Several things can cause front hip pain, including fractures, strains, and arthritis. To treat front hip pain, a doctor might suggest a combination of home remedies and pain relief medications.
The hip contains a ball-and-socket joint. The top of the thigh bone, or femoral head, forms the ball part of the joint. The socket, or acetabulum, is located in the pelvic bone.
Muscles, tendons, and ligaments surround the joint and help hold it together. Cartilage and synovial fluid prevent the bones from rubbing together during movement.
Pain can occur in any part of the hip joint. Read on for some potential causes of front hip pain, as well as some treatment options.
The following sections list some possible causes of front hip pain in more detail.
The majority of hip fractures occur in people over 60 years of age. The pain can be in the hip, knee, and back. It may also affect a person’s ability to stand or walk.
Fractures can occur as a result of an injury or accident, such as a fall.
Osteoporosis occurs when the bones weaken and become vulnerable to injuries, such as fractures.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the joints.
Over time, the cartilage that cushions the bone around the hip can become inflamed and damaged. This can cause pain and stiffness in the area.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It causes the lining of the joint to produce too much fluid and damages the cartilage.
People with rheumatoid arthritis can experience pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, including the hips.
Bursitis occurs when a fluid-filled sac, or bursa, becomes inflamed on the side of the hip. It causes stiffness and pain around the hip joint. Some people also experience redness and swelling in the area.
Hip labral tear
A hip labral tear can occur in the labrum, which is a ring of cartilage in the hip joint.
This injury can cause a clicking or catching sound in the hip during movement.
It is possible for the muscles that support the hip to stretch too far. This may occur when playing a sport, for example.
In some cases, this sort of injury will lead to a muscle strain or tear. A strain can cause hip pain and sometimes reduce mobility.
A femoroacetabular impingement occurs when an extra bone grows around the hip joint. Abnormal bone growth usually occurs during childhood. It is a common injury for people who play high impact sports, such as football.
The condition causes pain in the groin and hip that is worse when:
- rising from a chair
- getting in and out of a vehicle
- leaning forward
The pain can be a sharp, stabbing feeling or a dull ache.
Nerves can sometimes become compressed, such as in meralgia paresthetica. A compressed nerve causes numbness or pain in the affected area. Some people also experience a burning sensation.
Nerve compression is more likely in people with overweight and those who wear tight clothing.
Sometimes, hip pain occurs due to a problem with the internal organs, such as the:
- male or female sexual organs
- digestive tract
- urinary tract
- vascular system
Front hip pain in women could also be the result of endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue from the uterus grows in other parts of the body, such as the ovaries or pelvis. It can cause pain in the pelvis and groin that spreads to the hip.
A femoral hernia is another possible cause of front hip pain in women.
Femoral hernias occur when a part of the intestine pushes through the muscle wall in the upper thigh. This causes a lump and pain in the groin area, which may affect the hip.
Femoral hernias are uncommon, but they occur 10 times more in women than men.
The following sections look at some treatment options for front hip pain.
Hip pain can sometimes improve with home remedies. The “rest, ice, compression, and elevation” (RICE) method is one option:
- Rest: Keep pressure off the legs for a few days.
- Ice: Apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes several times per day to help with inflammation.
- Compression: Wrap the area with a bandage or wear compression shorts to reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Keep the leg raised higher than the heart to help with blood flow.
Several over-the-counter medications could also help. These include:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
- creams and gels for reducing pain and inflammation
Making some lifestyle changes could also reduce hip pain, including:
- regularly exercising and stretching
- trying massage therapy
- adopting a healthful, balanced diet
- maintaining a moderate weight
In some cases, a doctor might prescribe medications to help with more severe forms of hip pain. The type of medication will vary depending on the cause. They might include:
- pain relievers
- immune suppressants, such as methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis
A doctor may also suggest that a person receives additional care from a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or osteopath.
Hip replacement surgery may sometimes be necessary, especially for those with severe pain and difficulty moving.
It is important to seek immediate medical attention for sudden injuries that lead to severe pain and difficulty standing.
Talk to a doctor if there are any symptoms of disease or infection. Possible symptoms include:
- skin redness
Front hip pain has a number of potential causes, including fractures, strains, and rheumatoid arthritis. The risk of hip pain increases with age. This is due to the higher likelihood of developing osteoporosis or another similar condition.
When the symptoms are mild, home remedies can be effective for pain relief. Getting more regular exercise can also be helpful.
Always see a doctor for severe or persistent front hip pain. Sudden injuries usually require treatment in the emergency room at a hospital.