If your hips hurt, you might be worrying that today’s arthritis is tomorrow’s hip-replacement surgery. But it’s quite possible that the pain stems from something other than arthritis. Here’s one quick way to figure out the cause.

Front or Sides?

If the pain comes from the front of the hips (the groin area), chances are it really is arthritis. But if you're feeling some tenderness along the sides, tendonitis or bursitis may be to blame. But only a doctor can definitively diagnose you, so make that appointment. The sooner you know, the sooner you can start a treatment plan and get moving comfortably again.

Hip, Hip, Hooray

Staying active is one of the best ways to keep your joints healthy and young. Take this three-pronged approach:

  1. Muscle up. The stronger your muscles, the greater the joint support.
  2. But don't overdo it. That ups your risk of injury, which ups your risk of arthritis.
  3. Trim down. Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce stress and strain on your joints.

Think you have osteoarthritis? Make an appointment with a physician today.

This content originally appeared on Sharecare.com.

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