10 Common Causes of Hip Pain

Do you or a loved one struggle with hip pain? Wondering what it might be? Below, we’ll explore some of the most frequently seen causes of hip pain and what to do about them. Some conditions that result in hip pain may be minor, while others require more immediate attention.

What Is Hip Pain?

Hip pain is a general term that refers to any type of pain or discomfort felt in the hip. This could be muscular pain, internal pain, pain with ligaments or tendons, or soft tissue pain surrounding the hip joint.

Where Is Hip Pain Felt?

Hip pain can be felt in areas beyond the hips themselves. You may feel pain or discomfort in your thigh, buttocks, groin, or inside or outside of your hip joint. In some cases, pain from other parts of your body, such as the groin or back, can also radiate to the hip, causing hip pain (sometimes called referred pain). Hip pain causes a reduced range of motion in some people.

10 Leading Causes of Hip Pain

The causes of hip pain are quite diverse. If you’re experiencing hip pain, it’s important to seek medical care to determine the underlying cause. Below are some of the most seen reasons for hip pain:

1. Dislocation

Dislocation of the hip joint can cause serious hip joint pain. Often, dislocation is due to blunt force trauma, such as a car accident or other injury. A dislocated hip joint forces the bones in the hip to move positions, leading to significant pain. It can be exceedingly difficult or impossible to walk with a dislocated hip. This medical condition should be treated promptly.

2. Labral Tear

Your hip joint has cartilage that surrounds it, known as the labrum. When this is damaged, hip pain can start. This can happen through trauma to the area, repetitive motions, and some genetic conditions. This important structure holds the ball of your thighbone into the hip. If it is torn, the pain will persist.

3. Osteoarthritis

One of the most frequently seen causes of hip pain is known as osteoarthritis. This condition affects both men and women of any age. However, it is mostly seen in older adults. This form of arthritis happens slowly over time from age or could result from trauma.

The cartilage that surrounds your hip bone begins to break down, causing the bones to rub directly against each other. In turn, this friction results in uncomfortable hip pain. This condition is often a primary factor for many hip replacements.

4. Tendonitis

Tendonitis affects tendons that surround a person’s hip joint. These tendons are important, as they join the muscles to the bone. This condition causes the tendons to become swollen or inflamed, leading to hip pain.

5. Snapping Hip Syndrome

This medical condition causes the IT band to snap outside of the thigh and a person’s deep hip flexor to snap over the front of their hip joint. In addition, tears of the surrounding cartilage may cause snapping. This can result in serious hip pain.

6. Stress Fracture

Anyone can get a stress fracture of the hip; however, they’re frequently seen in athletes who participate in high-intensity sports. Stress fractures can improve on their own with rest and recovery.

7. Hip Fracture

Elderly patients that fall frequently experience hip fractures, though this can happen at any age. A hip fracture causes severe hip pain and will need to be treated with surgery. To repair a hip fracture, surgeons may replace the broken portion or repair it using metal plates and hardware.

8. Muscle Strains

Muscle strains, such as groin pulls, and hamstring strains, can lead to spasms and hip pain. These may range from mild to severe. You may also notice bruising or swelling in the area, along with difficulty walking.

9. Osteonecrosis

This hip condition causes less blood flow to reach the bone, leading to the death of cells. It frequently happens in the hip joint, causing the bone to collapse or weaken.

10. Trochanteric Bursitis

This fancy name may sound complex; however, this is a common problem. This condition causes inflammation of the bursa, the fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between your bones, muscles, and tendons. When the bursa is inflamed, it causes degeneration of the hip soft tissues, resulting in pain.

How Do I Know if My Hip Pain Is Serious?

Some conditions that cause hip pain are mild and will resolve with rest and recovery. However, certain conditions may require that you seek immediate medical attention. If you see a joint that appears deformed or are unable to move your legs or hip, this is a sign to seek prompt medical attention.

In addition, if your hip is suddenly swollen or you have intense pain, see a doctor right away. Any signs of infection, such as redness or chills, along with hip pain, also may indicate that prompt medical attention is needed.

What Is the Most Common Hip Problem?

According to Johns Hopkins, arthritis is the most common hip problem. 

What Medical Conditions Cause Hip Pain?

Medical conditions that commonly cause hip pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Injuries and overuse
  • Pinched nerves
  • Cancer 

Is Walking Good for Hip Pain?

Yes, walking will help keep the muscles strong and flexible to control swelling and relieve pain.

Struggling with hip pain? Make an appointment today! The pain specialists at Carolinas Pain Center can help you manage your pain, no matter where the cause of your pain lies.

We feature an individualized approach to treatment, with the core belief that no two patients are the same. You’ll receive an individualized treatment plan that will help you manage your hip pain. Want to learn more? Be sure to look at our pain services.