The Common Causes of Hip Pain

Hip pain is a common symptom experienced by many people. This condition can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that limits activities of daily living or functional mobility. Hip pain may prevent you from enjoying your normal work and recreational activities. When you visit a PT for hip pain, he or she will likely investigate the cause of your pain to help treat it properly.

So what are the causes of hip pain?

Where Is Your Hip Pain Felt?

Your pain may be located in various places around your hip or hips. Common locations of hip pain may include:

  • Pain in your buttock
  • Pain in the lateral, or outside, part of your hip
  • Pain in the front of your hip or hip flexor muscle
  • Pain in your groin

If you have hip pain, you may benefit from the skilled services of a physical therapist to help determine the cause of your pain. Your PT can work with you to develop a treatment strategy to treat your hip pain or hip discomfort. Understanding why your hip is hurting can help your physical therapist and doctor prescribe the right treatment regimen for your specific condition.

There is a multitude of medical disorders that cause hip pain. Below is a review of the more common conditions that cause hip pain.


Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic hip pain. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two types of arthritis that result in hip pain. Hip pain due to joint arthritis is typically felt in the front of your hip and groin. Arthritis of the hip is commonly treated with a joint replacement.


There are many tendons located around the hip that connect the muscles to the joint. With various activities or overuse, these tendons can become inflamed. This inflammation results in pain around the hip region. Iliotibial band syndrome is one of the most common causes of tendonitis at the hip joint. The hallmark of this condition is pain on the lateral, or outside, aspect of your hip.


Hip fractures, or a break in the hip bone, are another common cause of hip pain. Fractures of the hip often occur after falls in the elderly patient population. Osteoporosis puts this population at increased risk for hip fractures. Stress fractures are another form of fracture that can cause hip pain. Various risk factors increase one's risk of developing a stress fracture at the hip joint.


Muscle strains result from small micro tears in muscles caused by a quick twist or pull to the muscle. When this occurs to muscles located around the hip joint, pain in this area is experienced. Groin and hamstring muscle strains are two injuries that result in hip pain and discomfort.


Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs, called bursa, that cushion areas of pressure between joints, muscles, and tendons. Bursitis is due to overuse or repetitive actions around the joints of the body. This inflammation results in pain that is experienced during movement or pressure. Treatment involves performing stretches and strengthening exercises to help relieve pressure from the bursa.

Hip Labrum Tear

Your hip labrum is a band of cartilage-like tissue that courses around the outer rim of your hip socket. This labrum helps to support the joint and deepen the socket. Sometimes overuse or an injury to your hip can cause a tear in your labrum. A hip labrum tear may result in a condition called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). When this happens, hip pain may result, and exercises to stretch and stabilize your hip may be performed.

A Word From Verywell

If you have hip pain, you should visit your doctor to get checked out, and then consider working with a physical therapist for treatment. Your PT can help you understand the cause of your hip pain and can prescribe the best treatment for your specific condition.

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