What's the cause of the constant pain in my right hip?

The pain in the right hip may be due to a few reasons. Common causes of hip pain include arthritis (a disorder that causes joint inflammation), fracture, dislocation or inadequate blood supply to the hip.

Q: I am a 41-year-old woman and I have been having constant pain in my right hip for more than a year.

Walking and standing too long makes it worse, especially at night.

A traditional Chinese medicine physician said the pain is from a nerve in the hip.

I have been going for acupuncture sessions to relieve the pain but it has not helped.

I went for a bone scan and was found to have low-bone density.

My thyroid was removed because I had goitre (thyroid enlargement). I have since been on levothyroxine and calcium tablets.

The pain has hindered my day-to-day living. What should I do?

A: The pain in the right hip may be due to a few reasons. We need to evaluate if the pain is isolated at the right hip or if there is also associated pain in other areas, including other joints.

Common causes of hip pain include arthritis (a disorder that causes joint inflammation), fracture, dislocation or inadequate blood supply to the hip.

Pain can be referred to the right hip, meaning that the pain is actually caused by an abnormality from another part of the body, but is perceived as pain at the hip. Such referred pain can be caused by spinal disorders.

Low-bone density, or osteopenia, can contribute to an increased risk of fractures, particularly of the hip and spine.

A consultation and further investigations with a doctor will help to find out where the pain is arising from.

The treatment will then be targeted at the underlying cause. This may include physiotherapy, medication, injections or surgery.

Interestingly, a less well-known cause of joint or muscle pain is hypothyroidism, or inadequate levels of the thyroid hormone.

A check on the adequacy of your thyroid hormone replacement with your doctor will help.

DR TAN KIAN HIAN
Director of the Pain Management Centre at Singapore General Hospital


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