A medical anatomy illustration of a hip with text overlay that says 7 injuries that might be causing your hip pain.

7 Injuries that might be Causing Hip Pain

When you live an active lifestyle, it isn’t uncommon to have hip pain. But when is hip pain normal, and when do you need to talk to your physician? Today we will be talking about 7 common injuries or conditions that might be causing your hip pain.

Many times, hip pain actually originates from another injury that presents itself as pain in your hips. It is important to get a proper diagnosis and the help you need before the injury gets worse.

Let’s take a look at the most common injuries that could be causing your hip pain. We will help you understand when you need to see your Primary Care Physician. 

A medical anatomy illustration of the back of someone's legs. The hamstring muscles are colored red to signify pain. Sometimes hamstring pain can present as hip pain.

Hamstring Injuries that might be causing hip pain

The hamstrings are technically tendons at the back of your leg that attach your large thigh muscle to your bone. However, we commonly refer to the group of three muscles that go from your hip to just below your knee by the term “hamstrings.” 

Hamstring strains and injuries are one of the most common injuries in active individuals. You’ve probably heard the term “pulling your hamstring.” A hamstring injury usually causes pain in the back of the thigh. Hamstring injuries often occur during sprinting when there is a sudden stretch of the muscle. Hamstring pulls are often seen in water skiers, track and field athletes, dancers and soccer, lacrosse, football and basketball players

Trochanteric bursitis

Near your joints, there are small fluid filled sacs called bursae that act as cushions for the bones, tendons and muscles. The Trochanteric bursae that sit on the outside of your hips can sometimes become inflamed and develop into a condition called bursitis. 

Symptoms include lateral (side) hip pain or back pain that becomes worse lying down or going from a seated to standing position or running. It is usually tender when you push on the outside of your hip or while sleeping on your side.

Piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome develops when the sciatic nerve becomes entrapped or irritated as it passes through or next to the piriformis muscle in the buttocks. 

Symptoms usually include pain when sitting or moving the hip. Typically the diagnosis is made by doing a physical exam and ruling out other causes of posterior (back) hip and buttock pain. 

A medical anatomy illustration of a person running. The muscles can be seen of the leg hitting the ground, especially the quadriceps and calf muscles. Quadricep muscle injuries can present as hip pain.

Quadriceps Injuries that might be causing hip pain

Quad injuries (a.k.a. “A pulled quad muscle”) are another very common injury that can present with hip pain. The muscle in your quads that usually gets injured is called the Rectus Femoris. 

Symptoms of a quad injury  include acute pain in the center of the thigh on the front side. You may also have pain or weakness. 

Quad Injuries typically occur when attempting to kick a soccer or football. This is likely to happen when the patient’s foot hits another player in the middle of a kicking motion.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that happens when the flexible ends of bones (cartilage) wears down. Many patients who have osteoarthritis of the hip have limited range of motion and pain when walking and moving. 

Your physician will do a physical exam and order X-rays to make this diagnosis. Treatment for osteoarthritis of the hip usually includes general easy exercise with careful instructions not to overdo it. Injections into the hip including platelet rich plasma and corticosteroid injections (both available from Primary Healthcare in Utah) are helpful to decrease hip pain from osteoarthritis. The “cure” for osteoarthritic hips is a hip replacement. 

A medical anatomy illustration of a hop bone. The hip socket is colored red to signify hip pain.

Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)

Femoroacetabular Impingement also known as FAI is a condition where the hip socket is abnormally shaped and the bones don’t line up correctly.

Symptoms of this condition usually includes pain in the hip and in the front side of the groin. A limited range of motion in the hip can also be seen with FAI. Additionally, people with this condition are also more prone to labral tears which causes more hip pain. 

Gluteus Medius tendinopathy (aka Hip Tendonitis)

The Gluteus Medius Muscle is a muscle located in your hip that allows you to move your leg outwards. It is similar to the rotator cuff of your shoulder. 

Injury to this muscle is more common in older patients, however we also see some younger patients with hip tendonitis that comes as a result of a traumatic injury. 

Pain usually presents on the outside of the hip especially with walking or sleeping on the side that is injured. Your physician will most likely order an MRI to accurately diagnose hip tendonitis. 

Treatment options include physical therapy with hip strengthening exercises. Primary Healthcare also offers platelet rich plasma and hyaluronic acid injections that have been shown to decrease hip pain.  If conservative treatment fails, there are surgical options that may help with recovery. The prognosis for Hip Tendonitis is usually good.

When should I go to the doctor for hip pain?

If you are living an active lifestyle, occasional hip pain isn’t uncommon. However, if you are having hip pain that is significant or has lasted more than a month, it is best to schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Physician at Primary Healthcare. 

Your PCP can do a physical examination, order necessary tests, and provide non-operative procedures that should reduce your pain and allow you to return to your normal activities. In the event that your hip injury is more serious, Primary Healthcare can refer you to the highly skilled Orthopedic Surgeons at Heiden Orthopedics. Call us today at (801) 758-8735.

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