08 August 2017

When Is Hip, Shoulder, or Knee Pain Worth a Trip to the Doctor?

Gauging the pain you are experiencing can be tough. “Is it just an inconvenience, or is this pain a serious problem?” Not all cases are black and white, so knowing when to act is crucial to your health and future function of your major joints.
More often than not, a simple remedy of rest, pain relievers, and a combination of ice and heat can help soothe and heal joint pains. However, there are tell-tale signs you should know to help your decision on whether or not to see your doctor.
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The Hip--
If you are experiencing the following, consult your medical doctor immediately:
  • Intense pain
  • Sudden swelling
  • Unable to move your leg or hip
  • The appearance of joint deformity
  • Unable to bear weight on the affected side
  • Signs of infection: including fever, chills, and redness.

The Shoulder
Self-care measures can be taken at first, however if you experience the following, schedule a doctor visit:
  • Swelling and/or redness
  • Tenderness and/or warmth around joint

Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing the following:
  • Intense pain
  • Sudden swelling
  • The appearance of joint deformity
  • Unable to move arm away from body or use the joint

The Knee
Self-care measures (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, NSAID’s) can be taken, however if you are experiencing the following, schedule a doctor visit:
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Significant pain
  • Significant swelling
  • Tenderness and/or warmth around the joint

Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing the following:
  • Intense pain
  • Sudden swelling
  • Unable to bear weight on leg
  • The appearance of joint deformity
  • Popping noise at time of injury

If you ever have the question in mind, “Should I see a doctor about this…?” you are always better off taking the safe side and having the issue checked out.  
Article provided by Dr. Biddulph; an orthopedic surgeon in Idaho Falls.

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