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Hip Pain & Hip Popping: Do You Need a Doctor?

Hip pain
 You may have tried massages or stretching, but your hip pain isn't going away. Find the source of your pain and learn from Doctor Chalmers when you might want to see a hip specialist.

Chronic Hip Pain

Have chronic hip pain or hip popping? Sports medicine and orthopedic specialist, Peter Chalmers, MD, at University of Utah Health is here to provide insight into what could be causing this chronic pain.

You've tried stretching and massaging, but they just don't seem to be doing the trick. Could this injury be from overuse, sitting in a position for too long, lifting heavy things, to even the depth of your common squat when working out?

Hip pain and popping are very common injuries, and Dr. Chalmers assures that "there are a number of things in your hip that can cause this kind of pain".

Let's take squatting for example, whether this be a squat in the gym or in your garage.

Labral Tears or FAI (Femoroacetabular Impingement)

"As a you come down into a deep squat, which is with your hip all the way flexed, there is definitely the possibility for your upper leg bone called your femur to run into your pelvis". Chalmers says.

"That phenomenon has become better understood with time. It's called an impingement, and it's the medical term for when two bones run into each other.

Right in-between those two bones are something called your labrum, and if you look at a lot of people, overtime they develop those tears in that location of the labrum. It may be that that's contributory here, it certainly hard to know, it that would be one of my primary suspicions".

Hip or Groin Pain?

Where is the hip popping occurring? Is it in your hip or your groin? Knowing where the pain is stemming from is the most important thing to figure out first.

"So, there are a couple of other things in there that can pop, a popping hip, which is kind a hip flexor phenomenon which can happen. But there is also another thing called a sports hernia, which is a little bit more towards the midline in that location.

If it is really in your groin, you should worry about your hip, or one of those tendons, and that where I would start my focus with a hip doctor". Says Chalmers.

If it Is Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI), Would I Need Surgery?

You do not want chronic pain for the rest of your life. So, how should you deal with this? Dr. Chalmers recommends getting an X-ray first, as that is a low-cost intervention. However, if this is not providing the answers, an MRI is next in line.

Would I Need a Hip Replacement?

Many people, when it comes to chronic pain and no answers from previous treatments, end up getting hip replacements. However, it is important to go through the necessary steps before a replacement, like getting an X-ray.

Doc Talks: Ask Dr. Chalmers

From Doc Talks, our regular radio series with our orthopedic sports medicine specialists. Peter Chalmers, MD, talked about chronic hip pain from hip popping with caller Pete and host Hans. Listen to the interview.