Anti-inflammatory medications and physicial therapy can be effective treatments for hip pain.
There are two types of anti-inflammatory medications that can be used to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain; non-steroidal and steroids.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce inflammation and pain by blocking the production of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. Possible side effects from these drugs include stomach pain, heartburn, stomach ulcers, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and general bleeding.
You can purchase some NSAIDs over the counter. Generic medication names are listed first followed by brand names.
Ibuprofen - Advil, Nuprin, Motrin
Naproxen sodium - Aleve
Aspirin - Ascriptin, Bayer, Ecotrin
You will need a prescription from your doctor for these higher-dose NSAIDs:
Oxaprozin – Daypro
Naproxen – Naprosyn
A new classification of NSAIDs, called Cox-2 inhibitors, can also be effective in decreasing pain. They are less likely to cause side effects. A prescription is necessary for Celebrex (generic name is celecoxib), the only Cox-2 inhibitor available in the US.
More information can be found at WebMD’s guide to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Corticosteroids, such as prednisone and cortisone, are the most commonly prescribed steroids. These drugs simulate cortisol, a naturally occurring, anti-inflammatory hormone produced by your adrenal glands. Sometimes a doctor may prescribe corticosteroids if NSAIDs are not effective. They can be injected or taken orally.
Problems related to continuous steroid treatment include drug side effects and symptoms due to an imbalance in your hormone levels. Hormonal imbalances occur from taking doses greater than your body's natural production of cortisol. Side effects which include high blood pressure, insomnia and bruising are more likely to occur with oral steroids.
More information can be found at WebMD’s guide to steroids.
Consult your primary care physician or an orthopedist for more guidance about anti-inflammatory medication treatments.
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Exercise and physical therapy may relieve your hip pain by improving the strength and flexibility of your hip and leg muscles. Exercise programs could include riding a stationary bike, light weight training and flexibility work outs. Aquatic therapy is especially effective for the treatment of arthritis since it provides mild resistance while removing weight-bearing stresses. For an appropriate exercise program, contact an experienced physical therapist.
Boulder Community Hospital offers two physical therapy options.
Return to Top