The hip joint is one of the most robust and durable parts of the body. It is made to withstand incredible amounts of wear and tear. Even so, the hips aren’t indestructible. As we age, cartilage (a cushion that protects bones from friction) gradually deteriorates, leaving the hip prone to damage and injury, and pain.
One common indication of hip pain is pain or discomfort in the thigh. Typically, you feel pain in the upper thigh, but this depends on the cause. Upper, lateral thigh and hip pain are especially prominent if you have greater trochanteric pain syndrome. In most cases, inflammation is to blame, though recent injury or damage to the bone structure or soft tissues that surround the hip and thigh can also cause this symptom. If you have pain in this area, take things slowly for a while, and consult your medical provider. Over-the-counter pain medication may help relieve symptoms.
Hip Joint Pain
You may experience pain along the inside of the hip joint. This type of pain is usually a result of an injury, inflammation, or other damage to the hip joint. Besides aches or pains in the joint, you may also experience joint stiffness or a burning sensation that surrounds the tendon. This usually means one of the tendons in the hip is irritated or inflamed. In exceptional cases, redness of the skin may accompany these symptoms. Other common causes of pain deep in the hip joint are arthritis of the hip, usually osteoarthritis, a hip injury, or a pinched nerve.
Another common symptom of hip pain is discomfort in the groin. These sensations go hand in hand because these two areas are anatomically connected. If you feel pain within the hip joint, you may also feel pain in the groin area. Some of the conditions that cause hip pain with groin pain include hip bursitis, hip arthritis, a hip labral tear, or osteonecrosis. If the cause is hip bursitis, the hip and groin pain will often get worse with repetitive movements and when standing up after prolonged sitting. However, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis.
Swelling in the hip can have several causes, one of which is bursitis or inflammation of the bursae, small gel-like sacs that lie between bone and soft tissues. Bursae act to cushion the bone and reduce friction when you walk. The hip contains several bursae, and overuse and repetitive motion can cause this damage. The most common symptom of bursitis is hip pain, which is often worse at night, with repetitive movements, and when standing up after sitting for a while. Other possible causes of hip swelling are an injury to the hip and, less commonly, gout.
Pain in the buttocks is a serious symptom that can cause various degrees of discomfort. If you experience hip pain, you will often feel pain in the buttocks as well. There are many causes, ranging from infections to injuries. Some of the leading causes of buttock pain are bursitis and muscle strain, as well as arthritis, piriformis syndrome, a herniated disc, disc degeneration, sacroiliac joint syndrome, and cancer. If you experience pain in the seat and hip, consult a doctor.
Muscle cramps frequently accompany hip pain. The most common cause of muscle cramps is excessive tightness of the affected muscles. This symptom is particularly the case if you perform regular physical activity, such as running or hiking. To reduce your chances of experiencing muscle cramps, always stretch after a period of prolonged physical activity. Another possible cause of muscle cramps is dehydration, so it is important to drink sufficient water.
Often, hip pain accompanies pain in the back, which can manifest in many areas and degrees of severity. The hip joint is near the spine, so back pain can often be mistaken for hip pain, as well. One common cause of hip and back pain is osteoarthritis, but many conditions may trigger it, including a herniated disc, sacroiliac joint syndrome, a pulled muscle, or a pinched nerve. Good health and physical therapy are vital in improving symptoms in this part of the body.
Bone growths around the edge of the hip joint can cause pain in the joint and surrounding areas. These osteophytes can develop in many parts of the body, including the back, knee, and neck. When they affect the hips, they can cause significant pain and may limit hip movement. However, osteophytes do not always cause symptoms. Sometimes, they are discovered incidentally on an x-ray. Bony growths often develop as a result of degeneration in the bone. If you think you have this condition, ask your physician for an evaluation to determine the extent of the growth.
Your lower back and spine have a large concentration of nerves, making them areas likely to experience pain or discomfort. Pain due to conditions that affect the spine, such as a herniated disc, can sometimes be felt in the hip and the leg. Sciatica is one example; it is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. You may have this condition if you experience pain down the leg or have pain that gets worse when sitting. Spine pain may be the result of a serious disease, so it is important to see a doctor if the pain does not go away in a few days.
Many factors can cause pain in the hip because the hip area contains a large density of nerves, bones, joints, and blood vessels. In some cases, infections in the area can cause hip pain. For example, shingles or other skin conditions can lead to symptoms such as red or inflamed skin. Trauma can also lead to pain that radiates from the hip into other parts of the body, a phenomenon called referred pain.