What are the Symptoms of Hip Pain?

Causes of hip pain

There are several causes of hip pain and each cause can present differently. We tend to think of hip pain as two different kinds of pain. First is a problem with the hip itself and the second is a problem outside or around the hip. Problems inside the hip include arthritis and labral tears. Problems outside the hip can involve the muscle, tendons, ligaments or even the bursa tissue.

Hip pain from arthritis

Hip pain from arthritis typically causes stiffness that is worse after sitting for a long time or when waking up in the morning. The stiffness improves with moving around and walking for a little while. Hip pain from a labral tear causes pain with twisting the hip and may be worse in sports with more stress to the hip. Larger labral tears can cause severe pain, snapping and even locking of the hip.

Hip pain from bursitis

The hip pain on the outside part of the hip is typically from bursitis. A bursa is a fluid-filled cushion that protects the underlying bones from getting bumped. Bursitis is an inflammation and irritation of the cushion outside the hip. It is very painful to touch or leaning on it and sometimes you can even see the swelling.

Hip pain from muscles or tendons

Pain in the front of the hip after sprinting or kicking may be from the quadricep muscle or tendon. It is not uncommon for a 12-16 year old to actually pull a piece of bone off when injuring the front of the hip. This causes a very sharp pain initially and then that person is unable to run well or kick.

Hip pain from impingement

Hip impingement can cause clicking, catching and pain in the hip as well. The most common symptom is loss of motion of the hip. This is usually mild at first but worsens over time.

If the pain in your hip is acute and severe, get it checked quickly to make sure it is not a fracture. If the pain is not too severe and develops over time, try simple stretching and icing, but if it doesn’t get better see an orthopedic specialist at Westchester Sport and Spine.

Dr. Rick Weinstein, MD, MBA is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. He is the Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Westchester Sport and Spine and has subspecialty training in knee and shoulder surgery, including minimally invasive surgery and arthroscopy. Dr. Weinstein is a Board Examiner for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, determining certification for other orthopedic surgeons.