Every day, your hips work hard. You need them for walking, sitting, and everything in between. But if you experience hip pain, even walking up the stairs can be quite uncomfortable. Hip pain is usually felt in or around the hip joint and may, sometimes, spread to the groin, back, thigh, or knee. And this pain is usually due to an injury.
The causes of hip pain and injuries are countless, such as a problem with your bone, cartilage, or muscle. Whatever the reason, treatment is crucial. Remember, not all injuries are obvious. Symptoms might not show up until much later. To help you out, learn about these five most common injuries that cause hip pain.
1. Groin Muscle Strain Could Cause Hip Pain
A muscle strain, or pull, is a common exercise injury. It’s often caused by overuse or poor form. Failing to warm up before a workout can also strain a muscle. If you pull your groin, hip pain is likely.
Treat the area by applying ice. Rest for at least 1 day, and don’t exercise if it hurts. A supportive chair cushion may also help. To prevent future strains, don’t overdo the exercises. Regular breaks are good for the body. When you work out, stretch all of your muscle groups.1 Focus on the areas that tend to be really tight.
2. Hamstring Muscle Strain Could Cause Hip Pain
The hamstring is the muscle along the back of the thigh. Because it’s so close to the hip, a pulled hamstring can cause hip pain. Overexertion is the most common cause and additional symptoms include swelling, bruising, and discoloration. This weakness in the hamstring may last for a few weeks.
To reduce the swelling, apply ice and wear an elastic compression bandage. Elevate your leg and take it easy. Rest is essential for treatment.2
3. Hip Bursitis Could Cause Hip Pain
Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion the area between your bones and other tissues. Examples include muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When a bursa becomes inflamed, bursitis develops. Hip bursitis can spark a lot of pain and tenderness, swelling, and sharpness. The area might even feel warm to the touch.
From overuse to arthritis, bursitis has many possible causes. Diabetes, scoliosis, or gout may also be the culprit. Think about your current health and other existing disorders. It may point to the reason behind bursitis and hip pain. Treatment for hip bursitis often calls for rest, anti-inflammatory, and exercise. Your doctor can work with you to create a management plan.3
4. Hip Fracture Could Cause Hip Pain
Hip fractures are often caused by a fall or intense blow to the side. And while a fracture is tiny, it sure does hurt! You will feel the pain in the groin or along the outer upper thigh. Moving the hip won’t feel too great.4 Depending on the severity, treatment will range from rest to surgery. Small fractures may heal on their own, while larger fractures require an emergency operation.5
5. Piriformis Syndrome Could Cause Hip Pain
With the piriformis syndrome, hip pain involves the nerves. The piriformis muscle, which connects the lower spine to your thigh bones, presses against the sciatic nerve. This is the nerve that runs from your spinal cord, butt, and down each leg. The pain here can be intense and affect anywhere from your hip and butt to the back of the legs. The sharp and burning sensation may get worse with physical activity.
Everyday activities can cause piriformis syndrome. If you sit all day at work, you’re at a higher risk. The same goes for lifting heavy objects or poor posture. Recovery includes anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, and warm or cold packs. Regular exercise is the key to pain management. Plus, a physical therapist can show you helpful stretches.6
Many injuries can cause hip pain. This list is just the beginning! To be safe, visit your doctor for an official diagnosis. It’s the first step to being pain-free.
|↑1||Strains. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||Hamstring Muscle Injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.|
|↑3||Bursitis of the Hip. FamilyDoctor.org, American Academy of Family Physicians.|
|↑4||Hip Fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.|
|↑5||Stress Fractures of the Hip. UC San Diego Health.|
|↑6||Piriformis Syndrome. FamilyDoctor.org, American Academy of Family Physicians.|