The largest ball joint in the body, the hip allows you to stand, sit, walk and run. But hip pain that occurs when inflammation or injury occurs can hinder mobility and reduce your quality of life. Hip pain can be caused by injuries such as a fracture, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, or many other conditions. If your hip pain becomes chronic or causes you to decrease your activity level, it’s important to consult a doctor to get a diagnosis and learn about treatment options.

Common causes of hip pain

Hip pain usually occurs due to injury or inflammation in or around the joint. The most common causes of hip pain in general are:

  • Arthritis including osteoarthritis due to overuse or normal aging, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis
  • Bursitis (hip joint, inflammation)
  • hip bone dislocation
  • hip bone fracture
  • sciatic nerve pain
  • Structural damage to the soft tissues around the hip


Rarely, hip pain can be caused by a cancer such as leukemia or an infection such as osteomyelitis .

The hip area where the pain is felt can often tell your doctor a lot about what’s causing it. For example, hip pain when climbing stairs may indicate sacroiliac joint dysfunction . Hip pain after sitting can be caused by inflammation of the bursa.

How is hip pain treated?

When hip pain is mild or occurs occasionally, you can treat yourself at home and find relief. You can do the following to relieve hip pain:

  • Applying heat with a heating pad (be sure to use a low setting and place a barrier such as a towel between the pad and your skin to prevent burning)
  • Cold compress application with ice pack for 20 minutes (you can repeat it every few hours)
  • Hydrotherapy (treatment with water)
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium
  • avoiding activities that make the pain worse
  • Stretching exercises for the waist and hips
Read More  Important Causes of Pain on the Left Side of the Abdomen

When to see a doctor for hip pain?

It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible when hip pain is accompanied by:

  • If you are unable to put weight on the hip joint
  • If the joint appears deformed
  • If you are unable to move your affected leg
  • If your toes start to turn blue
  • If you have numbness or tingling in the buttocks and nearby areas
  • If you have swelling of the hip or associated leg
  • If you have a high fever with hip pain
  • If the pain does not go away and is severe

For ongoing cases of hip pain, you should consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options. Professional medical care, even for mild causes, can prevent the problem from worsening and help prevent complications.

Which doctor should I go to for hip pain?

If your hip pain does not respond to the measures you take on its own, then the doctor to go to for hip pain should be a family doctor  or an  orthopedic specialist  . Also,  chiropractors  can pinpoint the cause of your hip pain. As part of your  treatment, you may also consider getting physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support your hips and lower back  .

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