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What is Causing My Hip Pain?

What is Causing My Hip Pain?


Treatment Options for 8 Hip Pain and Problems

The hip joint can sustain a lot of wear and tear and repeated action. This body’s largest ball-and-socket joint fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement.

A cushion of cartilage helps reduce friction as the hip bone rotates in its socket whenever you utilise it (for example, by going for a run).

The hip joint isn’t unbreakable, despite its strength. The cartilage might wear down or be damaged with time and use.

Hip muscles and tendons might become overworked. Hip bones can break as a result of a fall or other injury. Hip discomfort can be caused by any of these conditions.

If your hips are bothering you, here’s an overview of what could be causing your pain and how to relieve it.

Symptoms of Hip Pain

Depending on the cause of your hip pain, you may have the following symptoms:

  • Sprain or strain. After vigorous or repetitive exercise, you may experience pain, oedema, or bruises.
  • Osteoarthritis. Over the age of 45 years, the pain gets worse when walking and stiffness after moving.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. When you don’t move, your pain and stiffness get worse (for example, when you wake up).
  • Joint infection (septic arthritis). High fever and a heated, swelling hip, or feeling hot and shivering.
  • Hip Fracture. After a fall or injury, you are in a lot of agony and can’t walk.

Pain from other parts of the body can radiate to the hip, such as the back or groyne (from a hernia).

If your pain is caused by arthritis, you may discover that it grows worse with activity. You may have a limited range of motion in addition to the pain. Chronic hip discomfort might cause some people to limp.

How is hip pain diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you a series of questions about the pain that could be related to a condition like arthritis, such as:

  • Is the pain more severe at certain times of the day?
  • Is it affecting your ability to walk?
  • When did you initially notice your symptoms?

It’s possible that you’ll need to move about to allow your doctor to examine the joint in action. They’ll compare and measure the motion of the normal and atypical hips.

Your doctor will use fluid and imaging testing to diagnose arthritis. Fluid tests entail obtaining blood, urine, and joint fluid samples to be tested in a laboratory. Imaging tests may include the following:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans
  • Ultrasounds

Your doctor will be able to see your bones, cartilage, and other tissues in great detail thanks to imaging tests.


The following are some of the most common causes of hip pain:

Arthritis is the most common cause of long-term hip pain. Pain, stiff and tender joints, and difficulty walking are all symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis is divided into several types:

  • Age-related wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the joints can cause osteoarthritis (OA).
  • Trauma to a joint, such as a fracture, can result in traumatic arthritis, which is similar to osteoarthritis.
  • Infectious arthritis is caused by an infection in the joint, which causes cartilage breakdown.

The immune system of the body attacks the joints, causing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Joint cartilage and bones may be destroyed as a result of this type of arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is substantially less common than osteoarthritis.

Hip fractures

Hip fractures are common in older persons and those with osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones deteriorate as a result of age or other circumstances.

Hip fractures result in acute hip pain that requires medical attention right away. A blood clot in the leg is one of the problems that might result from a fractured hip.

A hip fracture usually necessitates surgery to repair. Physical therapy will almost certainly be required to recuperate.

Trochanteric Bursitis

Bursae are liquid-filled sacs located between bones, muscles, and tendons. They reduce the friction caused by the rubbing of these tissues. Bursae can cause pain when they become inflamed. Bursitis is most commonly caused by repetitive activities that overwork or irritate the hip joint. Find out more about hip bursitis.

Inflamed tendons
Tendons are thick tissue bands that connect bones to muscles. Tendinitis is a condition in which the tendons become inflamed or irritated. It’s frequently caused by overuse and repetitive stress. Learn more about the symptoms of tendonitis.
Muscle or tendon strain

The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the hips can be strained by repeated movements. They can cause pain and inhibit the hip from operating normally when they become inflamed as a result of misuse. Find out which stretches are best for stiff hip muscles.

Hip labral tear

This is a rip in the ring of cartilage (labrum) that runs around the outside rim of your hip joint’s socket. Your labrum works as a rubber seal or gasket to assist keep the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket, in addition to cushioning your hip joint. Athletes and anyone who twists their bodies repeatedly are more likely to acquire this condition. Learn more about labral tears in the hip.

Causes that are not so common


Avascular necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis, is a condition in which blood does not reach the bones, either temporarily or permanently. The supporting bone may be lost as a result of this.

The cartilage is normal at first but will eventually collapse as the illness worsens. Bones may eventually crack or collapse. The exact aetiology of osteonecrosis is not usually known.

Joint damage, excessive use of steroid drugs or alcohol, and cancer therapies can all increase your chance of developing this illness. However, in many situations, the cause remains unknown.

Snapping hip syndrome

A snapping sound or sensation in the hip characterises snapping hip syndrome, which most typically affects dancers or sports.

This snapping can happen while walking or rising from a chair, for example. The condition is normally painless, however, in certain circumstances, it can be painful.

A painful snapping hip is frequently caused by a cartilage tear or material pieces in the hip.


Tumours that begin in the bone or spread to the bone can cause discomfort in the hips and other bones throughout the body. Find out more about bone cancers.

When to get emergency care

If you have hip pain that lasts more than a few days, see your doctor. They can devise a strategy for managing discomfort and treating your disease.

However, if your hip is bleeding, you can see exposed bone or muscle, you hear a cracking noise, or you can’t bear weight, you should see a doctor very away.

Also, if your hip joint appears misshapen or enlarged, or if you have extreme discomfort, seek medical attention right once.

Hip discomfort that is accompanied by any of the following symptoms requires immediate medical attention:

  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Warmth

These symptoms could indicate a dangerous illness, such as septic arthritis, or a joint infection. Septic arthritis can cause distorted joints and osteoarthritis if left untreated.


Hip pain is treated differently depending on the reason. Rest is usually adequate to allow the hip to heal from exercise-related pain. This type of discomfort usually passes in a few days.

Your doctor will prescribe drugs to reduce pain and stiffness if you have arthritis.

Your doctor may send you to a specialist who can provide additional information, as well as a physical therapist who can show you how to perform exercises to maintain the joint mobile.

Bed rest and drugs like naproxen (Aleve) to decrease swelling and pain are common treatments for injuries.

Hip fractures, malformations, and some injuries may necessitate surgery to repair or replace the hip. A surgeon replaces the injured hip joint with an artificial one during hip replacement surgery.

Although it may take some time to adjust to the new joint after hip replacement surgery, it is a frequent procedure that is usually successful.

Alternative therapies

Hip pain can be relieved with some natural remedies. Before you try any alternative treatment, make sure you talk to your doctor about your alternatives.

A chiropractor adjustment or acupuncture are two holistic therapies that can be used. To encourage healing, very small needles are temporarily implanted into important bodily locations.

How to ease your hip pain

If your hip discomfort is caused by a muscle or tendon strain, osteoarthritis, or tendinitis, an over-the-counter pain reliever like paracetamol or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or naproxen can typically help.

Prescription anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like methotrexate and sulfasalazine, and biologics that target the immune system are all used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Another technique to reduce hip pain is to apply ice to the area several times a day for about 15 minutes. Rest as much as possible in the injured joint till you feel better. You could also try to warm up the area. A warm bath or shower can assist your muscles to prepare for pain-relieving stretching exercises.

If you have arthritis, low-impact workouts, stretching, and resistance training can help you relieve discomfort and increase joint mobility. Swimming, for example, is a fantastic non-impact activity for arthritis sufferers. Physical therapy can also aid in the improvement of range of motion.

A total hip replacement (arthroplasty) may be considered when osteoarthritis has progressed to the point that the pain is unbearable or the hip joint has become distorted. People who fracture their hips may require surgery to repair or replace the joint.

If your discomfort persists, or if you observe swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint, contact your doctor. Also, if you feel hip pain at night or while sleeping, contact.

Seek medical attention right once if you:

  • The hip discomfort appeared out of nowhere.
  • Hip discomfort was caused by a fall or another injury.
  • Your joint appears to be distorted or bleeding.
  • When you hurt the joint, you heard a popping sound.
  • The agony is unbearable.
  • You are unable to bear any weight on your hip.
  • Your leg or hip is immobile.


You can successfully manage your hip pain if you know what’s causing it and how to cure it.

Minor injuries and exercise-related mishaps may not require treatment, and your hip may quickly recover to normal.

However, symptoms of more serious illnesses including arthritis, fractures, and necrosis are likely to worsen until you get treatment. Consult your doctor for assistance in developing a treatment plan.