Why You Shouldn’t Ignore That Nagging Pain in Your Hip

Hip pain can come on suddenly or gradually present itself over time. It easy to ignore hip pain, hoping that it will go away on its own. While sometimes hip pain does improve by itself, it’s wise to seek appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Hip pain is very common, and your chances of developing it increase as you get older. Engaging in sports or activities that require repetitive hip movement also raises your risk of hip pain. If that hip pain has been nagging you, it’s vital to get answers.

Anatomy of the hip

As one of the body’s largest weight-bearing joints, your hip has a big job to do. The hip has two main parts, the femoral head — a ball-shaped bone at the top of your femur — and the acetabulum — a socket in your pelvis where the femoral head fits.

Your ligaments stabilize the hip by connecting the ball to the socket. Large muscles support the hip so you can move with ease. A problem with any part of the hip or the major nerves that run through the hip, like the sciatic nerve and the femoral nerve, can cause pain.

Common causes of hip pain


Osteoarthritis of the hip is a common cause of persistent, dull hip pain. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions your joints wears away over time. In people with osteoarthritis, the joints become stiff and swollen. This can cause pain when you bend and move. It’s common to feel stiff when you wake up in the morning, and many people with hip pain notice that it’s worse when they perform certain movements.


Your tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. They can become inflamed, commonly from overuse, and cause pain. Hip tendonitis typically causes a deep, aching pain in the groin that is worsened with activities such as climbing stairs.


Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion your bones, muscles, and tendons. These can become irritated and inflamed. Bursitis of the hip usually causes pain on the outside of the hip, thigh, and sometimes buttocks. Repetitive motion that puts pressure on the bursae is the most common cause of bursitis.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of causes of hip pain. Injuries, pelvic floor issues, and other conditions can cause pain in the hip as well.

Don’t ignore hip pain

While there are many reasons for hip pain, it’s important that you don’t ignore it. The pain can cause stress on other parts of your body. If you favor one side due to hip pain, it can affect your gait. Constant pain can affect your stability.

Whether you experience hip pain that is persistent or that comes and goes, it’s crucial to get checked out. The team at the Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain not only can treat your hip pain, but they also help you avoid hip pain in the future.

Diagnosing hip pain

A proper diagnosis guides your treatment plan. Your provider may use imaging, blood tests, medical history, and a comprehensive physical examination to diagnose your hip pain. If the cause of your hip pain remains uncertain, further testing may be necessary.

Prepare to discuss the nature of your hip pain. It’s important for your doctor to know whether certain activities make your pain worse, what works to relieve your pain, if you feel pain in any other areas, and whether you sustained an injury before the pain began.

Treating hip pain

Some types of hip pain are relieved with rest, while others may require a rehabilitation exercise program to strengthen the muscles that support the hip. Your provider may recommend medication to ease inflammation and prevent joint damage. Medications are available that help slow bone loss as well. Your treatment plan depends on the cause of your hip pain.

Don’t put off seeking treatment for your nagging hip pain. Get the answers and care you need to relieve your pain and effectively manage your condition. Call one of our six convenient locations throughout North and South Carolina to book your appointment with the experts at Carolinas Center for Advanced Management of Pain.

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