Hip pain is a common complaint that can be caused by a wide variety of conditions or trauma. Problems within the hip joint itself tend to result in pain on the inside of your hip or your groin. Hip pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround your hip joint.
Hip pain can sometimes be caused by diseases and conditions in other areas of your body, such as your lower back. This type of pain is called referred pain.
Causes of Hip Pain
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
- Osteoarthritis (disease-causing the breakdown of joints or degenerative changes)
- Psoriatic arthritis (a form of arthritis that has associated skin lesions)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Septic arthritis (infection in the joint)
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Hip fracture
- Hip labral tear
A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage (labrum) that lines the outside rim of your hip joint socket. Besides cushioning the hip joint, the labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket. Athletes who participate in sports such as ice hockey, soccer, football, golf and ballet are at higher risk of developing hip labral tears.
- Inguinal hernia
An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. The resulting bulge can be painful, especially during a cough, bending over or lifting a heavy object. It can refer pain to the hip.
- Meralgia paresthetica
Meralgia paresthetica is a condition characterized by tingling, numbness and burning pain in your outer thigh. The cause is due compression of the nerve that supplies sensation to the skin surface of your thigh. Tight clothing, obesity or weight gain, and pregnancy are common causes, but local trauma and diabetes can lead to it also.
Sacroiliitisis an inflammation of one or both of your sacroiliac joints — situated where your lower spine and pelvis connect. Sacroiliitis can cause pain in your buttocks or lower back, and can extend down one or both legs. Prolonged standing or stair climbing can worsen the pain.
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. It affects only one side of your body. It can be due to a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.
- Avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to limited blood flow)
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a childhood condition that occurs when blood supply to the ball part (femoral head) of the hip joint is temporarily interrupted and the bone begins to die.
- Osteomyelitis (a bone infection which can occur after a severe skin infection, often in people with diabetes)
- Osteoporosis (thinning of the bone causing structural support problems)
- Synovitis (inflammation of synovium or tissue lining the joint capsule possibly from gout, arthritis, or lupus)