Symptoms A-Z

Deep, Throbbing Hip Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your deep, throbbing hip pain symptoms, including 10 causes and common questions.

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10 Possible Deep, Throbbing Hip Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced deep, throbbing hip pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Hip strain

Hip strain means that a muscle and/or a tendon that supports one of the ball-and-socket joints of the hip has become overstretched or torn.

Most hip strains occur during sports or other physical work, though they can happen while doing ordinary activities. Both the pelvic bones and the femur, or thighbone, are large weight-bearing bones. The tendons, which attach muscles to these bones, can be subject to strain during hard work and are most vulnerable when the person is out of condition or did not warm up before exercising.

An acute strain happens suddenly, usually after a fall or other injury. It may be very painful and swollen, and interfere with movement. A chronic strain comes on gradually after weeks or months of overuse and may only produce some discomfort.

Once a muscle or tendon has been strained, it is vulnerable to being injured again if not treated.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and x-rays.

Treatment involves rest; ice; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling; physical therapy; and sometimes surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pain in one hip, moderate hip pain, mild hip pain, difficulty moving the hip, swelling of one hip

Symptoms that always occur with hip strain: pain in one hip

Urgency: Self-treatment

Piriformis syndrome

The two piriformis muscles, left and right, each run from the base of the pelvis to the top of the thighbone. The two sciatic nerves, left and right, are each attached to the spine and run down between the pelvic bone and the piriformis muscle to the back of each leg.

If the piriformis muscle is damaged through sudden trauma, or through overuse as in sports, the resulting inflammation or spasm of the muscle can trap the sciatic nerve between the pelvic bone and the muscle.

Piriformis syndrome is most often found in women over 30.

Symptoms include pain over one or both sides of the low back, and shooting pain (sciatica) down one or both legs.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes imaging such as CT scan or MRI.

Treatment involves rest; over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; physical therapy; therapeutic injections; and, rarely, surgery.

The best prevention is a good regimen of stretching before exercise, to help prevent damage to the piriformis.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pelvis pain, butt pain, pain when passing stools, leg numbness, hip pain

Symptoms that never occur with piriformis syndrome: involuntary defecation, leaking urine

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome, also called trochanteric bursitis or GTPS, is an inflammation of the bursa of the greater trochanter. Bursae are the small "cushions" between tendons, bones, and muscles. The greater trochanter is th...

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a set of chronic symptoms that include ongoing fatigue, diffuse tenderness to touch, musculoskeletal pain, and usually some degree of depression.

The cause is not known. When fibromyalgia appears, it is usually after a stressful physical or emotional event such as an automobile accident or a divorce. It may include a genetic component where the person experiences normal sensation as pain.

Almost 90% of fibromyalgia sufferers are women. Anyone with rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may be more prone to fibromyalgia.

Poor sleep is often a symptom, along with foggy thinking, headaches, painful menstrual periods, and increased sensitivity to heat, cold, bright lights, and loud noises.

There is no standard test for fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is usually made when the above symptoms go on for three months or more with no apparent cause.

Fibromyalgia does not go away on its own but does not get worse, either.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, arthralgias or myalgias, anxiety, depressed mood, headache

Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia: arthralgias or myalgias

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for multiple conditions that cause painful inflammation and stiffness throughout the body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that is autoimmune in nature, meaning that the body's immune system which normally protects the body by att...

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Femoral stress fracture

Femoral stress fracture means there is a break in the femur, or thighbone. The femur is the largest and strongest bone in the body and is important for bearing weight. A femoral stress fracture usually occurs in the top of the bone where it connects to the pelvis.

Stress fractures happen from overuse and/or from weakness in the bone from disease, rather than from trauma. Those in heavy physical training, such as athletes and military trainees, are vulnerable to femoral stress fracture. But anyone suffering from malnutrition or osteoporosis is vulnerable to a stress fracture, even with ordinary activities of daily living.

Symptoms include pain deep in the thigh or groin, especially during exercise. The pain may have started gradually instead of being sudden, as with a traumatic injury. The condition might be thought to be a simple strain.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, with simple tests such as hopping on the painful leg, and imaging.

Treatment involves rest; improved nutrition; study of proper training and striding techniques; and sometimes surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: dull, achy hip pain, pain in one thigh, thigh pain, spontaneous hip pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Snapping hip syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome is an audible snap in a hip during movement, which may be accompanied by pain, locking, or a sharp stabbing sensation. This often happens in athletes, especially soccer players, weight-lifters, runners, and ballet dancers.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: hip pain, snapping or clicking sensation of the hip, hip pain from overuse, popping hip, clicking sensation in the hip

Symptoms that always occur with snapping hip syndrome: snapping or clicking sensation of the hip

Urgency: Self-treatment

Ankylosing spondylitis

"Ankylosing" means a joint has become stiffened and fixed in one position due to injury or disease. "Spondylitis" means inflammation in the joints of the spine. In ankylosing spondylitis, inflammation has damaged the vertebrae of the low back and caused a form of arthrit...

Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is also called infectious arthritis. "Arthritis" simply means inflammation of a joint. In septic arthritis, the inflammation is caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. The most common is Staphylococcus aureus or staph. These agents reach the joints either from ...

Hip pain of unspecified cause

The hip is a really complex joint, and there are a number of things that can cause pain. However, because of how complicated it is, it's often not possible to figure out what is causing the pain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pain in one hip

Symptoms that always occur with hip pain of unspecified cause: pain in one hip

Symptoms that never occur with hip pain of unspecified cause: fever, unintentional weight loss

Urgency: Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Deep, Throbbing Hip Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you feel a snapping or clicking sensation in your hip?
  • Do you run for exercise or sport?
  • Do your symptoms get worse when you exercise?
  • How would you explain why your hip hurts?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your deep, throbbing hip pain

Deep, Throbbing Hip Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced deep, throbbing hip pain have also experienced:

  • 21% Lower Back Pain
  • 3% Upper Leg Pain
  • 3% Hip Pain

People who have experienced deep, throbbing hip pain were most often matched with:

  • 42% Piriformis Syndrome
  • 42% Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
  • 14% Hip Strain

People who have experienced deep, throbbing hip pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 44% Over a month
  • 20% Less than a week
  • 15% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Deep, Throbbing Hip Pain Symptom Checker

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Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.