How do you know if a hip injury is serious?

The hip joint enables stability and mobility but can sustain injuries like sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations. Many Hip Injuries Aurora can be treated conservatively, but concerning symptoms after trauma warrant prompt medical care. These include sudden severe pain, inability to bear weight, visible bruising/swelling, numbness or tingling down the leg, weakness controlling the leg, and pain when resisting leg motion. 

Signs like instability, audible popping, or limited range of motion indicate potential serious injury requiring imaging and orthopedic consultation. Physical Therapy Advantage in Aurora, IL, provides customized therapy for hip injuries. Early treatment improves outcomes.

Causes of Hip Pain

There are various reasons you may experience pain or discomfort in and around the hip joint. Some common causes include:

  • Muscle strains – Overstretching or tears of muscles like the hip flexors from activities like sprinting or high kicks.
  • Ligament sprains – Forces that overstretch or partially tear ligaments supporting the hip joint during pivoting motions. 
  • Arthritis – Inflammation of joint tissues from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis causes stiffness and aching, especially with activity.
  • Bursitis – Inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs between bones and muscles becomes irritated.
  • Tendinitis – Repetitive hip motions irritate and inflame tendons.
  • Fractures – Breaks in the ball of the femur or hip socket from trauma like falls. More common in the elderly.
  • Dislocations – Forceful trauma knocks the ball out of the socket joint alignment, causing severe pain. 
  • Labral tears – The cartilage rings around the socket tears due to rotational force and impingement.
  • Snapping hip – Tendons snap over bony prominences during movement.

Warning Signs of a Serious Hip Injury

If you suddenly get bad hip pain after an injury that makes it tough to walk on that leg, notice bruising swelling, or your hip looks weird, get checked out as soon as possible. Those are red flags. Something serious could be going on. Other alarming signs are numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg that’s hard to control or hip pain when resisting leg movements. 

The significant red warning signs are leg buckle or give out, hearing popping sounds and not being able to move your hips’ joint without pain. Those problems most likely indicate a fracture, dislocation, muscle tear, ligament rupture, or hip cartilage injury. You will require immediate medical attention to prevent further complications.

When you see a doctor, they’ll inquire about the characteristics of your pain from onset to location and severity through likely causes. They will examine for any tenderness, swelling,, deformity, and instability in the hip region. Testing the range of motion by moving your hip joint helps to determine where exactly. Strength testing also pinpoints the point of injury. With suspicion of fracture, dislocation, or soft tissue injury, you will have to undergo imaging testing using X-rays, CT scans, and MRI.

Some situations might necessitate consulting with an orthopedic specialist, particularly when surgery is required. Right diagnosis means right cure and this may include casting, splinting, medication dosage, rest regimen, physical therapy, or mobility support. Getting treated quickly improves healing.

Seeking Medical Care for a Potentially Serious Hip Injury

Prompt medical evaluation is advised if you experience concerning hip symptoms after an injury event. Sudden severe pain, inability to bear weight, visible bruising or swelling, numbness/tingling down the leg, weakness controlling the leg, or pain when resisting leg motion warrant assessment. 

Signs like joint instability, audible popping sounds, or limited range of motion indicate potential serious injury such as fractures, dislocations, muscle/ligament tears, or cartilage damage. Urgent imaging tests and orthopedic consultation are often needed. Seeking treatment quickly can improve outcomes and reduce long-term impairment risk. Care may involve casting, surgery, medication, rest, physical therapy or mobility aids.

Conservative Care for Minor Hip Strains 

For mild hip pain without major trauma or red flags, home treatment may be appropriate for issues like minor muscle strains or overuse tendinitis. Recommendations include:

  • Rest – Avoid any activities that aggravate hip pain, like pivoting sports. Crutches can minimize weight. 
  • Ice – Apply ice wrapped in a towel for 15 minutes a few times daily to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Compression – Wrap the hip with an elastic bandage to prevent swelling.
  • Elevation – Prop up the injured leg above heart level when possible to drain fluid.

See your physician if home care fails to improve hip pain within 1-2 weeks or if symptoms worsen. Rehabilitation through Physical Therapy in Aurora IL, often helps resolve many nagging hip issues while strengthening muscles for injury prevention.


The physical therapy experts at Physical Therapy Advantage have specialized hip injury training to reduce pain and restore normal function. 

If you had minor hip strains or need post-surgery assistance, we can build a specialized treatment plan based on your unique needs. We carry out detailed movement evaluations to detect limitations that cause hip pathology, pain and increased injury risk.

Don’t let the hip pain keep you out of action. The physical therapists of Physical Therapy Advantage provide customized treatment plans to address your hip dysfunction. We can help you restore painless movement and strength through two convenient locations in Aurora.