Hip Pain Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

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Hip Pain Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

A middle aged man suddenly struck with a hip pain. / Photo by: szefei via 123RF


One of the most important joints in the body is the hip joint. It helps us walk, run and jump. It carries our body weight and the force of the strong muscles of the hip and the leg. It is one of the most flexible joints and covers a greater range of motion than any other joints except for the shoulder.

It is a ball-and-socket synovial joint formed in between the os coxa (hip bone) and the femur. However, just like any other parts of the body, hips are not exempted to pain and discomfort.

What is a Hip pain?

A female jogger suddenly struck with a hip pain. / Photo by: twinsterphoto via 123RF


Hip joint can take repeated motions. The ball-and-socket joint allows the fluid to move easily. A cushion of cartilage helps to avoid friction when the hip bone take moves in its socket whenever you use your hip for a run. Even though it’s durable, it is also prone to damages. Muscles and tendons can get overused and cartilage loose as you age. Breakage of its bones can happen from a fall or injury. All of these occurrences can cause hip pain.

Hip pain is a usual discomfort which is caused by different conditions. Knowing the exact location of your hip pain may help to perceive its underlying cause. If you feel the pain inside of your hip or your groin, the problem might be your hip joint itself. While, problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround your hip joint can cause pain outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttocks.

List of common cases that can be a cause of hip pain


A senior man having a hip pain due to his arthritis. / Photo by: Jean-Paul Chassenet via 123RF


There are common cases that can cause hip pain such as arthritis, hip fractures, bursitis, tendinitis, muscle or tendon strain, hip labral tear, cancers, and avascular necrosis.

-Arthritis refers to inflammation of the hip joint and breakage of the cartilage. A person who is suffering from arthritis can feel stiffness and find difficulty in moving while the pain is gradually present. Older adults experience hip pain caused by Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

-Weakened bones due to aging can be brittle and prone to damage that may lead to hip fractures.

-Repetitive activities that overworked or irritate the hip joint may lead to Bursitis. Sacs of liquid found in between tissues such as bones, muscles, and tendons are called Bursae which eases the friction between this tissues from rubbing together. Bursae can cause hip pain when they are inflamed.

-Tendinitis refers to the inflammation or irritation of the tendons which is usually caused by series of stress from overuse. Thick bands of tissues that attach the bones to muscles are called Tendons,

-Muscle or tendon strain refers to the pain that causes the stiffness of the hip when inflamed due to overuse. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be strained from repetitive activities.

-Hip labral tear is a condition in which the ring of the cartilage (called the labrum) that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip is ripped. Labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thigh bone securely tuck in your hip socket. Repetitive twisting movements may lead to this problem.

-Cancers wherein tumors that begin in the bone or that gradually spread to the bone can cause hip pain, just like in other bones of the body.

-When blood flow to the hip bone slows and the bone tissue dies, it is called avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis. This problem most happen in the hips but can also affect other bones. Causes can be hip fracture or dislocation, or from using high-dose steroids for a long time.

What causes left hip pain?

A woman suffering from a pain in her left hip. / Photo by: seoterra via 123RF


Women are more prone to left hip pain. One of the causes can be gynecological and back issues. Hips pains are not just caused by arthritis, bursitis or tendonitis. It also depends on your age and other health issues, the pain in your hip could be coming from any part of your system.

What causes right hip pain?

A woman feels painful on her right hip. / Photo by: staras via 123RF


Tendinitis and bursitis can cause right hip due to inflammation of tendons around the hip that connect the muscles to the joint.

A hip fracture which is common in older women can also be a reason for experiencing right hip pain caused by a fall or injury.

Endometriosis which refers to the growing of the uterus somewhere else can cause swollen pelvic. The pain felt around the buttocks and hips are from the back and the spine.

Causes of poor pelvic alignment?

A doctor checking the patient's hips. / Photo by: Wavebreak Media Ltd via 123RF


The ideal pelvic position is neutral but over 80& of the people are having a condition known as “anterior pelvic tilt” (APT) which is responsible for having hip pain. Aside from apt, there are other common causes of poor pelvic alignment that may lead to hip pain such as hyper-extended knees caused by a very tight and short rectus femoris, posterior pelvic tilt (PPT) which refers to a backward rotation of the pelvis due to very tight or short hamstrings, Knock-knees caused by tight hip flexors, and excessively tight external hip rotators that pull the hip forward which is out of the alignment of the shoulders.

Surgeries for hip pain treatment

A doctor showing how the hip surgery was done. / Photo by: Ivan Shidlovski via 123RF


There are several hip surgeries worth pursuing when medications and other treatments don’t ease the pain at manageable level such as total joint replacement which is most common, hip resurfacing which is done by reshaping the femoral head and fitted with a metal covering, arthroscopy refers to cure labral tears, osteotomy which is a major surgery in which damaged part of the hip are removed and joint is reshaped and aligned.



Carissa Marie

Hip Pain: Cause, Symptoms, and Treatments