Hip Pain – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options


The hip joint is located four to six inches below the belt line, where the femur bone meets with the pelvis. There are a significant number of muscles and ligaments in the hip, any irritation or injuries to these ligaments will result in inflammation or pain in the hip.  The hip is a ball and socket joint, where the femoral head acts as a ball and fits into the acetabulum of the pelvis which is a socket. The acetabulum elongates into a fibrocartilaginous labrum which attaches to the outer rim. This helps in deepening the socket and adds additional stability to the hip joint.

The Components of the Hip Joint:

  • The ball and socket structure
  • The labrum
  • Iliofemoral ligament and pubofemoral ligament
  • Surrounding muscles including abductors

What causes Hip Pain?


As we age, our bones are prone to become weak. Weakened bones are more likely to break during any accidents or injuries causing fractures.


Our bones, muscles and tendons have sacs of liquid called bursae, when these are inflamed, they cause pain and lead to a condition called Bursitis.


Tendonitis, a condition in which the tendons are prone to inflammation or irritation. These are the thick bands that attach bones to muscles. It is mostly caused by overuse of muscles or tendons.


A common condition in the hip is arthritis, which causes inflammation and pain in the joint. There are different arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis being the common one. It is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage of the joint wears out slowly. As the protective layer, cartilage is worn out, the bare bone is exposed and causes pain.

Pinched Nerve:

A damaged or a pinched nerve in the lower back can cause hip pain while we are seated. Sciatic nerve runs through hips, buttocks and legs, when this nerve gets pinched or damaged, Sciatica occurs. This causes a sharp pain in the back, buttocks  and hip region, while we sit or lie down.

Lupus or Rheumatoid:

Autoimmune disease / condition, where the immune system is imbalanced and attacks the joints of the body. It can lead to hip joint swelling and causes pain while lying down or while sitting.

What are the symptoms of Hip Arthritis?

The symptoms may include:

  • Hip pain
  • Difficulty in walking, sitting or standing
  • Stiffening of the hip.
  • Thigh pain
  • Pain in the buttocks
  • Grinding noise or cracking or crepetations

How is Hip pain diagnosed?

Hip pain is diagnosed through fluid and imaging tests. These tests will help the doctor to diagnose the condition and start the treatment accordingly.

Fluid tests include:

  • Blood sample
  • Joint Fluid
  • Urine test

Imaging tests include:

  • X-rays
  • CT Scans
  • Ultrasounds
  • MRI Scans

What are the treatment options for Hip pain?

While treating hip pain, non-surgical treatments should be considered first. In most cases, rest, activity restriction, physical therapy and pain medication can resolve the pain and swelling.

Pain/Anti-inflammatory medication:

Doctors will prescribe non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines to treat mild to moderate hip pain and swelling. These medicines can be used along with physical therapy as well.

Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy helps in strengthening muscles, increases range of motion and flexibility. It also eliminates the need for surgery in some cases.

Ultrasound-guided injections:

Using high-resolution ultrasound equipment, injections are injected into tendon, bursa and hip joint to relieve pain.

Non-Surgical Treatment For Hip Pain:

Non-Surgical treatment for Hip pain is a minimally invasive procedure that can decrease inflammation. It also repairs the affected joint, thereby eliminating the option of surgery. This is a regenerative treatment used to repair and regenerate the damaged tissue. Stem cells have the capability to  duplicate and develop into different types of cells.