Where It Hurts: My Hip

The hip is a ball and socket joint and the largest joint in your body. When your hip hurts, it can be exceptionally painful. Pain from the hip is usually felt deep in the groin (arthritis) or over the outside of the hip (bursitis). Pain in the buttock or back of the hip is usually related to the low back. With age or injury, the cartilage that protects your hip joint can wear away, causing pain. Hips are also vulnerable to fractures (broken bones) and other injuries, especially from falls or athletic overuse. Learn more about conditions that cause hip pain and how the hip experts at Sports Medicine North can help.

Common Hip Injuries and Conditions

We see people with all types of hip pain. The most common injuries and conditions we treat are:

  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis) is one of the most common causes of hip pain, often seen in people age 45+ or those with a family history. Arthritis pain tends to flare with activity and get better with rest. As the cartilage wears away, the ball no longer rotates smoothly in the socket causing hip stiffness.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis causes pain and inflammation on the outside of your hip joint. It often happens because of repetitive use. The main symptom is pain on the outside of your hip. Bursitis pain can start out as sharp and intense then turn into a dull ache.
  • Hip fracture: Hip fractures usually happen near the top of the thighbone where it angles into the socket. Broken hips typically require surgery. Older people, especially women with osteoporosis, are at the most at risk for hip fractures.
  • Hip impingement: Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) can cause a lot of pain in the groin, especially during sports activities. It’s most common in young athletes and is sometimes related to how the ball and socket developed. There have been advancements in treatment for FAI that preserve the hip.
  • Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome: Your IT band is a muscle that runs from your hip to your shinbone. When it repeatedly rubs against your hip and knee bones, it can get inflamed, causing pain. This usually happens because of overuse and gets better with rest.
  • Osteonecrosis: Also called avascular necrosis, this condition happens when the blood supply to the ball part of the joint is damaged. Osteonecrosis can lead to arthritis and cause your hip joint to collapse. It usually starts with a dull ache or throbbing pain in the groin that may be worse when putting weight on the leg. If the joint collapses, the pain can become severe.
  • Sprains and strains: The soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) around your hips and thighs can get strained or overstretched. This usually happens because of a fall (or other sudden movement) or from overuse. A sprain or a strain can cause loss of mobility, but usually gets better with rest.
  • Trochanteric pain syndrome: Trochanteric pain syndrome (sometimes called bursitis) causes pain and inflammation on the outside of your hip joint. It often happens because of repetitive use. The main symptom is pain on the outside of your thigh, which can start out as sharp and intense, eventually turning into a dull ache.

We see people with all types of hip pain. The most common injuries and conditions we treat are:

  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis) is one of the most common causes of hip pain, often seen in people age 45+ or those with a family history. Arthritis pain tends to flare with activity and get better with rest. As the cartilage wears away, the ball no longer rotates smoothly in the socket causing hip stiffness.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis causes pain and inflammation on the outside of your hip joint. It often happens because of repetitive use. The main symptom is pain on the outside of your hip. Bursitis pain can start out as sharp and intense then turn into a dull ache.
  • Hip fracture: Hip fractures usually happen near the top of the thighbone where it angles into the socket. Broken hips typically require surgery. Older people, especially women with osteoporosis, are at the most at risk for hip fractures.
  • Hip impingement: Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) can cause a lot of pain in the groin, especially during sports activities. It’s most common in young athletes and is sometimes related to how the ball and socket developed. There have been advancements in treatment for FAI that preserve the hip.
  • Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome: Your IT band is a muscle that runs from your hip to your shinbone. When it repeatedly rubs against your hip and knee bones, it can get inflamed, causing pain. This usually happens because of overuse and gets better with rest.
  • Osteonecrosis: Also called avascular necrosis, this condition happens when the blood supply to the ball part of the joint is damaged. Osteonecrosis can lead to arthritis and cause your hip joint to collapse. It usually starts with a dull ache or throbbing pain in the groin that may be worse when putting weight on the leg. If the joint collapses, the pain can become severe.
  • Sprains and strains: The soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) around your hips and thighs can get strained or overstretched. This usually happens because of a fall (or other sudden movement) or from overuse. A sprain or a strain can cause loss of mobility, but usually gets better with rest.
  • Trochanteric pain syndrome: Trochanteric pain syndrome (sometimes called bursitis) causes pain and inflammation on the outside of your hip joint. It often happens because of repetitive use. The main symptom is pain on the outside of your thigh, which can start out as sharp and intense, eventually turning into a dull ache.

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