Hip Weakness Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your hip weakness symptoms, including 6 causes & common questions.

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Contents

  1. 6 Possible Hip Weakness Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

6 Possible Hip Weakness Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced hip weakness. 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

Hamstring strain

A strain, commonly called a "pulled muscle," is when a muscle becomes overstretched and tears. A hamstring strain happens when one of the muscles on the back of the upper leg (thigh) is pulled.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: spontaneous back pain, pain in the back of the knee, hamstring tightness, sports injury, hamstring pain

Symptoms that always occur with hamstring strain: hamstring pain

Symptoms that never occur with hamstring strain: groin pain, hip pain, pain in the outside of the hip, difficulty moving the hip

Urgency: Self-treatment

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is also called runner's knee, jumper's knee, anterior knee pain, chondromalacia patella, and patellofemoral joint syndrome.

Overuse through training for sports is a common cause, especially if there is a misalignment in the knee joint or a previous knee injury. This wears away the cartilage beneath the kneecap and causes pain on exercising.

It is most common in females and in young adults who are active in sports, but can affect anyone.

Symptoms include dull pain at the front of the knee and around the kneecap (patella) while running, squatting, or climbing stairs, or after prolonged sitting with knees bent.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and through x-rays, CT scan, and/or MRI.

Treatment most often involves rest; over-the-counter pain relievers; low-impact exercise such as swimming or bicycling; physical therapy to strengthen and stabilize the knee; and orthotics (shoe inserts) to help correct a misaligned stride.

Surgery is needed only for severe cases, and is done through arthroscopy to remove any fragments of damaged cartilage.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting

Symptoms that always occur with patellofemoral pain syndrome: knee pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves varying muscle weakness and wasting.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: muscle aches, weakness, arm weakness, leg weakness, shoulder weakness

Symptoms that always occur with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy: weakness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Vertebral osteomyelitis

Vertebral osteomyelitis, or spinal osteomyelitis, is an infection in the bones of the spine. It usually affects the lumbar, or lower, back, and may be either acute or chronic.

The infection is caused by bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and by some types of fungi. These agents can travel through the bloodstream from an infected wound elsewhere in the body and reach the bones of the spine.

Most susceptible are those with weakened immune systems; poor circulation; recent injury; or undergoing hemodialysis. Osteomyelitis of the spine is the most common form of osteomyelitis in adults, though children can also be affected.

Symptoms include swelling, redness, and pain at the site of the infection, along with fever, chills, and fatigue.

A medical provider should be seen for these symptoms, as vertebral osteomyelitis can progress to abscess and cause further complications if not treated.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests, imaging of the spine, and sometimes biopsy.

Treatment involves several weeks of intravenous antibiotic or antifungal medication, which can be given as an outpatient.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: upper back pain, spontaneous neck or back pain, fever, foot numbness, upper leg numbness

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Herniated (slipped) disk in the lower back

The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Hip Weakness

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

  • Are your hamstrings tight?
  • Do you have difficulty moving your hip?
  • While lying down on a firm surface, keep both legs straight. Have a friend slowly raise one leg at a time by lifting your ankle into the air. Do you have pain in that leg before fully raising it to a perpendicular position? (This is called the straight leg test.)
  • Is the knee pain affecting one or both knees?

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

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your hip weakness. These questions are also covered.

Hip Weakness Quiz

Hip Weakness Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced hip weakness have also experienced:

  • 15% Thigh Weakness
  • 9% Lower Leg Weakness
  • 7% Ankle Weakness

People who have experienced hip weakness were most often matched with:

  • 60% Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  • 20% Hip Strain
  • 20% Hamstring Strain

People who have experienced hip weakness had symptoms persist for:

  • 53% Over a month
  • 15% Less than a day
  • 15% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Hip Weakness Symptom Checker

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