Symptoms A-Z

Pain in One Hip Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your pain in one hip symptoms, including 10 causes & common questions.

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10 Possible Pain In One Hip Causes

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

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...

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

Iliotibial (it) band syndrome ('runner's knee')

Iliotibial band syndrome is also called ITBS or IT syndrome. The iliotibial band is a long, thick piece of connective tissue that begins at the top of the hip bone, runs down the outside of the leg, and attaches at the side of the knee.

ITBS is an overuse syndrome. Athletes in heavy training are susceptible to it, especially runners and cyclists. Pain and inflammation result if the far end of the iliotibial band constantly rubs against the outside of the knee joint.

Symptoms include pain on the outside of the knee, especially while running or while sitting with the knee flexed.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination, with simple stretching tests to identify the exact location of the pain. An MRI is sometimes ordered.

Treatment involves rest; ice; over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; stretching exercises for the iliotibial band; strengthening of the upper leg muscles; and, if needed, changes in the way the person strides or trains. Corticosteroid injections can be helpful and surgery may be tried in some cases.

Rarity: Common

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

Symptoms that always occur with iliotibial (it) band syndrome ('runner's knee'): knee 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

Pain In One Hip Symptom Checker

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Mild/moderate hip arthritis

Arthritis of the hip is inflammation of one or more of the joints in the hip. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of arthritis. Hip arthritis can make it hard to do many everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. It is a major cause of lost work time and a serious disability for many people.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: hip pain, difficulty walking, pain in one hip, limping, groin pain

Symptoms that always occur with mild/moderate hip arthritis: hip pain

Symptoms that never occur with mild/moderate hip arthritis: severe hip pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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

Iliopsoas bursitis

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacks located around the body in strategic locations to provide a cushion and help reduce friction. Iliopsoas bursitis, or hip bursitis, is an inflammation of the hip bursa, causing pain at the point of the hip. The pain may extend to the outside of the thigh area.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: thigh pain, groin pain, limping, snapping or clicking sensation of the hip, pain in the front of the hip

Symptoms that never occur with iliopsoas bursitis: fever, back pain, butt pain from an injury, pain in both hips, unmovable hip lump, hard hip lump, back pain that shoots down the leg

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...

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...

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain In One Hip

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

  • Do your symptoms get worse when you exercise?
  • Do you feel a snapping or clicking sensation in your hip?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • 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 pain in one hip

Pain In One Hip Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced pain in one hip have also experienced:

  • 26% Lower Back Pain
  • 3% Upper Leg Pain
  • 3% Hip Pain

People who have experienced pain in one hip were most often matched with:

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

People who have experienced pain in one hip 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”).

Pain In One Hip Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your pain in one hip

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.