Hip pain is the general term for pain felt in or around the hip joint. It isn’t always felt in the hip itself but may instead be felt in the groin or thigh.
Certain injuries or conditions can cause hip pain.
The most common cause of acute hip pain is inflamed tendons, or tendonitis. This is often due to too much exercise. This condition can be very painful, but it usually heals within a few days.
The most common cause of long-term hip pain is arthritis. Arthritis can cause pain, stiff and tender joints, and difficulty walking. There are various types of arthritis:
Osteoarthritis is much more common than rheumatoid arthritis.
Another possible cause of hip pain is trochanteric bursitis. This condition occurs when the bursa, which is a liquid-filled sac near the hip joint, becomes inflamed.
A number of factors can cause trochanteric bursitis, including hip injury, overuse of the joints or posture problems.
Other conditions such as RA can also cause hip pain. This condition is much more common in women than in men.
Hip fractures are common in older adults and in those who have osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bones due to age or other factors.
Hip fractures cause very sudden, severe hip pain, and they require immediate medical attention. There are complications that can arise from a fractured hip, such as a blood clot in the leg.
A hip fracture usually requires surgery to be corrected. You’ll most likely need to have physical therapy to recover.
There are other, less common conditions that can cause hip pain. These include snapping hip syndrome and osteonecrosis, or avascular necrosis.
Snapping hip syndrome, which most commonly occurs in dancers or athletes, is characterized by a snapping sound or feeling in the hip.
This snapping may occur when you’re walking or getting up out of a chair, for example. The condition is usually painless, but can cause pain in some cases.
Snapping hip with pain is usually a sign of cartilage tear or fragments of material in the hip.
Osteonecrosis, or avascular necrosis, occurs when blood doesn’t reach the bones, either temporarily or permanently. This can lead to the loss of the supporting bone.
In this condition, the cartilage is normal initially but will eventually collapse as it progresses. Eventually, bones may break or crumple. It’s not always clear what causes osteonecrosis.
Joint injury, heavy use of steroid medications or alcohol, and cancer treatments may put you at greater risk for this condition. But in many cases, the cause is never determined.