7 Common Hip Issues: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

June 18, 2024 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team
Woman Grabbing Back in Pain

The hip is a critical joint that plays a significant role in our daily movements, from walking and running to sitting and standing. However, it is also prone to various injuries and conditions that can cause pain and limit mobility. This post delves into some of the most common hip issues, including hip strain, snapping hip, hip impingement, labral tear, bursitis, dislocation, and hip arthritis, discussing their symptoms, causes, and available treatments.

1. Hip Strain


  • Pain and tenderness in the hip area
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Muscle weakness

Causes: Hip strain occurs when the muscles or tendons around the hip are overstretched or torn. It can result from activities that involve sudden movements, overuse, or inadequate warm-up before exercise.


  • Rest and avoid activities that aggravate the pain
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling
  • Use compression bandages
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the hip muscles

2. Snapping Hip


  • A snapping or popping sound when moving the hip
  • Pain and discomfort around the hip joint
  • Swelling in severe cases

Causes: Snapping hip syndrome occurs when a muscle or tendon moves over a bony prominence in the hip. It can be due to repetitive movements, tight muscles, or structural abnormalities.


  • Rest and modification of activities
  • Stretching exercises to improve flexibility
  • Strengthening exercises for the hip muscles
  • In severe cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be needed

3. Hip Impingement


  • Pain in the groin or outer hip
  • Stiffness in the hip
  • Limited range of motion

Causes: Hip impingement, or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), occurs when the bones of the hip joint are abnormally shaped and rub against each other, causing damage to the joint.


  • Activity modification
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy to improve hip mobility
  • Surgery in severe cases to reshape the bones

4. Labral Tear


  • Deep hip pain, often felt in the groin
  • Clicking or locking sensation in the hip
  • Limited range of motion

Causes: A labral tear is a tear in the cartilage (labrum) that lines the hip socket. It can result from trauma, repetitive movements, or structural abnormalities.


  • Rest and activity modification
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles
  • Arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear

5. Bursitis


  • Pain and tenderness on the outside of the hip
  • Swelling and warmth around the affected area
  • Increased pain with movement or pressure

Causes: Hip bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction) in the hip. It can be caused by repetitive motions, prolonged pressure, or trauma.


  • Rest and avoid activities that worsen the symptoms
  • Apply ice to reduce inflammation
  • Use anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy to improve hip function
  • Corticosteroid injections for severe pain

6. Dislocation


  • Intense pain and inability to move the hip
  • Visible deformity in the hip area
  • Swelling and bruising

Causes: Hip dislocation occurs when the head of the femur is forced out of the hip socket. It is usually the result of a high-impact injury, such as a car accident or a severe fall.


  • Emergency medical treatment to relocate the hip
  • Rest and immobilization
  • Pain management
  • Physical therapy to restore hip function
  • Surgery in case of associated fractures or ligament damage

7. Arthritis


  • Persistent hip pain and stiffness
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Reduced range of motion

Causes: Arthritis in the hip, commonly osteoarthritis, results from the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the hip joint. It can be due to aging, previous injuries, or genetic factors.


  • Weight management to reduce stress on the hip
  • Physical therapy to maintain joint mobility
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medications
  • Joint injections for pain relief
  • Surgery, such as hip replacement, in advanced cases

Hip issues can significantly impact your quality of life, making early detection and treatment crucial. If you experience persistent hip pain or other symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. By understanding these common hip problems, you can take proactive steps to protect your hip health and maintain an active lifestyle.

Expert Hip Specialists in Wake County

The hip specialists at Raleigh Orthopaedic include Dr. AlbrightDr. BarkerDr. ChiavettaDr. EskildsenDr. JamesDr. McNabbDr. QuinlanDr. VaughnDr. Watters, and Dr. Wyker, who are trained to diagnose causes of hip pain and treat minor injuries, as well as perform total joint replacement procedures in Wake County. Learn more about our hip specialists HERE, and contact us today to schedule an appointment!

If your injury or condition is recent, you can visit one of our Orthopaedic Urgent Care locations for immediate assistance. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is necessary to see one of our certified physical therapists.

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Woman Grabbing Back in Pain