Hip pain, symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment(Ver en español)

Hip pain is one of the common complaints triggered by a wide variety of health problems. The accurate location of your hip pain can provide useful information about the underlying cause and helps the doctors easily diagnose your condition.

Pain inside the hip or groin is usually as a result of problems within the hip joint itself. Pain in the upper thigh, outside of your hip, or exterior buttock is generally triggered by issues with your hip muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues.


Symptoms associated with pain in the hip joint depend on the underlying cause. Symptoms vary in intensity from mild to severe. These may include

  • Sharp groin pain
  • Limping
  • Swelling over the hip
  • Tenderness of the hip
  • Loss of motion of the hip
  • Warmth
  • Difficulty sleeping on the hip


Hip pain may be caused or triggered by injuries, joint conditions, and other health problems. The other common causes may include;

  • Arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or psoriatic arthritis
  • Injuries – motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries
  • Dislocation
  • Hip fracture – secondary to direct trauma or an injury
  • Bursitis – joint inflammation
  • Hip labral tear
  • Tendinitis
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Sprains
  • Pinched nerves
  • Sciatica – due to overstretching or injection myopathy
  • Meralgia paresthetica
  • Sacroiliitis
  • Cancer
  • Avascular necrosis – the death of soft tissues due to reduced blood flow
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomyelitis (a bone infection)
  • Synovitis


Health care professionals diagnose the underlying cause of hip pain through history and physical examination. A general physician or orthopedic specialist will test your hip joint by examining and rotating it forward, backward, and sideways. He may also order imaging studies to describe and pinpoint the causes of hip pain. The common imaging techniques used include X-ray hip, CT scans, and NCS/EMG studies. At times, bone scans and MRI are used to picture bone that is inflamed or broken.


Hip pain often gets better on its own and can be managed at home by taking a rest, over the counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, and other home remedies. In addition to pain-relieving medicines, treatment will be aimed to maintain the range of motion and strength of the hip joint. The objective is to return the patient to their normal level of function as with any disease or injury. A team strategy may be considered for complex hip pain that may involve the health care provider, physical therapist, and chiropractor.

Other than rest and medications, the conventional therapies used to relieve hip pain include;

Low-impact exercise

Low-impact activity, such as walking, water exercise, swimming, or cycling, may assist in decreasing pain and enhancing sleep. You might want to attempt yoga or tai chi as good and avoid sitting throughout the day for long periods.


You can try stretching your hip and thighs in addition to the low-impact workout during the day. If the pain keeps you awake, you can also at night. Here’s how you can do it;

  • Stand up and hold on to something to balance.
  • Cross the legs and touch the toes with by bending at your hip joint.
  • Hold for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Cross the legs other way and repeat the activity.

You can also do these exercises to get pain relief from bursitis or to strengthen your hip flexors.

Cold Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a safe and effective alternative treatment for certain kinds of pains in the body, such as hip joint pain and knee pains. Some early clinical trials have shown that cold laser therapy can help repair tissue damage caused by arthritis and injuries, cure wounds, and relieve pain.