How do you know you have a hip problem? Often, it can be because, when attempting to ascend or descend stairs or put on socks, you suffer pain in your bending knee. If this happens, you should book an appointment with your doctor to put yourself on the path to having a hip problem diagnosed and treated. Here are the stages you should go through.

Reach out to your doctor

After the first sign that you might have a hip issue, book an appointment with your doctor. They will ask you a series of questions, including several outlined by Arthritis Research UK. The doctor will, for example, seek to find out how those symptoms began, their effect on your day-to-day life, and whether you are continuing to suffer pain even during the night.

Your doctor will also look at your hip to discern how easily it can move. From this, they might be able to start putting together a treatment plan, though you shouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility of your doctor arranging other tests in an attempt to diagnose a less conventional issue with your hip.

How your hips might be tested

What kind of test your doctor puts your hips through can depend on the hip condition they most suspect you have. Typically, an X-ray is the most effective means of identifying a problem with a hip, as it will clearly indicate the bones’ condition.

The X-ray could especially effectively pick up on arthritis affecting your hip. It would not, however, be quite as useful in analysing soft tissues, like muscles and tendons, surrounding the hip. For that purpose, you could more easily benefit from an MRI scan – which, if you are actually suffering avascular necrosis, can diagnose it.

Some conditions can make the hip socket very shallow – and, if this has happened with your hip, a CT scan could help reveal it, not to mention whether the hip joint’s shape is unusual. Alternatively, your doctor might believe rheumatoid arthritis or an infection to have caused your hip pain – in which case, the doctor may arrange for a blood test instead.

Ways of treating hip problems

There are various means by which hip issues can be treated. If you want to strengthen your hip-supporting muscles and preserve your range of motion, then exercising the hip would be among the best ways of doing so, says the Arthritis Foundation. Pain could be somewhat relieved if you stretch the muscles and tendons. Meanwhile, there are medications that can relieve pain and inflammation in the hips.

Still, if hip pain does not react to these treatments, you may have to resort to hip surgery. This can be provided by orthopaedic surgeons in London‘s Highgate Private Hospital. This institution includes the Highgate Hip Unit, which diagnoses and treats hip issues in a collaborative fashion. The treatments the Unit can carry out include arthroscopy, resurfacing and replacing hips, while the hospital also offers autologous stem cell therapy to be utilised by sufferers of hip pain.