Various conditions, such as osteoarthritis and flat feet, may cause a person to experience hip and knee pain together.

If a person has pain in their hip and knee at the same time, it may interfere with their everyday life. Pain in these joints may be constant or occur only during certain activities, such as walking.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 4 adults in the United States have an arthritis diagnosis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is a common cause of hip and knee pain.

This article explores some possible causes of hip and knee pain, as well as their symptoms and treatments.

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Healthcare professionals use the term “arthritis” to describe conditions that cause inflammation and swelling in a person’s joints. Osteoarthritis and gout are two such conditions.

Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage covering a joint begins to wear away. Cartilage is smooth tissue on the ends of bones that form joints. It allows the joint bones to move smoothly over each other.

The condition mainly affects people’s hips, hands, and knees.


The Arthritis Foundation notes that osteoarthritis symptoms generally build over time rather than begin suddenly.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include:

  • pain or aching in joints during or after activity or at the end of the day
  • joint stiffness that usually occurs in the morning or after sleeping or resting
  • limited range of motion that may go away with movement
  • clicking or popping sounds when bending joints
  • swelling around joints
  • muscle weakness around joints
  • joint buckling or instability

If a person has osteoarthritis in their hip, it may cause pain in the groin area, the buttocks, or the inside of the knee or thigh. A person with osteoarthritis in the knee may experience a grating or scraping feeling when they move their knee.


Healthcare professionals cannot cure osteoarthritis. However, they may recommend treatments such as the following to help ease symptoms:

Sciatica is pain that results from an issue with a person’s sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back to below the knee. Injury or compression of the sciatic nerve may cause pain anywhere along the nerve This can affect the:

  • lower back
  • hip
  • back of the thigh
  • leg, possibly including the knee


Symptoms of sciatica may include:

  • a bad leg cramp that may last for weeks
  • sharp or “electrical” pain
  • pain along the sciatic nerve when moving, coughing, or sneezing
  • weakness or numbness in the leg
  • a “pins and needles,” or burning or tingling, sensation down the leg


Generally, sciatica clears up with time and rest. Treatment for symptoms may include:

Injuries to the hip and knee may cause pain and tenderness. A person may injure their hip and knee in many ways, such as by:

  • falling
  • having an accident, such as a car accident
  • playing sports
  • overusing the joints during certain activities

Doctors refer to injuries that happen during activity as sports injuries. They can be acute or chronic. Acute injuries are those that occur suddenly, such as a fall. A chronic injury develops over time due to overuse of the body part.


Symptoms of a hip and knee injury can vary depending on the cause. Possible symptoms of an acute injury include:

  • sudden, intense pain
  • extreme swelling or bruising
  • an inability to put weight on the leg
  • an inability to move the joint as usual
  • extreme weakness in the leg
  • visible displacement of a bone or joint

Symptoms of a chronic injury may include pain during activity or swelling and aching during rest.


Treatment for hip and knee injuries depends on their severity. People may treat minor injuries at home by:

  • resting
  • applying ice packs
  • putting pressure on the injured area
  • elevating the leg
  • taking over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications

A healthcare professional may treat more severe injuries by immobilizing the leg using a cast or a splint. In some cases, a person may need surgery.

A person should speak with a doctor if they are unsure about the severity of their injury. If a person experiences a serious hip and knee injury, they should call 911.

Learn about the RICE method for injuries.

Having flat feet, or pes planus, means that the arches of the foot are very low. This is a relatively common condition. Having flat feet may put strain on a person’s hips and knees.


Flat feet usually do not cause any symptoms. When symptoms or complications occur, they may include:

  • pain in the feet, lower leg, knee, hip, or back
  • altered gait
  • ankle sprains
  • rigid feet, meaning that a person’s feet have no arches when they sit or stand


Children generally do not need treatment for flat feet. However, a healthcare professional may treat a child’s flat feet using foot orthotics or surgery.

To address flat feet in adults, healthcare professionals may recommend:

  • NSAIDs
  • foot orthotics
  • motion control shoes
  • weight loss, in some cases
  • rest
  • exercise
  • surgery

A person should consult a doctor if their hip and knee pain does not go away or interferes with their daily life. A healthcare professional can diagnose the cause of a person’s pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

The Arthritis Foundation notes that a person should see a doctor if they have joint pain lasting 3 or more days. Additionally, people should see a doctor if they have several joint pain episodes per month.

If a person has a serious hip and knee injury, they should seek immediate medical attention.

Various conditions, such as osteoarthritis and flat feet, can cause hip and knee pain. A healthcare professional will recommend different treatments depending on the cause of the pain.

A person should consult a doctor for diagnosis and appropriate treatment of their hip and knee pain.