Hip pain


Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint.

Alternative Names

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:

Home Care

General tips:

For hip pain related to overuse or physical activity:

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:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Go to a hospital or call 911 if:

Call your doctor if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination, with careful attention to your hips, thighs, back, and gait.

To help diagnose the cause of the problem, your health care provider will ask medical history questions, such as:

X-rays of the hip may be needed.

Your health care provider may tell you to take a higher dose of over-the-counter medication, or give you a prescription anti-inflammatory medication.

Surgical repair or hip replacement may be recommended for osteonecrosis. Hip replacement is necessary for hip fracture and severe arthritis.



Daboy G. Miscellaneous nontraumatic disorders. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2007:chap 25.

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.

Review Date: 6/4/2011
Reviewed By: 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.
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