Hip pain is a very complex phenomenon, with so many potential causes, based on your age, activity level, and medical history. For this reason, it is really important to go see your primary care doctor
, especially if the pain is persistent or worsening, so that they can help narrow things down for you.
For example, if you are young and relatively healthy, then a common cause of hip pain is overuse from exercise. Strain or inflammation in tendons running down the side of the hip towards the knee, called iliotibial band syndrome, is probably the most common cause of hip pain in young, active folks. Another common cause is bursitis, which is an inflammation of the fluid filled pouches which surround and cushion the hip joint. On the other hand, if you are middle-aged or elderly, then by far the most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis
, or wear and tear arthritis, of the hip joint.
Rarely, hip pain can be an emergency, if there is a bacterial infection inside the hip. When this occurs, there is usually fever
, extreme pain, and redness or swelling over the hip. If you have any of these serious symptoms you should go to the emergency room; otherwise, see your primary care doctor at your earliest convenience.