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Hip pain

Overview of hip pain

Hip pain is a common form of joint pain and is caused by a wide range of conditions. Hip joint pain is described as any pain coming from the area where the top of your leg joins with your pelvis. Pain can develop on the front, back, inside, outside, or all around your hip area. Your pain may be dull or sharp, sudden or gradual.

At Dignity Health, our orthopedic specialists provide care for hip injuries and conditions affecting the hip joint. If your doctor has recommended treatment for hip pain, Find a Doctor today at Dignity Health.


Talk with your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms of hip pain:

  • Clicking, catching, snapping, or grating sensation in your hip
  • Shooting pain down one side of your body (from the buttock and down the leg)
  • Difficulty moving your hip
  • Feelings of stiffness when you move your hip
  • Pain in your groin, buttocks, or thigh
  • Swelling or redness in your hip

If persistent hip pain is limiting your daily activities, talk with a specialist at Dignity Health.


Depending on your age, overall health, and history, you may have hip pain from a problem with your hip joint or the surrounding muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

Hip pain can be caused by a variety of illnesses, injuries, and conditions. The hip is one of the most structurally essential joints in the body and is responsible for holding a lot of weight. It also contains several structures, like a ball and socket joint consisting of bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and cushioning sacs called bursae. Any of these structures can be damaged or affected by wear and tear or disease.

Don’t live with hip pain any longer. We offer comprehensive care for hip pain.


Hip pain may originate from:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Cancer
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Infection
  • Injury
  • Muscle strain
  • Osteonecrosis of the hip
  • Tendonitis
  • Hip ligament strains and tears
  • Hip dislocation
  • Hip fractures
  • Hip instability from congenital disabilities or injury (meaning present at birth)

Risk factors

Risk factors for hip pain vary. Age-related hip pain is the reason a high percentage of people seek care. Other factors include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Living in a care facility
  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Poor balance
  • Previous injury to the hip
  • Smoking
  • Gout or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alcohol use
  • Osteoporosis
  • Age-related degeneration of joint materials
  • Eating a diet low in vitamin D or calcium
  • Osteoporosis

Other common causes of hip injury include:

  • Participation in higher-risk activities such as skiing, dance, hiking, gymnastics, hockey, and running
  • Working a job that requires repetitive motion of the legs
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Overtraining or overuse
  • Using poor form during activity


Preventing hip pain means reducing your risk factors. Depending on your age and activity level, your doctor can recommend some steps to take. They may include:

  • Exercising regularly, including exercises that improve your balance and coordination
  • Seeking care for dementia and vision loss
  • Getting regular physical examinations to check for early signs of arthritis, gout, and other conditions
  • Not “pushing through” any pain during physical activities, especially if high-intensity athletics
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, as recommended by your doctor
  • Not smoking or quitting smoking
  • Eating a healthy diet, including sources of vitamin D, calcium, and other nutrients, as recommended by your doctor

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.