Hip pain is one of the most common complaints doctors hear. The ailment can stem from various conditions including arthritis and hip injuries. Where on the hip the pain originates provides clues to the cause of the pain. If a person feels pain inside the hip or groin, the problem probably lies in the hip joint itself. If the pain is felt on the outside of the hip, upper thigh, or buttock, the problem likely resides with the soft tissues, the muscles and tendons. When the hip is injured, the femoral head can come out of its socket, causing excruciating pain. A broken hip or hip fracture is more likely in those over the age of 65.

Osteoporosis, the most common form of hip arthritis, weakens the bones by breaking down the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones where they form joints. Bursitis is a swelling and inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that lubricate and cushion the joints and can trigger hip pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory joint disease that strikes when the body’s immune system erroneously attacks the thin membrane that lines the joints. Other diseases associated with hip pain include juvenile arthritis, Lyme disease, lupus, gout, Psoriatic arthritis, and Osteonecrosis, a condition where diminished blood to the bone causes it to die and collapse.

A very common type of hip pain is Sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, running from the hip to the foot. Sciatica is an inflammation of this nerve, and is usually felt as a sharp or burning pain radiating from the hip.

Common Symptoms

  • Joint pain
  • Groin pain
  • Loss of hip motion
  • Swelling in the hip
  • Difficulty sleeping on the hip