Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint.
Pain - hip
Hip-related pain is not always felt directly over the hip. Instead, you may feel it in the middle of your thigh or in your groin. Similarly, pain you feel in the hip may actually reflect a problem in your back, rather than your hip itself.
See: Low back pain
Hip fractures are a major and serious cause of sudden hip pain. Hip fractures become more common as people age because falls are more likely and bones become thinner. People with osteoporosis can get a fracture from simple, everyday activities, not just from a big fall or injury.
A hip fracture can change your quality of life significantly. Fewer than 50% of people with a hip fracture return to their former level of activity. While you recover from a hip fracture, several possible complications can be life-threatening. These include pneumonia and a blood clot in the leg, which can break loose and travel to cause a clot in the lungs. Both are due to lack of movement after a hip fracture and hip surgery.
Other possible causes of hip pain include:
Arthritis -- often felt in the front part of your thigh or in your groin
Bursitis -- it hurts when you get up from a chair, walk, climb stairs, and drive
Take over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Sleep on your non-painful side with a pillow between your legs.
For hip pain related to overuse or physical activity:
Always warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. Stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings.
Avoid running straight down hills -- walk down instead.
Bicycle or swim instead of run.
Reduce the amount of exercise you do.
Run on a smooth, soft surface, such as a track, instead of on cement.
Lose weight if you are overweight. Ask your health care provider for help.
If you have flat feet, try special shoe inserts and arch supports (orthotics).
Make sure your running shoes are made well, fit well, and have good cushioning.
If you think you may have arthritis in your hip, see your health care provider before exercising your hip.
Tips to relieve hip bursitis pain:
Use ice three to four times a day for the first 2 to 3 days. Cover your hip with a towel and place ice on it for 15 minutes. Do not fall asleep while using ice -- you can leave it on for too long and get frostbite.
Try not to stand for long periods of time. If you must stand, do so on a soft, cushioned surface. Stand with an equal amount of weight on each leg.
When you sleep, do not lie on the side that has bursitis. Place a pillow between your knees when you lie on your side to help decrease your pain.
Wear flat shoes that are cushioned and comfortable.
If you are overwegiht, losing weight may also help.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Go to a hospital or call 911 if:
Your hip pain is caused by a serious fall or other injury
Your leg is deformed, badly bruised, or bleeding
You are unable to move your hip or bear any weight on your leg
Call your doctor if:
Your hip is still painful after 1 week of home treatment
LeVelle DG. Fractures and dislocations of the hip. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2007:chap 52.
Shah A, Busconi B. Hip, pelvis, and thigh: Hip and pelvis. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 21, section A.
Huddleston JI, Goodman SB. Hip and knee pain. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Harris ED Jr, et al, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 42.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.