The hip joint is designed to withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. This ball-and-socket joint, the body’s largest, fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement. Whenever you use the hip (for example, by going for a run), a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket. Despite its durability, the hip joint isn’t indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. The hip bone itself can be fractured during a fall or other injury. Any of these conditions can lead to hip pain.


Hip pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround your hip joint. Hip pain can sometimes be caused by diseases and conditions in other areas of your body, such as your lower back. Sometimes pain from other areas of the body, such as the back or groin from a hernia, can radiate to the hip. You might notice that your pain gets worse with activity, especially if it’s caused by arthritis. Along with the pain, you might have reduced range of motion. Some people develop a limp from persistent hip pain.


The following are symptoms of hip pain you may be experiencing. If any of the below sound familiar, please make an appointment with our specialists.

Symptoms of Hip Pain
Depending on the condition that’s causing your hip pain, you might feel the discomfort in your:

  • Thigh
  • Inside of the hip joint
  • Groin
  • Outside of the hip joint
  • Buttocks

At IPM, we urge you to get medical attention if any of the following has occurred:

  • The hip pain came on suddenly
  • A fall or other injury triggered the hip pain
  • Your joint looks deformed or is bleeding
  • You heard a popping noise in the joint when you injured it
  • The pain is sharp or intense
  • You cannot put any weight on your hip
  • You cannot move your leg or hip

Treatments for the Hip

Treatments for hip pain include the following. If pain persists or is significant, please contact our pain specialists right away.

  • Over-the-counter pain medication (e.g. Tylenol)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (e.g. Motrin or Aleve)
  • Prescription anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. corticosteroids)
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (e.g. methotrexate and sulfasalazine)
  • Holding ice to the area for about 15 minutes a few times a day
  • Exercising the hip joint with low-impact exercises, stretching, and resistance training can reduce pain and improve joint mobility (e.g. swimming)
  • Physical therapy