Hip Pain - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Hip Pain

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Hip Pain

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Hip Pain

What is Hip Pain?

Hip pain is a feeling of discomfort in the hip joint. It is caused due to several reasons like inflammation, degeneration and injury to the muscles, joints, bones and tendons present in the hip area. Hip pain can also be felt in the groyne and thigh area. 


What is Hip Pain? || image

What are the Symptoms of Hip Pain?

It varies depending upon the conditions that cause hip pain.

  1. Feeling of discomfort in thigh, groyne, inside, outside the hip joint and buttocks.
  2. Sometimes the pain radiates to the hip from the back to the groyne.
  3. Decreased motion of the hip. 

What are the Causes of Hip Pain?

Causes of hip pain include

  1. Inflamed tendons
  2. Osteonecrosis- The blood flow to the head of the thigh bone is disturbed, resulting in osteonecrosis of the hip.
  3. Bruises, strain and sprain, a hip labrum tear
  4. Bone cancer, infected hip joint
  5. Sacroiliac joint problem
  6. Hip pain can also be caused by conditions that cause pain to radiate from the spine and back, such as sciatica and herniated discs.
  7. Bursitis - Bursitis is a painful disorder affecting the bursae, which are tiny, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles around your joints. Bursitis is caused by inflamed bursae. Bursitis is most commonly found in the shoulder, elbow, and hip.
  8. Rheumatoid Arthritis- The inflammation of synovium causes hip pain in people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  9. Snapping Hip Syndrome-When you walk, stand up from a chair, or swing your leg around, you may experience a cracking sensation or hear a popping sound in your hip. When a muscle or tendon passes over a bony protrusion in your hip, it causes a snapping sensation.
  10. Osteoarthritis- If the cartilage in the hip joint slowly gets damaged over time, then osteoarthritis occurs. Mostly it's due to age or hip injury. The pain may be dull or sharp.
  11. Hip fracture-  An injury to the upper part of the thigh bone due to a fall causes pain experienced in the upper thigh or groyne area. Stress fractures of the hip develop due to repeated physical pressure, which is most common in female athletes; it includes health conditions like the irregular menstrual cycle, weakening of bone and menstrual irregularities.
  12. Infected hip joint-  The hip joint may get infected due to bacteria, virus or fungus, and it is known as septic arthritis. Symptoms include inflammation, fever, severe pain in the anterior hip or groyne area, and limited hip motion.
  13. Bone cancer- If bone cancer has spread to the hip region of the body, it can cause bone pain. As the tumour grows in size, it can cause swelling around the hip region leading to weight loss and fatigue. Due to the weakening of bone, hip fracture occurs frequently.

What are the Risk Factors of Hip Pain?

  1. The hip joint is abnormal 
  2. Poor bone alignment between the ball and socket of the hip can be acquired or developed in some people
  3. Damage to joint due to injury
  4. High-impact activity
  5. Genetics
  6. Age
  7. Obesity

How is Hip Pain Diagnosed?

It includes physical examinations, laboratory investigation, imaging tests and medical history.

  1. Physical examination- Includes examining the site of pain in the region of the hip, legs, back and abdomen. Neurological examination is also performed to understand muscle weakness and reflexes. They also examine the way of walking, range of motion and posture.
  2. Medical history- Any familial history of arthritis or joint problems is considered. History of trauma to the hip and any other comorbidities are also responsible for hip pain.
  3. FABER TEST- It means flexion, abduction, and external rotation, which helps diagnose hip problems like hip osteoarthritis or hip labrum tear.
  4. Imaging- It includes X-ray, M.R.I., ultrasound and magnetic resonance arthrography tests to identify hip fractures, osteonecrosis and bursitis.
  5. Blood test- If infected joint pain is suspected, the doctor will order tests to know the white blood cell count, blood cultures, and inflammatory markers.
  6. Hip aspiration- In this synovial fluid is removed from the hip joint using a needle to diagnose septic arthritis

What are Non Surgical Options for Treating Hip Pain?

It includes lifestyle modifications, medications, surgery and physical therapy.

  1. Medications: Use medications like acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioids to reduce pain. Depending upon the disease conditions responsible for pain, drugs like antibiotics and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs are used.
  2. Physical therapy: It may help increase strength, flexibility, and motility in the hips.
  3. Surgery: Hip replacement surgery is mostly performed in case of severe osteoarthritis. Hip Arthroscopy in case of a torn hip labrum repair


What may happen if Hip Pain is not Treated in Time?

  1. If not treated in a time long term problems may arise like damage to the hip joint.
  2. Weakness and pain can be experienced due to unstable joints.
  3. If osteoarthritis is left untreated it may result in damage to the cartilage.

Disease progression

  1. In the beginning, the wear and tear of bone are very less with no pain.
  2. Later cartilage starts to break down and bony projections are found on the X-Ray.
  3. Sometimes the gap is narrowed between the hip bones.
  4. Chronic inflammation is seen in severe cases.

Updated on : 17 July 2023


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Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

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