The hip is a “ball and socket” joint that connects the pelvic bones (socket) to the end of the femur (ball). The most common causes of pain in the hip area are arthritis, bursitis, muscle strain, and nerve irritation/injury.
Arthritis – The bones of the femur and pelvis are lined with a smooth protective layer of cartilage. The loss of this cartilage from wear and tear or injury is called arthritis. This condition can be quite painful and often times patients will experience pain radiating into the groin area.
Bursitis – Bursa are small jelly-like sacs that are located throughout the body, but most notably in the shoulder, knee and hip. They sit between bones and soft tissues, acting as a buffer to reduce friction. There are 2 main bursa in the hip area and often become irritated/inflamed.
Muscle Stain – There are very large and powerful muscles that help move the hip joint through a variety of motions/movements. Overuse or irritation of these muscles can lead to a muscle strain.
Nerve irritation – The major nerves that control the function of our lower leg cross through the hip joint. When these nerves become “pinched” or irritated, it can cause pain through the hip and into the leg. The most common type of nerve injury is “sciatica” which is irritation of the sciatic nerve and usually causes pain that travels down the back or side of the leg.