Dealing with Bone Spurs in the Hip: Understanding, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Dealing with Bone Spurs in the Hip: Understanding, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Hip pain can be a complicated and frustrating issue for many individuals. Among the various underlying causes of this discomfort, bone spurs in the hip are a common but often overlooked problem. These small, bony projections can develop along the edges of the hip joint, causing pain and limiting movement. This blog post aims to shed light on this condition, offering insights into bone spur in hip symptoms, causes, and the latest therapeutic approaches.

What Are Bone Spurs In Hip?

What Are Bone Spurs In Hip?Bone spurs, medically known as osteophytes, are small, bony projections that form along the edges of bones, primarily at joints. In the context of the hip, they develop on the ball-and-socket joint where the femur (thigh bone) meets the pelvis. These growths are often the body’s response to joint stress, damage, or inflammation, frequently arising from conditions like osteoarthritis.

The presence of a bone spur in the hip does not always correlate with pain or discomfort. In fact, some people may remain asymptomatic. However, for others, these bony outgrowths can cause pain and impede movement. Particularly if they interfere with the smooth motion of the joint or press on nearby nerves.

What Are The Common Symptoms To Know?

The symptoms of bone spurs in the hip can vary widely. And some individuals may not experience any noticeable symptoms at all. However, for those who do experience symptoms, the following are commonly observed:

  • Pain in the Hip or Groin Area

This pain might be sharp and localized, or it could be a more diffuse aching sensation. It may worsen with specific movements or activities and can sometimes radiate down the thigh.

  • Stiffness in the Hip Joint

Reduced flexibility and a limited range of motion in the hip can make daily activities like walking or bending more challenging. Morning stiffness that improves as the day progresses is also common.

  • Grinding or Clicking Sensation

Some individuals may feel or even hear a grinding or clicking noise in the hip joint during movement. This can be caused by the bone spur rubbing against other bones or soft tissues in the joint.

  • Swelling and Inflammation

In some cases, the area around the hip joint may become inflamed. Eventually, leading to swelling and tenderness.

  • Loss of Mobility

If the bone spur is particularly large or if there are multiple spurs, they may impede the normal function of the hip joint. And then, leading to difficulty walking or performing other movements that rely on hip flexibility.

  • Intermittent Symptoms

It’s worth noting that symptoms may come and go, with periods of increased pain and stiffness followed by periods of relative comfort.

  • Impact on Daily Activities

In more severe cases, the symptoms of hip bone spurs may significantly affect daily life, interfering with activities. Such as walking, exercising, or even sitting for extended periods.

The presence of these symptoms doesn’t definitively indicate bone spurs, as they can also be indicative of other hip-related problems. Therefore, professional medical evaluation and diagnosis are essential.

How Serious Are Bone Spurs In The Hip?

How Serious Are Bone Spurs In The Hip?Bone spurs in the hip can vary in severity, depending on their size, location, and overall health of the joint. For some individuals, bone spurs may cause no symptoms at all and might be discovered only through an X-ray done for other reasons. In these cases, they are typically considered a minor concern and may not require active treatment.

However, in more serious instances, hip bone spurs can lead to significant pain, stiffness, and a decrease in mobility. When they interfere with the normal function of the joint or irritate surrounding tissues and nerves, they may necessitate medical intervention. In the most severe cases, untreated bone spurs might contribute to the deterioration of the joint. Eventually, leading to chronic issues that can significantly impact the quality of life.

How To Diagnose Bone Spurs In The Hip?

Diagnosing bone spurs in the hip typically involves a combination of medical history evaluation, physical examination, and imaging techniques. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

Medical History and Physical Examination

Initially, a healthcare provider will ask about the patient’s symptoms, lifestyle, and any previous injuries or conditions that might be related to the hip pain. A physical examination of the hip will help determine the range of motion, strength, and any tenderness in the joint. The physician may also assess how the pain is affecting the patient’s daily activities.

Imaging Techniques

X-rays: This is the most common imaging test used to detect bone spurs. An X-ray can reveal the presence of bony projections along the joint and may show other changes in the hip associated with osteoarthritis or other underlying conditions.

  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): An MRI might be ordered to provide a more detailed view of the hip joint, including the soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It can help to identify any specific areas where the bone spur might be causing irritation or impingement.
  • CT (Computed Tomography) Scan: Sometimes, a CT scan might be used to create cross-sectional images of the hip, providing another perspective on the bone and surrounding tissues.

Lab Tests

Although not common for diagnosing bone spurs, blood tests or analysis of joint fluid might be ordered to rule out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms, such as infection or rheumatoid arthritis.

The combination of these diagnostic tools allows healthcare providers to make an accurate diagnosis of bone spurs in the hip. And helps in formulating an appropriate treatment plan tailored to the patient’s specific situation.

What Can Be Done For Bone Spurs In The Hip?

What Can Be Done For Bone Spurs In The Hip?Medical treatment for bone spurs in the hip focuses on alleviating pain, improving mobility, and addressing the underlying cause of bone spur formation. Here’s an overview of the main medical treatments:

  1. Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter medications like NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as ibuprofen can help control pain and inflammation.
  2. Prescription Medications: In more severe cases, stronger prescription pain relievers might be necessary.
  3. Corticosteroid Injections: These injections into the hip joint can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation by reducing swelling in the affected area.
  4. Hyaluronic Acid Injections: Sometimes used to lubricate the joint and ease movement, although their effectiveness in treating hip bone spurs may vary.
  5. Hip Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive procedure where small instruments are inserted through tiny incisions to remove the bone spurs and any damaged tissue.
  6. Total Hip Replacement: In extreme cases where the joint is severely damaged, a full hip replacement may be the best solution to restore functionality.

Treatment for bone spurs in the hip is often multidisciplinary. And a combination of these therapies may be used depending on the individual’s symptoms and the underlying cause of the bone spurs.

How Do You Get Rid Of Hip Bone Spurs Without Surgery?

If you’re looking to address hip bone spurs without resorting to surgical interventions, there are several non-invasive treatments and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate symptoms. Here’s a comprehensive overview:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often a cornerstone of non-surgical treatment for hip bone spurs. A skilled physical therapist will assess the specific limitations and pain points, designing a customized program of exercises and stretches. Goals might include strengthening surrounding muscles, improving joint flexibility, and teaching proper movement patterns to reduce strain on the affected hip. Techniques like:

  1. manual manipulation
  2. ultrasound therapy
  3. electrical stimulation

These might also be employed to promote healing and relieve pain.

Heat and Ice Therapy

  • Heat: Applying warm compresses or using a heating pad can increase blood flow to the affected area, relaxing the muscles and easing stiffness. It’s often used before exercise to prepare the muscles and joint for movement.
  • Ice: Applying ice or a cold pack can reduce inflammation and numb the area, providing relief from acute pain. It’s commonly used after physical activity or when pain and swelling are particularly pronounced.

Weight Management

Excess body weight can put additional strain on weight-bearing joints, including the hips. Managing weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise might reduce pressure on the affected hip joint, alleviating pain, and potentially slowing the progression of joint deterioration. Consultation with a nutritionist or dietitian could be helpful in creating a sustainable weight management plan.

Activity Modification

Modifying daily activities that exacerbate hip pain can be an essential part of managing bone spurs. This might include avoiding high-impact activities like running, jumping, or heavy lifting, and incorporating lower-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, or walking. Ergonomic adjustments to seating or workspaces and adopting proper lifting techniques can also minimize strain on the hip.

Proper Footwear

Wearing supportive and cushioned footwear can make a significant difference in hip comfort. Shoes that provide proper arch support and cushioning can minimize stress transmitted to the hip joint during walking or standing. Custom-made orthotic inserts, crafted to correct specific foot or gait abnormalities, might further enhance comfort and reduce hip strain.

Natural Remedies

Alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic care might offer relief for some individuals. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific points to stimulate the body’s natural pain-relieving mechanisms. Massage can help to relax tight muscles and improve blood flow, while chiropractic adjustments might help align the body and improve overall function. Always consult a healthcare provider to ensure that these therapies are appropriate for your specific condition.


SupplementsSome supplements are promoted for joint health, though their effectiveness specifically for hip bone spurs isn’t well-established. Glucosamine and chondroitin, for example, are thought to support the cartilage within joints. However, scientific studies have shown mixed results, and not everyone may benefit from these supplements. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplementation, as they can interact with medications or other underlying health conditions.

These non-surgical strategies aim to manage the symptoms of hip bone spurs, improving comfort, mobility, and overall quality of life. Implementing them in collaboration with healthcare professionals ensures they are tailored to the individual’s unique needs and underlying condition.


Managing hip bone spurs requires a comprehensive approach that balances medical interventions with lifestyle adjustments and alternative therapies. While surgery may be necessary in some cases, many individuals find relief through non-invasive treatments. That actually focuses on alleviating pain, enhancing mobility, and improving overall quality of life.

Collaborating closely with healthcare providers and embracing a personalized treatment plan allows to navigate the condition effectively, maintaining an active and fulfilling lifestyle. If you’re experiencing Hip pain, physical therapy for hip pain at PhysioMantra can help: Book an online physical therapy session.