Pain in the hip is the experience of pain in the muscles or joints in the hip/ pelvic region, a condition commonly arising from any of a number of factors. Sometimes it is closely associated with lower back pain.

Common etiologies include:

  • Trochanteric bursitis, caused by inflammation of the trochanteric bursa of the outer hip, often affecting both hips
  • Arthritis of the hip, degeneration of the hip joint from osteonecrosis, trauma, sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, or anatomic anomalies
  • Meralgia paresthetica, a chronic neurological disorder of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, most common among those who are pregnant or have diabetes
  • Hip avascular necrosis, a condition brought on by vascular occlusion or coagulation
  • Occult hip fracture, common in elderly women
  • Snapping hip, a condition caused by iliotibial band snap, iliopsoas tendon snap, and hip labral tear
  • Paget’s disease, enlarged or deformed bones of the hip
  • Malignancy, as cancer in the pelvis or proximal femur may cause pain
  • Primary septic arthritis caused by an infection, a condition rare in adults except for those who are already immunocompromised
  • Transient or accute synovitis or “irritable hip”, a condition most common in children
  • Sciatica, a condition most often brought on by damage to the L4 or L5 nerve roots but sometimes caused by inflammation or tension in the piriformis muscle of the pelvis (which rests on the sciatic nerve), in which case the condition is called piriformis syndrome
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, an uncommon neurological condition of the mostly-immobile sacroiliac joint of the hip

Pain in the groin, called anterior hip pain, is most often the result of osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis, occult fracture, acute synovitis, and sceptic arthritis; pain on the sides of the hip, called lateral hip pain, is usually caused by bursitis; pain in the buttock, calledposterior or gluteal hip pain, which is the least common type of hip pain, is most often caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction as well as sciatica (whether from a hemorrhaged spinal disk or a tense piriformis muscle). Herpes zoster (shingles) may also cause posterior hip pain.

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