the severity of hip conditions such as hip arthritis. Managing body weight and increasing muscle strength are also critical components of the treatment plan to alleviate knee pain associated with hip issues.

Initial Evaluation and Assessment: A qualified physical therapist will conduct an initial evaluation and assessment to begin the physical therapy path for hip pain. During this evaluation, the therapist evaluates the individual’s range of motion, strength, and functional capacity. They may also assess factors including posture, gait, and muscular imbalances that can cause hip pain. This comprehensive evaluation helps the therapist determine the underlying causes of pain and build a personalized treatment strategy.

Stretching exercises: Stretching exercises help to relieve hip pain by increasing flexibility and minimizing muscle strain. 

Strengthening Exercises: Hip pain therapy includes strengthening exercises that focus on improving strength in the muscles that support and stabilize the hip joint. 

Low-Impact Aerobic Workouts: Low-impact aerobic workouts benefit people with hip pain because they provide cardiovascular benefits while putting less strain on the hip joints. Physical therapists may add exercises such as stationary riding, water aerobics, or elliptical training to the therapeutic plan. 

Functional Training: Because it focuses on increasing an individual’s ability to do daily chores, functional training is an important component of hip pain physical therapy. Physical therapists utilize exercises that mimic real-life movements and duties, such as walking, ascending stairs, or getting out of a chair. By repeating these beneficial movements, individuals can regain confidence in their abilities, improve balance, and optimize hip function while performing routine duties.

Education and Self-Management: Physical therapists teach and counsel people suffering from hip pain on self-management techniques. It could include advice on proper posture, body mechanics, and ergonomics to reduce stress on the hip joints. They may also educate clients on pain management techniques, such as heat or cold therapy and, if necessary, offer recommendations for assistive devices.

Progress monitoring and revision: Regular progress monitoring and revision of the treatment plan are essential throughout the physical therapy procedure. Physical therapists assess an individual’s response to therapy, modify exercises and techniques as needed, and set new goals based on the individual’s progress. 


Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These medications are effective in reducing inflammation and relieving pain associated with hip arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other joint pain conditions. They provide temporary pain relief and can help manage hip pain without the need for surgical intervention like joint replacement surgery.

Acetaminophen: This medication is commonly used for alleviating hip pain and is often recommended as a non-surgical treatment option. It helps relieve pain caused by severe hip pain or arthritis pain and can be beneficial in managing hip discomfort.

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices are helpful in treating hip pain because they provide support, help unload weight, improve alignment, and relieve pressure on the afflicted hip joint. The following are two common types of hip pain relief devices:

Canes and Crutches: Canes and crutches are routinely used to help people with hip pain. These devices alleviate discomfort and promote stability while walking or standing by removing weight from the afflicted hip joint. Canes and crutches relieve pressure on the hip joint, allowing for a more enjoyable and balanced walk.

It is critical to receive enough training from a healthcare practitioner or physical therapist when using canes or crutches. They can advise you on the best equipment and demonstrate proper use based on your specific requirements. Proper administration ensures maximum benefit while lowering the danger of additional injuries or strain.

Orthotics and Shoe Modifications: Orthotics, such as shoe inserts or custom-made shoe supports, can provide additional support and alignment to patients suffering from hip pain. These devices can efficiently relieve pressure on the hip joint by dispersing stresses during walking or other weight-bearing exercises. Orthotics can alleviate hip pain and improve total joint function by providing stability and correcting faulty foot mechanics.

Shoe changes are another thing to consider. Shoes with cushioned soles or rocker’s bottoms can help reduce impact and hip pain when walking or jogging. These changes absorb shock and encourage a more natural and fluid movement, which reduces strain on the hip joint.

Consult a podiatrist or orthopedic physician before deciding on orthotics or shoe changes. They can accurately examine individual foot mechanics, and diagnose and tailor therapies to unique needs.


Injections can be an effective nonsurgical therapy option for hip pain, mainly when inflammation or joint deterioration occurs. 

Corticosteroid Injections: 

These injections deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medications directly into the affected joint, delivering instant pain relief. 

A corticosteroid drug is injected into the targeted area around the hip joint, commonly combined with a local anesthetic. The local anesthetic immediately helps pain, but the corticosteroid has long-term anti-inflammatory effects.

Corticosteroid injections can significantly reduce pain and inflammation, allowing people to participate in physical therapy and other rehabilitation exercises more comfortably.

Possible side effects of corticosteroid injections include:

  • A temporary flare-up of pain
  • Infection
  • Tissue damage
  • Systemic side effects

Hyaluronic Acid Injections: 

Hyaluronic acid injections offer an alternative approach to reducing hip discomfort for persons with hip osteoarthritis who haven’t responded well to earlier therapies. In most situations, hyaluronic acid injections necessitate a series of injections spaced over several weeks. 

While hyaluronic acid injections are generally well tolerated, the following side effects are possible:

  • Transient pain or swelling
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infection or joint damage

Weight Management

Excess weight can worsen pain and discomfort in the hip joints by adding extra tension. The hip joints bear the body’s weight during movements like walking, jogging, and standing. Carrying extra weight increases pressure and strain on the hip joints, leading to pain and discomfort.

Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and calcium-rich foods into your diet can promote joint function and help reduce inflammation. Additionally, practicing portion control and adopting mindful eating habits can assist in preventing excessive weight gain.

Maintaining a healthy weight can alleviate pain and improve joint stiffness, making non-surgical treatment options more effective. By shedding excess pounds, you can reduce the burden on the affected joints and provide better hip support. Remember, the body naturally produces some hip support, but losing weight can enhance its effectiveness.

It’s important to note that weight management is especially crucial for individuals considering knee replacement or hip replacement surgeries. Losing weight prior to these procedures can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications. Furthermore, by managing your weight, you open up additional non-surgical treatment options for managing hip pain and discomfort.

Alternative Therapies

Physical Modalities

Physical modalities are maNJ types of therapy that help relieve hip pain by addressing the underlying reasons for discomfort. Heat or cold application is a common therapy strategy that involves applying heat or ice packs to the affected hip area. Cold therapy numbs the area, lowers inflammation, and relieves pain, while heat therapy stimulates blood circulation, relaxes muscles, and reduces stiffness. 

Another physical method is ultrasound therapy, which involves the administration of high-frequency sound waves to the hip joint. The sound waves generate a moderate heat deep within the tissues, which promotes blood flow and tissue healing. TENS is another physical treatment that uses low-voltage electrical currents delivered through electrodes on the skin near the painful area. 

Manual Therapies

Chiropractic and osteopathic physicians use gentle manipulations and adjustments to realign the spine, pelvis, and surrounding joints, which helps alleviate hip discomfort and strain. These therapies aim to improve joint mobility, reduce muscle tension, and reestablish proper alignment, all contributing to overall hip function.

Massage therapy manually manipulates soft tissues around the hip joint, such as muscles and connective tissues. Massage therapists can use techniques like kneading, rubbing, and stretching to relax stiff muscles, enhance blood circulation, and reduce hip discomfort. Massage therapy can also aid with range of motion, scar tissue formation, relaxation, and overall well-being.

Assistive Devices and Mobility Aids

A hip abduction pillow is an assistive device specifically designed to aid in managing hip pain, particularly during sleep. This specialized cushion is beneficial for patients recovering from hip surgery or dealing with hip discomfort caused by conditions like bursitis or tendinitis. By maintaining proper hip alignment and minimizing strain on the hip joint, the hip abduction pillow brings relief and relaxation.

This pillow prevents the legs from crossing over each other while sleeping, which can place additional strain on the hip joint and increase pain. By keeping the legs apart and supported, the cushion relieves pressure and stress on the hip joint, allowing for better sleep and minimizing discomfort.

Individuals recovering from hip surgery, such as hip replacement or hip arthroscopy, can significantly benefit from utilizing a hip abduction pillow. It helps protect the surgical site during the healing process and ensures the hip joint remains properly positioned and stable. By reducing unintended movements during sleep, the pillow contributes to healing and minimizes the risk of postoperative complications.

In addition to specialized pillows, a variety of helpful assistive devices can greatly improve the daily lives of individuals experiencing hip discomfort. These devices are designed to assist with various tasks while relieving pressure on the hip joint and reducing pain.

Reachers are long-handled tools equipped with gripping mechanisms that enable users to reach and retrieve objects without excessive bending or stretching. These aids are particularly useful for accessing high shelves or picking up items from the floor. By minimizing hip joint tension and pain associated with excessive bending or straining, reachers provide practical assistance.

Another beneficial tool for those with hip pain is the long-handled shoe horn. It allows individuals to put on and remove shoes without stooping or excessively flexing the hip joint. By promoting proper hip joint alignment and eliminating the need for strenuous movements, long-handled shoe horns help prevent discomfort.

It’s important to note that while assistive devices and mobility aids can provide support and alleviate hip pain, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a physical exam and guidance on non-surgical options. Depending on the individual’s specific condition, over-the-counter or prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be recommended to reduce swelling and manage pain. In some cases, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or common injections can be administered directly to the affected area. Additionally, incorporating resistance training, complex carbohydrates, and maintaining a healthy weight through weight loss can also contribute to managing hip discomfort.