Common Causes of Hip Pain

People of all ages and lifestyles are susceptible to dozens of different hip conditions and diseases. Below are a few of the most common causes of hip pain and suggestions on how to get hip pain relief.


Osteoarthritis is perhaps the most common hip injury typically showing up later in life. This condition often presents as discomfort with normal activity that progressively becomes worse. Resulting from wear and overuse due to aging, osteoarthritis of the hip can severely impact a person’s lifestyle. Symptoms include hip pain, tenderness, a grating sensation while walking, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.


Without treatment, osteoarthritis usually worsens. Most treatments focus on relieving symptoms, including rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s), physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. If the hip continues to deteriorate, total hip replacement surgery may be needed.


Bursitis is a condition caused by inflammation of one or both of the fluid-filled cushioning sacs of the hip bone. Hip bursitis can affect anyone, but is more common in women and middle-aged or elderly people. The pain is initially sharp and intense, and later becomes more of a dull ache and spreads across a larger area of the hip. It may become worse when walking, stair climbing, or after being seated for a prolonged period.


Hip bursitis is usually treated without surgery. Many people experience relief with lifestyle changes such as:

  • Activity modification
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s)
  • Crutches/walking cane
  • Physical therapy
  • Cortizone injection


Hip strains occur when one of the muscles supporting your hip joint stretches or tears. Depending on the severity of the injury, a severe strain can limit your ability to move your hip. Strains can be an acute injury resulting from a fall or overstretching. They are also caused by overuse where the muscle or tendon slowly weakens after repetitive movements.


  • Heat therapy applied directly after an acute injury to reduce swelling.
  • Exercising to strengthen muscles that support the hip to improve mobility
  • Physical Therapy if pain persists after a few weeks
  • Severe injuries may require surgery to re-attach the torn tendon back to the bone.

When your hip pain prohibits you from performing and/or enjoying your normal activities, it is time to see a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at The Center to discuss treatment options.