Flare ups of intense pain

I have recently been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis in my right hip. Whilst I have suffered mild / moderate back and hip pain for some time, a few weeks ago aI had a spasm of really intense pain. Paracetamol nor Ibuprofen did not do much - eased off after an hour or so. No idea what brought it on. After third of these attacks, I saw the doctor, had X-Rays and hence the diagnosis.

These flare ups affect my upper right groin down towards the knee and are completely disabling. Even morphine by mouth (Oramorph) and Codiene takes 40 minutes plus of agony to start taking effect. Usually in the evening - wears off enough to sleep and fine next morning. My attempts to correlate these flare-ups with anything I've done (walking further, standing up for longer, sitting uncomfortably etc.) seem not to offer many clues.

My internet searches do not seem to mention this much - I am told that they might "go away". Is that the experience of others? What can I avoid doing? Driving seems bad - should I stop? The fear of getting an attack (I had one in a restaurant - very upsetting) is making me a bit paranoid!

Any advice welcome

Ken Mills


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,176

    Hello @kenmills a warm welcome to the Versus Arthritis Online Community.

    I see from your post that you have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in your right hip and are suffering with acute spasms of pain from your groin down to your knee. You say the spasms do resolve, but it takes 40 minutes to ease even after taking oramorph. This sounds extremely painful and very frustrating that you can't link the spasms with anything you yourself have 'done'.

    You have obviously been looking into this online and trying to get some answers. Therefore, although I am attaching this information, I suspect you have already read it:

    In particular I think the suggestion within the article about physiotherapy might be worth considering in your situation. Have you already been referred for physiotherapy I wonder or even for an orthopaedic consultant opinion?

    I hope some of our members will be able to relate to your situation - there are a fair few people with OA of the hip posting at the moment.

    In the meantime you might want to consider looking at the Life with Arthritis Forum where you can read some threads from others with Osteoarthritis of the hip many of whom have had surgery.

    Very best wishes


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,078

    Gosh @kenmills

    that sounds agonising. I can only compare to back or neck spasms which I've had you must be living in fear of when it will happen again😥

    Look we have a lot of 'hippies' here at the moment there's @Lilymary @C1955J @alexander1 @Chunkygardener @Bella59 @RogerBill to name the few I can off the top of my head.

    Hopefully at least one of them will see your post and maybe be able to give you some tips. Mine is always to try a microwavable wheatbag in the painful area, but my hips really are only moderately affected.

    Take care

    Toni x

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi @kenmills ,

    I totally sympathise with you I swear by my hot water bottle and my tens machine mine is in my spine and neck and the other day I had such a sharp shooting pain up to my head I honestly thought I was having a stroke couldn’t move my head for 2 hours so my neck hot water bottle came out and it eased it a little

    It does affect one’s confidence when your out I too don’t want to go out anymore but I push myself don’t let it spoil anything for you there are pain patches if you talk to your pharmacist either at your gp surgery or local pharmacy

    stay strong and take care

    Jona 😊

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,106

    Groin is one of the classic areas for hip pain. Usually, with my OA, I find there is a trigger - usually doing too much but sometimes, with hips, it can be how I've sat or where. My hips never liked soft chairs and one persistent trigger for my husband, before his THRs, were car seats - the ones that slope upwards at the sides. Also, he'd forget to take his wallet out of his back pocket. That was another. Try Versus Arthritis's hip exercises. they really do help.

  • LizB12
    LizB12 Member Posts: 38

    Hi@kenmills These are the exact symptoms I was getting when I was diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis. The spasms in my groin and thigh meant I could hardly walk until they gradually eased. I was prescribed paracetamol and codeine taken together which helped, especially at night when I wanted to sleep. I also had back pains from inflammation of the sacroiliac joints. The doctor said that everything around there - hips and back, is all connected. I started exercises and tried not to sit for too long which had been my problem. It has gradually eased over the months but still occasionally get pain in my thigh, especially in the morning when I wake, as well as backache. I have an electric heat pad which I use for at least half an hour every morning before I get up. I try to balance activity with rest but it’s still hard going. I hope you get lots more suggestions from our members who have a lot of experience with coping with this kind of pain.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,620

    Sorry to hear about your flare ups Ken, they sound very painful. Before I had my hip replacement I experienced something similar. Everyone is individual in how their hip wears and the knock on effects on the rest of your body, I used to get shooting pains in my hip, down my thigh, behind my knee cap and a burning sensation in the front of my shin. None of them made much sense, and quite often it hit when I was sitting (or lying) perfectly still. But sitting too long, sitting badly, or just overdoing it, were behind some of the flare ups.

    Try a wedge cushion in the car - this lifts you hip away from the raised edges of the seat (which I find quite uncomfortable), and opens up the joint in your groin so that there’s less pinching. I use an inflatable wedge cushion on my computer chair, which has the same effect and relieves the pressure pint on the hip joint. I also found wedging my body up on cushions in bed helped - I tend to sleep on my front, so a cushion under my hip and one under my foot kept the joints flexed in a position that seemed to relieve the pressure points.

    With these sudden onsets of pain I found breathing through it and recognising that it was just nerves firing off at random rather than a warning to stop doing something harmful seemed to help it pass quicker. However, it didn’t work for the more persistent grinding pain of bone on bone, and all that helped those was rest, prescription drugs and a hot water bottle, and even then it only took the edge off it.

    Exercise is also worthwhile, counter-intuitively, and there are some good exercises for hips in this link, or you could go to a good physio to get an exercise regime that works for you.

    Meanwhile I hope you find some of the tips in this link helpful.

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