Where is swelling and pain with hip arthritis?


I've just started experiencing hip pain and swelling in both hips and surrounding areas. I'm waiting for an x-ray and was wondering where swelling and pain is usually experienced with hip arthritis. As my pain and swelling is in both hips could it be Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is on both sides of my family. I'm 61.

Thank you for your help.


  • Chris_R
    Chris_R Moderator Posts: 785
    edited 9. Apr 2021, 17:27

    Hi @DeniseLynn

    Welcome to the forum family,great to see you joining our friendly and helpful forums.

    You state that you have pain and swelling in both hips and surrounding area and ask if it could be Rheumatoid Arthritis as it runs in your family.

    You should go to your GP to be diagnosed and assessed,but here are a few links that may help Rheumatoid arthritis | Causes, symptoms, treatments (versusarthritis.org)

    Managing your pain | Treatments and self-help (versusarthritis.org)

    Hope these links help in some way.please keep in touch and tell us how you get on.

    Chatting to others often helps, so i would encourage you to do this you will be welcomed and evryone will understand what you are going through as we all have some form of Arthritis

    All the best Christine

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    Hi @DeniseLynn, and welcome. I have OA badly in one hip and mildly in the other. I'm not sure I would describe my symptoms as swelling (although when the pain's bad it can feel like it a bit), but in the halcyon days of being (phpysically and legally) able to do yoga, I noticed what felt like an obstruction in my hip preventing me from moving it too far inwards or outwards sideways. Now I know of course that it was just bone grinding on bone that stopped it. Pretty horrible though. And painful.

  • Thank you for your responses. It's good to speak to people with similar experiences who understand.

    I am wondering if it is arthritis I am experiencing as, so far, I don't have much restriction of movement, just aching and swelling, especially when walking. I also have fibromyalgia but have never experienced symptoms like this with it. It's mainly been extreme tiredness and muscle aching all over my body!

    I'll see if the x-ray shows up anything but I am still waiting for the appointment. It's so difficult to see the GP now and very hard to describe symptoms over the phone.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    I'd be more inclined to go to a physio, even while you're waiting for the xray and GP. While they can't refer you on if you need further investigation or treatment, they will be able to assess you much better than a GP (there are quite a few conditions that can cause joint pain). If they feel you do need xray etc, they will write to your GP and your GP will (hopefully) send you on to the next stage.

    I gave up waiting for NHS physios years ago. The waiting list is forever and you only get a limited number of consultations. Private physios are seeing patients now, and mine is around £45 per session. Might be more in cities (eg London)?

  • Thanks for your advice @Lilymary. I may well look into a private physio, especially if the x-ray appointment doesn come soon!

  • Hi @DeniseLynn

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum. I am sorry you experiencing pain and swelling in both hips and the surrounding areas. I’m pleased you have found the responses from Christine and Lilymary helpful while you try to manage the symptoms as you wait for clarification around the diagnosis.

    All types of arthritis can involve pain, swelling and stiffness. As you say, it's very difficult to see a GP in person at the moment and hard to describe symptoms over the phone. I appreciate how concerned you must be about the underlying cause of your symptoms, so I’m pleased to hear you have consulted a GP. As Christine says, this is important.

    Given the symptoms you describe and your family history, I wonder whether you and your GP discussed the option of blood tests. They can often help in determining whether the markers for inflammation are higher than would be expected in osteoarthritis. A GP would usually run them if a patient describes swelling and stiffness in joints in the morning that lasts for longer than half an hour. You say here that you don't have much restriction of movement, just aching and swelling especially when walking, so I’m not sure whether this applies to you. Blood test results can help the GP in deciding whether to refer a patient to a rheumatologist who can rule out or diagnose inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. If someone does have a type of inflammatory arthritis, the earlier they get a diagnosis and start the right type of drug treatment, the better the outcome will be.

    You can find out more about the causes of hip pain and managing your symptoms here:

    You are very welcome to call us on our freephone helpline: 0800 5200 520 so you can talk things through with one of our helpline team. 

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Team

  • Thank you for your response Mags. My GP hasn't suggested blood tests so far and I have only spoken to them once. However, last year I had blood tests which looked for inflamation when I had very dry mouth symptoms for several months. I'm not sure which tests I had but the GP said that as they did not show any abnormality they could not refer me for a further test which looks for a similar thing. I think I'll have to contact the GP again as my symptoms are getting worse. I'll also read the hip pain information you suggested.

  • GrandmaT
    GrandmaT Member Posts: 13

    Hi, I have osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia with outer hip pain. Not sure about swelling because of the 'cushion' I carry with me! My blood tests showed no markers or were inconclusive, but then my daughters doesn't and she has definitely got advanced rheumatoid!

    It depends where the pain is I think as mine was diagnosed as Bursitis first, then later it became sciatica. I am like you and would really like to know what is causing it so I can deal with it. At the moment I find Leon's exercise programme is helping me quite a bit as long as I dont overdo it.

    Stick with it! See your GP in person! They CAN see you if you insist. I always write down, and take with me a list of all my symptoms (keeping it brief) and how it affects my ability to function. I find that my GP appreciates this and it means I don't forget something important.

    Good luck! Please post and let us know how you are getting on!

  • Thank you @GrandmaT . That is useful information. I'm definitely going to contact my GP again very soon. Was hoping I could have x-ray first and will try to find out how approximately how long I'll have to wait for that. Will keep you informed.