Why Does My Hip Hurt? 6 Common Causes of Hip Pain

If your hips are healthy, you probably don't think about them very often. If you're having hip pain, though, it may be the only thing on your mind. The hip consists of a large joint that helps support your body and all of its supporting structures, so this means there are plenty of causes of hip pain. Here are some of the most common causes.

physical therapist working with patient


There are several different types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint, but the most common is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as "wear-and-tear" arthritis, indicates that the protective cartilage in the joint has degenerated to the point where bone rubs on bone. This type mainly affects those over 50, although those younger can experience it as well. Arthritis hip pain can keep someone from being as active as they would like, and can seriously impact well-being.


There are fluid-filled sacs called bursae that help cushion and lubricate your joints. There is one that resides between the hard bone on the outside of each hip and the connecting tendon. If these bursae become inflamed and swollen, it's known as trochanteric bursitis, and can be exquisitely painful, particularly when lying on the affected side, moving around a lot, or even simply walking around.  


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Hip fractures

Hip fractures are significant injuries. They can vary in severity, but all hip fractures need immediate attention from an orthopedic specialist. These are often caused by severe trauma, but those who are of advanced age can experience a hip fracture with just a fall. They are severely painful and result in an immediate loss of mobility.

Labral tears

A labral tear is damage to the cartilage that surrounds the hip socket. Repetitive motions, a fall, or an accident can lead to labral tears, and can also be noted in early osteoarthritis.


Sciatica hip pain can be significant. The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back, through your hips and buttocks and down each leg, and generally affects only one side of your body. It's caused by compression of the sciatic nerve from a number of potential factors, such as a bone spur on your spine, a herniated disk, or narrowing of the spine.

Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI)

This condition occurs when one or both of the bones that form the hip joint grow an irregular shape. There are three types of impingements:

  • Pincer. When the bone growth extends over the edge of the acetabulum.
  • Cam. A bone growth on the edge of the femur that restricts movement of the ball joint.
  • Combined. When both pincer and cam growths are present.

When the labrum and femur do not fit correctly around the hip joint, it causes damage to the joint, pain, and limited mobility.

Treatment for hip pain

Treatment for hip pain depends on what's causing it. Here at Alexander Orthopaedics, we offer several hip pain treatments that can help you feel better. One common procedure we offer is hip arthroscopy, which allows doctors to visualize your hip joint and make repairs without using a large incision. We also offer total hip replacement surgery, which removes an arthritic joint and replaces it with a hip prosthesis.

We can also work with you to develop hip pain exercises and other treatment plans that will get you back on your feet. Schedule an appointment today and get started on the path back to a pain-free life.