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Published: July 15, 2023

Why Does My Hip Hurt? 4 Possible Causes and Treatments

Are you experiencing hip pain and wondering what might be causing it? In this blog post, we will explore four possible causes of hip pain and discuss the various treatment options available.

Understanding the underlying causes and seeking appropriate treatment can help alleviate your discomfort and get you back to your active lifestyle.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Hip osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a chronic condition characterized by the progressive wearing down of the cartilage in the hip joint. This degeneration leads to pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility in the affected hip. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and typically affects older individuals, although it can also occur in younger people. Some of the risk factors for developing hip osteoarthritis include age, gender, obesity, previous joint injuries, genetics, repetitive stress, and inflammatory conditions.

The exact cause of hip osteoarthritis is often multifactorial and can vary from person to person. However, several factors contribute to the development of this condition, such as age, joint overuse, obesity, joint abnormalities, and genetics.

What are the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis can present with various signs and symptoms, differing in severity from person to person. Most patients with hip osteoarthritis experience the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint crepitus
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking

It's important to note that these symptoms can overlap with other hip conditions, so a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional is essential.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment of osteoarthritis aims to manage pain, improve joint function, and enhance overall quality of life. Treatment options for hip osteoarthritis typically include a combination of non-pharmacological approaches, medications, and, in some cases, surgical interventions. Here are some common treatment options:

Physical therapy

Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around the hip joint, improve joint stability, and enhance range of motion. Therapeutic exercises, stretching, and manual techniques may be utilized.

Assistive devices

Using assistive devices such as canes or walkers can help alleviate pressure on the hip joint and provide stability while walking.

Heat or cold therapy

Applying heat or cold packs to the affected hip joint can help reduce pain and inflammation. Heat therapy can improve circulation and promote muscle relaxation, while cold therapy can numb the area and reduce swelling.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Furthermore, corticosteroid injections into the hip joint can provide temporary pain relief and reduce inflammation. Hyaluronic acid injections may also provide lubrication and cushioning to the joint.

Surgical interventions

Hip Arthroscopy - this minimally invasive surgical procedure may be used to repair or remove damaged cartilage or bone fragments from the hip joint.

Hip replacement - in severe cases where conservative treatments fail, total hip replacement surgery may be recommended. This involves removing and replacing the damaged hip joint with an artificial joint.

  1. Hip fracture

A hip fracture refers to a break or fracture in the upper part of the femur (thigh bone), specifically in the area near the hip joint. Hip fractures most commonly occur in older individuals, especially those with weakened bones due to conditions like osteoporosis.

Hip fractures can be classified into two main types:

  • An intracapsular fracture is a type of fracture that occurs within the joint capsule, which surrounds the hip joint. 
  • An extracapsular fracture occurs outside the joint capsule, usually in the trochanteric region (between the greater and lesser trochanters) or the subtrochanteric region (below the lesser trochanter).

Hip fractures are often caused by falls, especially in older individuals who may have weaker bones. Other factors contributing to hip fractures include osteoporosis, decreased bone density, certain medical conditions (e.g., cancer, hyperparathyroidism), and trauma, such as a car accident or sports injury.

What are the signs and symptoms of hip fracture?

Symptoms of a hip fracture may include:

  • Sudden, severe, and persistent hip pain
  • Swelling and bruising around the hip joint
  • Shortening and outward rotation of the affected leg
  • Difficulty or inability to move the leg

What are the treatment options?

Hip fractures are considered a medical emergency and require immediate medical attention. Treatment for hip fractures typically involves surgical intervention, which may include the insertion of metal screws, plates, or rods to stabilize the fractured bones. Rehabilitation, including physical therapy, is crucial for regaining strength, mobility, and independence after surgery.

  1. Bursitis

Bursitis refers to the inflammation of a bursa, which is a small fluid-filled sac located between tissues such as tendons, muscles, and bones. Bursae act as cushions, reducing friction and providing a smooth, gliding surface between these structures. 

Bursitis commonly occurs in areas of the body subject to repetitive motion or pressure, such as the hip.

An inflamed bursa can cause pain and discomfort as it expands and squeezes out nearby soft tissues. The inflammation is often a result of repetitive motion, overuse, trauma, or prolonged pressure on the affected area. Bursitis can also be secondary to other conditions, such as arthritis or infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of bursitis?

The symptoms of bursitis typically include localized pain, tenderness, swelling, and restricted movement of the affected joint. The pain may worsen with activity or pressure on the inflamed bursa. Simple actions like walking, bending, or lifting may trigger or intensify the pain.

Additionally, the pain and discomfort caused by bursitis can make it challenging to find a comfortable sleeping position, especially if the affected area is pressed against a hard surface.

It's important to note that the signs and symptoms of bursitis can overlap with other conditions, such as tendinitis or arthritis. If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or other concerning symptoms, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment options for hip bursitis, also known as trochanteric bursitis, aim to reduce pain and inflammation and improve the function of the affected hip. The following treatment approaches are commonly used:

Rest and activity modification

Avoiding activities aggravating the symptoms and providing ample rest to the hip can help reduce pain and inflammation. Modifying activities to minimize repetitive movements or pressure on the affected area is often recommended.

Pain medication

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help decrease pain, tenderness, and inflammation associated with hip bursitis. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and duration.

Physical therapy

A physical therapist can develop an exercise program to strengthen the hip muscles, improve flexibility, and correct any underlying biomechanical issues that may contribute to bursitis. They may also use manual therapy and ultrasound techniques to reduce pain and inflammation.

Assistive devices

Using assistive devices, such as crutches or a cane, can help offload the affected hip and reduce pressure on the bursa during walking or other weight-bearing activities.

Steroid injections

Corticosteroid injections directly into the bursa can provide significant pain relief and reduce inflammation. However, these injections are typically used sparingly due to potential side effects and limited long-term effectiveness.

Surgical intervention

In rare cases when non-surgical options fail to relieve its symptoms, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgical options include bursectomy (removing the inflamed bursa) or correcting underlying structural issues contributing to bursitis.

  1. Hip tendonitis

Hip tendonitis, or hip tendinitis, refers to the inflammation or irritation of the tendons in the hip region. Tendons are strong, fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones and play a crucial role in facilitating joint movement.

Hip tendonitis commonly occurs when the tendons in the hip joint become strained or overloaded, leading to inflammation. It is often caused by repetitive activities or overuse of the hip joint. 

What are the signs and symptoms of hip tendonitis?

The symptoms of hip tendonitis can vary depending on the specific tendon affected but may include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the hip joint or along the course of the affected tendon.
  • Impaired range of motion and flexibility.
  • Swelling or localized inflammation.
  • Pain that worsens with activity or specific movements.
  • Weakness or difficulty performing certain movements.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment for hip tendonitis focuses on relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and promoting healing. Some of the most common approaches to treating hip tendonitis include the following:

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Ice or heat therapy
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Corrective techniques
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections

Where to find the best Miami orthopedics facility?

Are you seeking exceptional orthopedic care to regain your mobility, overcome pain, and get back to the activities you love? Look no further than South Florida International Orhtopaedics, your trusted destination for comprehensive orthopedic services. 

At SFIO, we specialize in providing top-notch medical care, personalized treatment plans, and a patient-centered approach to ensure your well-being and recovery. 

We have a highly skilled team of orthopedic surgeons, physicians, and medical professionals with extensive experience diagnosing and treating various orthopedic conditions. Some of the services we provide to bring solutions to your orthopedic problems include the following:

Contact us today at (305) 233-0011 to schedule a consultation or request an appointment via form.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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