ZocdocAnswersWhat's giving me chronic hip pain?

Question

What's giving me chronic hip pain?

I am a woman in my mid 20s, and besides this one respect I'm very healthy. If I do almost any exercise - walking, swimming, skiing - for more than a little while, my hips ache. It's been this way for a long time, but I've been avoiding the doctor and I don't know which one to see anyway. What should I do? Is this because I did gymnastics when I was a teen?

Answer

Hip pain in someone your age is something that should be looked into soon so that you do not develop complications in the future from something that is treatable. The type of physician you should see depends on the cause of the pain and could include orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, and physical therapists. Therefore I think it is best for you to see your primary care physician first (family doctor or internal medicine doctor) so that you can get some initial tests to determine who is best to treat your problem. It is possible that chronic impact could cause joint problems, but the hips would not be the first joints that would be effected (more likely knees). Plus, unless you sustained some injuries during your time as a gymnast, I think this cause is less likely. Certain systemic causes of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis is very possible for a women you age, but the hips are unlikely joints for it to strike first. Most likely, your pain is muscular, and arises from you using muscles you don't normally use everyday when you go swimming or skiing. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can perform a physical exam of you hips, and order some blood tests to look for rheumatoid. Hopefully, you can get to the bottom of this problem.

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