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Why does my hip hurt?

Brian Yee
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

There are many reasons why hips can hurt. If significant arhtritis has been ruled out, then usually hip pain is of a mechanical nature. One key thing we see in most hip pain patients is the lack of proper gluteal (buttock) muscle strength. These key muscles provide proper stability: gluteus medius and gluteus maximus. The gluteus medius runs along the side of your hip and provides proper stability to the hip in weightbearing. The gluteus maximus is the primary force generator to allow you to stand, walk and run.

Without proper muscle support from the gluteal muscles the hip joint can become compressed—as if you were to jam your thumb into a wall 1,000 times over. The joint can then become restricted in movement and eventual pain can occur. This can lead to other pain such as burstis or tendinitis around the hip, labral tears or hip impingement, and can lead to secondary injuries above and below the hip—such as back pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunction or knee pain.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Hula dancing isn't the only thing hips are good for. Hip joints are the ones that provide the hinge for any kind of forward motion. While they're not as flexible as shoulder joints, they're large joints, and a lot of things can happen in there.

Any chronic pain needs to be addressed by a doctor, but hip pain does not automatically mean you have arthritis. If the pain is coming from the front of the hips, in the groin area, it's probably a sign of some form of arthritis. But if you're experiencing some tenderness along the sides, your pain more likely stems from tendonitis or bursitis, which can be treated in a number of different ways, including anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy.

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

Your hip can hurt due to a variety of causes. The most common causes of hip pain are arthritis or injury. After repeated use, your hip socket can get worn down. A lot of people are in pain because of damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround the hip joint.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.