The first question the orthopedic specialist will ask you when you present with hip pain is to describe the type of pain you are experiencing. How you answer will help determine the cause of the discomfort, and the treatment to be used. Pain involving your hip joint is usually located at the point where your leg joins the rest of your body. However, the pain might radiate to other areas of your body. Here are various causes of this pain and the symptoms that accompany them.


When you are suffering from arthritis, you will feel pain when you move your legs. You will find it hard to climb a flight of stairs, walk or even bend down to pick something. There are various causes of arthritis including:

Osteoarthritis – this results from an injury or infection to your hip joint.


Hip dysplasia – this is a congenital deformation of your hip joint.



Rheumatoid arthritis – this is an inflammatory immune response. Although it is mostly associated with hands and feet, it can also affect your hip. Causes can be congenital, hormones or environmental factors.

When you experience the symptoms, your hip is telling you that you are suffering from arthritis.

Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis muscle is one of the muscles that helps rotate your leg outwards. The sciatic nerve passes through this muscle and can be tightened by the muscle (like a pincer) and lead to pain. The pain is usually localized in your buttocks and lower back, especially when you try to rotate your leg outwards.


Fracture of the Femoral Neck

The femoral bone or the thighbone runs from your hip joint to your knee joint. The femoral neck is that part of the thighbone that moves in the socket of your pelvic bone. This part can be fractured, leading to pain. The pain is characteristic and presents itself as a dull ache in your groin that progressively gets worse.


You will feel as if you have pulled a muscle. However, while the pain from a pulled muscle will go away when you stop exercising, this pain from a fracture won’t. The cause of the fracture might be because of a recent fall or vigorous exercise.



The bursa is a sac that is filled with a clear fluid. The fluid acts as a cushion between your pelvic joint and the head of the femur. The role of the bursae is to reduce any friction between the structures forming the joint during movement. This fluid can get inflamed and lead to reduced friction. You will feel pain when you lie on the side of the hip. This pain radiates to your upper thigh. The pain will characteristically be on the top outer aspect of the hip with tenderness around the affected area.



Dislocated Hip

This occurs when the head of your thighbone slips from its socket. It can also happen when the thighbone is forced out of the socket due to an impact. This can cause extreme pain. During the dislocation, nearby nerves can be damaged, which will lead to loss of sensation in the part of the hip on the affected side.


Final Thoughts

The hip allows you to move, sit, and sleep properly. Any problem with the hip can leave you uncomfortable and in pain. Causes of hip pain are numerous, and they manifest via characteristic pain patterns. The doctor will take time to note down your medical history and try to determine the cause of the pain. Depending on the cause, the doctor will prescribe medications or some hip pain exercises that will help you heal quickly.