The Most Common Causes of Hip Pain

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The top of your femur forms the ball, and your pelvis forms the socket. The way your hip joint is formed allows for a large range of motion and yet provides strength and stability. 

Dr. Arash A. Dini and his staff have helped many patients understand the cause of their hip pain and devised effective treatments to help them. There are many potential causes of hip pain, from hip dysplasia to unrelated problems, such as gynecological or pelvic floor problems, that cause hip pain. 

Here are a few of the most common reasons for hip pain. 

Muscle injury

If you’re a “weekend warrior,” you’re more likely to experience a core muscle injury, such as a strain or tear in the muscles of your lower abdomen. The muscles of your core -- your abdominal muscles, gluteal muscles, and all the tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues that support your hips -- are weakened by sitting, so if your job is largely sedentary but you play soccer on the weekends you may not have a strong enough core to support your activities. 

Some examples of this type of injury include an inguinal hernia, muscle strains, and labral tears. 


Bursa are small, fluid-filled sacs that protect your tendons and muscles from damage due to rubbing against your bones. If those sacs become inflamed, you have bursitis. Usually, the pain is on the outside of your hip, your thigh, or your buttocks. 

Bursitis is more common in people over 60, and the pain it causes isn’t generally associated with a specific activity. Rest, over-the-counter pain medications, and cortisone injections are common treatments. 


Long-term hip pain is often caused by arthritis, which can make your hip feel stiff, tender, and painful. There are actually more than 100 diseases that are classified as arthritis. Those that most often affect the hip joint are osteoarthritis, infectious arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common of the three, and it’s sometimes referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis because it’s caused by your cartilage breaking down over time. There are treatments that can help slow the progression of the disease, but there’s no cure. 

Hip dysplasia

Another cause of hip pain is a congenital condition called hip dysplasia, which is a deformity that causes misalignment and dislocation of your hip. Hip dysplasia is usually diagnosed shortly after birth or during infancy. With such early diagnosis, it can be treated most of the time with a soft brace. 

Sometimes, hip dysplasia develops later, during the teen or early adult years. In those cases, surgical correction may be necessary. 

If your hip hurts, schedule an appointment with Dr. Dini at one of our offices in Los Angeles and Encino, California. Regardless of the cause, he can help you understand any underlying factors and suggest an approach to ease your pain. 

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