Why is there pain in the hip joint?

hip pain picture 1

The appearance of pain in the hip joint should absolutely alert, because this is the largest bone connection without which the walking process is impossible. Maintains balance, redistributes body weight between the spine and lower limbs. When the function of the hip joint is impaired, the patient's quality of life immediately decreases and his physical activity decreases.

If you feel pain in your hip joint, you need to establish the cause. The treatment of pain depends on the pathology of which it is a symptom. Complex measures and strict adherence to the recommendations will help get rid of the disease and maintain the motor activity of the joint.

Breaking the hip joint makes it impossible to actively move. The reduced function limits the patient in terms of independent movement and performance.

So what are the causes of such unpleasant discomfort in the hip joint and how can it be treated at home? Let's try to figure it out.


Pain in the hip joint can manifest itself for various reasons: due to damage to the joint itself, both right and left, as well as to the bones, cartilage or ligaments located next to it. Numbness and restriction of movement throughout the hip often appear with a painful symptom.

Diseases of the hip joint can appear at any age, but most often they affect the elderly. In case of pain, it is advisable to consult a general practitioner, who will prescribe an initial examination and advise which doctor to contact.

The most common causes of hip pain are:

  • dislocations;
  • fractures;
  • infectious inflammation or arthritis;
  • degenerative changes or arthrosis (coxarthrosis);
  • aseptic necrosis of the femoral head;
  • inflammation of the periarticular bursa (bursitis);
  • non-infectious inflammation in autoimmune diseases of the connective tissue;
  • period of pregnancy.

The prevalence of pain syndrome in this localization increases with age. If among young people under the age of 18, pain in the hip joint is found in 8-10%, for middle-aged people this figure is 20-30%. At the age of 50-59, 40% already suffer from it, and among older people - from 50 to 60%. Women are more likely to suffer from this localization pain syndrome than men.

According to age

Pathological conditions typical of different age groups that cause pain in the hip joint:

  1. Adults and Seniors. Osteoarthritis (coxarthrosis), injuries and deformities of the joint, pressure of the acetabulum.
  2. Children and adolescents. Perthes disease, transient synovitis, acquired varus deformity, tuberculous injury, joint injury and deformity.
  3. Infants and children under the age of 1 year. Congenital dislocation of the hip, consequences of generic epiphysis, acute purulent arthrosis, congenital varus deformity.


The main signs of bursitis:

  • with the development of the disease, the appearance of back pain;
  • increased discomfort when moving the leg;
  • increased pain after prolonged sitting, back pain;
  • sharp, burning pain, especially when lying sideways at night, which extends over the entire surface of the thigh.

If an infection occurs, purulent bursitis may appear, characterized by acute pain in the hip joint. For this type of bursitis, a characteristic symptom is the inability to fully extend the leg. When pressed, a firmness is felt, which can spread over the large surface of the thigh. Perhaps the appearance of back pain.

Osteoarthritis (coxarthrosis)

Coxarthrosis is based on degenerative (destruction) and dystrophic (malnutrition) processes in the hip joint. As a result, the joint ceases to perform its functions - the movements of the legs are disrupted. It can be an independent disease or develop with secondary damage to the joint (tumor in the bone). In old age, coxarthrosis develops again after a hip fracture.

Depending on the severity of the changes that have occurred in the joint, there are 3 stages of coxarthrosis.

  • At stage 3, hip joint pain bothers patients even at rest, at night. Marked lameness, requiring the use of a stick.
  • At stage 2 of coxarthrosis, pain begins to radiate to the groin, inner and front sides of the thigh, often falling to the knee. They appear after the usual daily load, but at rest they do not bother.
  • Stage 1 is characterized by pain in the hip joint that occurs during excessive exertion: climbing stairs with a load in your hands, walking more than 2-3 kilometers, running. The pain sensations subside after a short rest.

The choice of methods for treating arthrosis of the hip joint depends on the severity of the changes that have occurred in the joint. 1 and 2 degrees of the disease can be treated, as a rule, conservatively. Anti-inflammatory drugs, chondroprotectors, drugs that improve blood circulation in the joint, physiotherapy and therapeutic exercises are prescribed. The last stage is treated only with the help of operations.

pain in the hip joint image 2

Fracture of the hip

A very common injury, especially in older people with weak bones. This condition is characterized by severe pain, inability to make any movement in the joint.

In this case, hospitalization is necessary for proper treatment, since a hip fracture is often complicated by an infectious process, for example, bacterial arthritis, etc. Adding inflammation significantly impairs fracture healing and contributes to improper bone fusion.

Dislocation of the hip joint

Most often it is a consequence of road accidents and also occurs during falls and various occupational injuries.

Clinical manifestations in dislocation: acute unbearable pain, almost absolute difficulty in moving the lower limbs, with damage to the nerve endings, the sensitivity of the foot and ankle joint is lost. With bilateral dislocation of the joint, symptoms are expressed in the form of intermittent claudication, or the so-called "duck gait".

It is worth highlighting such a concept as congenital hip dislocation, diagnosed in newborns. This ailment is a consequence of the underdevelopment of the acetabulum, as a result of which the head of the femur falls out of its limits, thereby forming a dislocation.


This is an incomplete loss of contact between the femoral head and the acetabulum. The person does not experience acute pain, motor activity is slightly limited, but unpleasant sensations are constantly present.


A systemic disease of the connective tissue, accompanied by damage to the joints and the valvular apparatus of the heart. It most often develops in girls and young women after strep throat.

About two weeks after the disease, severe pain occurs in the large joints, which gradually subside and disappear. Rheumatism does not cause permanent damage to the joints, its main danger is the development of acquired heart defects.


Arthritis is particularly common in the elderly. The older a person is, the more processes can occur within his joints. Discomfort appears in the legs and groin area, cramps can be felt in the front of the thigh and even reach the knee. Symptoms worsen with walking and resting on the leg. It becomes difficult to get up from a sitting position, this causes severe pain in the hip joint.

Most often, the malaise increases in the morning, but with physical activity it decreases. But with excessive loads, unpleasant sensations increase and stiffness in movements appears. Treatment depends on the diagnosis, usually anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy and hormone drugs are prescribed.

hip pain image 3


Infectious arthritis can be caused by viruses such as influenza, staph, strep, and others. . . In these cases, the disease develops rapidly. Fever begins, swelling is observed in the affected joint area. Acute pain in the hip joint is observed with movement and even touching the affected area.

Slightly different symptoms are observed in tuberculous arthritis, which most often affects the hip joint. In this case, the disease gradually makes itself felt. At first, a person begins to be bothered by a slight pain when walking, radiating to the leg - the middle part of the thigh or knee. As the disease progresses, hip movement is restricted in all directions, the affected area swells.


Inflammation of the tendons, or tendonitis, usually affects people who are exposed to high levels of regular physical activity. Most often these are athletes. It should be noted that this disease sometimes proceeds imperceptibly, especially if the patient reduces the load on the hip joint. And, on the contrary, with too active movements and heavy loads, the pain becomes very strong.

Treatment of tendonitis is carried out with anti-inflammatory drugs: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed.

Which doctor is he treating?

You may need help from these doctors if you have hip joint pain:

  • rheumatologist;
  • Traumatologist or orthopedist;
  • Physiotherapist;
  • Neurologist.

The specialist will conduct a survey and examination of the patient, prescribe a comprehensive examination.


Laboratory and instrumental research methods:

  1. Radiographic examination and ultrasound. They are the gold standard for almost all hip joint diseases.
  2. General blood test. It will give the opportunity to assess the general condition of the body.
  3. Biochemical analysis of blood and specific markers of rheumatological diseases.
  4. Urinalysis. The color, quantity, clarity and density of the urine are determined. In addition, proteins, glucose and bilirubin are important markers.
  5. Morphological examination of biopsy samples. It is used to study the structure of the material taken, especially in cases of suspected oncological diseases of the skeleton.
  6. CT scan. It allows you to view the joint, the bone tissue in multiple projections, to determine its density.
  7. Magnetic resonance. It renders in thin layers of body tissue on any plane.
  8. Osteoscintigraphy. With the introduction of osteotropic radiopharmaceuticals, the state of blood flow in the bone tissue and the intensity of metabolic processes are displayed.

Note the decrease in joint mobility. Remember if the disease was accompanied by fever, headache, local hyperemia, edema and other local manifestations. Do not be afraid to draw the attention of a specialist to the possible causes of the disease. Describe in detail anything that bothers you.

How is hip pain treated?

What to do if painful symptoms are found in the hip joint area? After all, the pelvis is an important link in the musculoskeletal system. And if there are severe pains, you should immediately contact a specialist. He will help diagnose and identify the cause of the problem. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the more effective the treatment will be.

If you suspect that mild pain is associated with minor injury or joint overload, the following measures can be taken:

  • avoid stress on the aching joint, keep it calm;
  • taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug;
  • during sleep, it is advisable to lie down on the healthy side.

Drug treatment consists of a complex taking of drugs in various directions:

  1. Hondoprotectants, mineral and vitamin complexes.
  2. Muscle relaxants that reduce the spasms that occur with pain.
  3. NSAIDs and steroids. Steroid drugs are only prescribed for severe symptoms.
  4. Means for improving microcirculation. They relieve edema and hypoxic manifestations in the affected area.
  5. Diuretics to reduce swelling in the inflamed area.

Physiotherapeutic measures are also of great importance in the treatment of diseases of the hip joints. They are performed after the removal of acute inflammation and severe pain. Electrophoresis has proven itself well, with the help of which it is possible to create a high concentration of drugs directly in the affected area.

A progressive method is considered to be laser therapy, which produces analgesic, resorptive and anti-inflammatory effects. Magnetotherapy, diode dynamotherapy and drug phonophoresis are also successfully used.