In addition to accidental injury, there are many potential causes of internal hip pain. While some issues may be relatively easy to assess, such as a hernia, other cases may not be so clear. When getting an initial diagnosis from your doctor, he or she will review your medical history in detail and perform a basic physical examination. You should keep in mind that, once an initial assessment has been made, further testing may be needed.
Discussing Your Medical History
In order to pinpoint the source of pain and recommend the best course of treatment, every diagnosis must begin with a careful discussion of your medical history. Make sure to consider the following questions before your appointment:
Was your pain preceded by any injury or accident?
What factors worsen the discomfort? What seems to relieve it?
Where does pain occur in your hips, legs, or lower back? When does it occur?
Does the discomfort limit your mobility, or prevent you from daily activities?
Do you feel pain in any other areas of your body?
Your doctor will also likely ask you to describe your pain (e.g., sharp, dull or burning), or ask you to locate the severity of discomfort on a pain scale. Additionally, he or she will need to know about existing conditions, such as osteoporosis, and any current use of supplements or medications.
Physical Examinations and Tests
During your initial assessment, you doctor will perform a basic physical examination. He or she may ask you to walk or move your limbs in order to determine range of motion and location of pain. They will also likely inspect the knee joints, spine, and groin, since examining these areas can often identify hidden pelvic issues.
In cases where there is no clear cause, or if your doctor suspects that your pain is the result of a musculoskeletal issue, he or she may order an X-ray or MRI. X-ray imaging will allow a clear view of issues with bone structure or deterioration. Meanwhile, MRI scans provide an even more detailed picture of the state of your joints and cartilage.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend blood testing. A blood test can help to detect an elevated ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) and white blood cell count: common indicators of the presence of infection. Such testing can also reveal issues with rheumatism or multiple myeloma, which are often associated with otherwise unexplained pain in the hips.
While it may take a series of tests and a bit of patience to ultimately determine the source of your pain, an accurate diagnosis will ultimately lead to the best treatment plan for your specific case.