Arthritis is a common cause of pain, inflammation, and stiffness around the hip joints, where the pelvis and legs meet. There are several different types of hip arthritis, and many factors can contribute to the various types, including genetics.
Hip arthritis symptoms commonly include pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited mobility. The specific symptoms for the different hip arthritis conditions can sometimes overlap, which is why it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis.
Types of Hip Arthritis
A handful of different arthritis conditions commonly cause pain in the hip area:
- Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of hip pain in adults, though it can also affect other joints, such as the hand or knee joints. Also called “wear-and-tear” arthritis, hip osteoarthritis is characterized by progressive wearing away of the joint cartilage. As the protective cartilage is worn away, bare bone is exposed in the joint, causing pain and stiffness.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that affects roughly 1.5 million adults in the United States. In people with RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints. Like other forms of hip arthritis, RA causes different joints in the body to swell and become painful.
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spinal joints and surrounding areas, mostly in men and young to middle-aged adults. Typically, pain and stiffness starts in the spine and can spread to other nearby body parts. Hip pain is usually one of the first noticeable symptoms in people with AS.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a form of lupus, is an autoimmune disease that can lead to joint inflammation and damage. People with lupus may have hip pain due to arthritis. They also have an increased risk of a condition called aseptic necrosis of the bone. This occurs more frequently in those patients taking high doses of steroids.
- Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects some people who have psoriasis, an itchy, painful skin condition. With PsA, the immune system attacks normal cells and tissue throughout the body, leading to joint pain, stiffness, and swelling in the hips or other parts of the body.
Although all of the various forms of hip arthritis usually come with some sort of pain, the type of pain may feel different or present differently, depending on the specific condition.
The primary symptom of hip arthritis is pain that can range from mild to severe and be described as aching, sharp, burning, throbbing, or dull, among other sensations. It’s also important to keep in mind that while pain is typically felt in the hip area, the exact location of the pain can vary.
Aside from pain, common symptoms can also include:
- Limited range of motion
- Stiffness in the hip area
- Pain that spreads to the groin, buttock, lower back, thigh, or knee
- Walking with a limp
In general, there are also some differences in pain felt between the two main categories of arthritis:
- Inflammatory arthritis pain (the pain felt with AS, RA, PsA, and SLE) is often described as deep, sharp, stiff, burning, or tingling. Inflammatory pain usually eases with movement or activity, and may get worse with prolonged rest.
- Osteoarthritis pain is commonly reported as an aching or soreness. This kind of pain typically gets worse with movement or activity, and improves with periods of rest.
All types of hip arthritis have the symptom of pain in common, but there are also additional symptoms that can be felt with each form of hip arthritis.
In addition to the pain and stiffness that classifies hip osteoarthritis, patients report feeling an ache in the affected joints that can sometimes appear to be impacted by weather changes.
This condition can also cause restricted movement and, in some cases, a limp. In extreme cases, the affected hip can become fixed in a bent position, which makes movement extremely difficult.
Because RA is an autoimmune condition, it comes with several non-pain-related symptoms that aren’t always linked to the joints. For example, some patients with RA that has progressed report feeling stiff or sore when sitting down or bending over.
But there are also symptoms that affect the lungs, such as difficulty breathing deeply or catching the breath. In addition to hip pain, RA patients can develop lumps under the skin called rheumatoid nodules, usually on areas like the hands or elbows.
Some AK symptoms overlap with PsA symptoms, such as the swelling that comes along with the pain. This form of arthritis is considered to be chronic and debilitating, and in addition to joint pain, it can cause fatigue, eye inflammation, chest pain, and more rarely, heart or lung symptoms.
Along with joint pain, SLE patients report feeling muscle pain and weakness, in addition to tendonitis and bursitis, which also affect the joint area. Other symptoms commonly include extreme fatigue, weight loss, hair loss, appetite loss, and skin rash.
Accompanying the joint pain, swelling and stiffness experienced in the morning (or after a long period of rest) are major secondary symptoms associated with PsA. Patients also report experiencing fatigue, eye issues (like conjunctivitis or pink eye), and nail deformities.
When to See a Healthcare Provider
Hip pain is fairly common among adults in the United States, and while it can sometimes improve on its own, experts recommend bringing it up to your healthcare provider to get a formal diagnosis.
Your primary care provider or healthcare professional may refer you to an orthopedic physician if your hip pain seems like it may be osteoarthritis, or a rheumatologist if your hip pain appears to be inflammatory like RA, PsA, AK, or SLE.
Be sure to mention whether your hip pain comes on suddenly, is gradual, or is sporadic. Hip arthritis symptoms tend to progress as the condition worsens—but they don’t always progress steadily with time, meaning that the pain intensity can change by the day, environment, or activity.
Seek immediate medical attention if your hip pain is sudden, severe, worsening, or if you’ve had an injury from falling or another trauma. You should also consider seeking urgent care if you experience any of the following along with your hip pain:
- Bruising or bleeding
- Inability to walk or bear weight
- Warmth radiating from the hip area
A Word From Verywell
A common myth when it comes to hip arthritis pain is that it only affects older adults, but it can happen in younger populations too.
Research shows that in young people, the reporting and diagnosis of osteoarthritis can often be delayed or difficult to determine due to factors like a high tolerance for pain or wanting to return to sports or activities quickly.
If you experience hip pain, you might be tempted to believe that it’s only temporary and self-treat by resting, getting massages, or taking over-the-counter pain relievers. While these approaches may bring relief in the short term, it’s essential to get a healthcare professional’s opinion to fully address the underlying cause with medical treatment.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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The Arthritis Foundation. Rheumatoid arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation. Axial spondylitis.
Olesińska M, Saletra, A. Quality of life in systemic lupus erythematosus and its measurement. Reumatologia. 2018;56(1):45–54.doi:10.5114/reum.2018.74750(Video) Hip Arthritis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Management, And Treatment
Kim Y, Oh HC, Park JW, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory joint disease. Hip Pelvis. 2017;29(4):211–222. doi:10.5371/hp.2017.29.4.211
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Hip osteoarthritis. 2019.
The Arthritis Foundation. How rheumatoid arthritis affects more than joints.
Spondylitis Association of America. Possible complications: how is a person affected?
Cojocaru M, Cojocaru IM, Silosi I, Vrabie CD. Manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus. Maedica (Bucur). 2011;6(4):330-336.
National Psoriasis Foundation. Classification of psoriatic arthritis.
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By Cristina Mutchler
Cristina Mutchler is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in national media, specializing in health and wellness content.
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What are the symptoms of arthritis of the hip? What are the possible treatments? Answers to these and other questions.
There are five main types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint.. Structural problems with the hip joint (hip dysplasia, femoroacetabular impingement) Advancing age Obesity Previous damage or injury to the hip. Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disorder, that is, it affects your entire body and not just the hip joint.. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in people of all ages, including children (where it is known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), and is more common in women than men.. Unlike osteoarthritis of the hip, which may occur only in one hip, rheumatoid arthritis typically occurs in both hips at the same time (and possibly other joints).. Ankylosing spondylitis Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammation of the spine and sacroiliac joint (the joint where the spine meets the pelvis) which can sometimes cause inflammation of the hip joint.. Psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness and can affect any joint in the body, including the hip.. Regardless of the type of arthritis, symptoms of hip arthritis include:. Pain in the hip joint that may include pain in the groin, outer thigh, or buttocks Pain that is typically worse in the morning and lessens with activity Difficulty walking or walking with a limp Pain that worsens with vigorous or extended activity Stiffness in the hip or limited range of motion. Any type of arthritis can involve more than one joint in the body, so a person with osteoarthritis of the hands may develop the condition in the hip as well.. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus typically affect both hips at the same time, while osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis may occur in one hip but not the other.. Your medical history, including where you experience pain and if you limp at times A physical examination, in particular to see how well you can move the hip Radiographs or X-rays to determine if there are any abnormalities in the joint Blood tests to determine antibodies that may be associated with a specific type of arthritis (only if needed).. Hip osteotomy surgery cuts and repositions the joint surfaces in such a way that it allows the healthy part of the hip joint to bear most of the body’s weight.. Eventually, all forms of arthritis of the hip may permanently damage the hip joint.. Among adults over 65, 50% have some form of arthritis The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis Weight loss of just 11 pounds can reduce a woman’s risk of developing knee arthritis by 50% Of working age people (ages 18 to 64), one-third of those who had arthritis reported it limited their ability to work
Learn more about what causes pain the buttocks, which kinds of arthritis cause buttock pain, and how to manage buttock pain.
The giant muscle at the surface of the buttocks is called the gluteus maximus.. It overlies other layers of muscle and two major joints: the hip joint and sacroiliac (SI) joint, which is situated on each side of your spine, and connects the sacrum (base of your spine) to the ilium (top part of your pelvis).. “Any form of arthritis that affects the hips or lower back can cause buttock pain,” says Dr. Lajam.. The most common symptom of hip osteoarthritis is pain around the hip joint.. “The facet joints are a series of small joints in the lower back that contain the same type of cartilage that is found in your knees,” explains Louw.. Disc changes can lead to more strain on the joints, which can cause the cartilage to wear down and the facet joints in the vertebrae to rub against one another, leading to the pain and stiffness of OA.. Most commonly, it affects the vertebra in your lower back and the SI joints.. “Unless there is a direct trauma that occurs to the buttock itself, like falling on an object or getting kicked, buttock pain is usually referred from somewhere else,” says Louw.. This painful condition occurs when the small, fluid-filled sacs — called the bursae — that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints become inflamed.. “Bursitis of the hip can lead to buttock pain,” says Dr. Lajam.. This can result from sitting for a long time on a hard surface, direct trauma, or injury to the hamstring muscle or tendon from activities like running or bicycling.. This is inflammation of the SI joints, which can cause pain in your buttocks, and well as your lower back, hips, or groin.. Some forms of inflammatory arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as osteoarthritis, can cause sacroiliitis, so might an injury, pregnancy, and infection.. (For example, buttock pain could be a sign that you have osteoarthritis in your spine in addition to rheumatoid arthritis.)
Edited by Nick Hernandez, M.D., Assistant Professor, UW Orthopaedics & Hip & Knee
Osteoarthritis of the hip is a serious condition.. Some studies have associated this condition with arthritis of the hips.. However, joint injections generally appear to be less useful for hip arthritis than they are for arthritis in other joints, in part because of the difficulty of injecting the hip joint accurately.. Activity modification appropriate kinds of exercise and weight loss when necessary may alleviate some hip arthritis symptoms Nutritional supplementation (glucosamine and chondroitin) are helpful to some patients, although the literature on these supplements is not consistently in favor of their use Non-narcotic pain tablets (acetaminophen/Tylenol), or over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, if medically appropriate, sometimes are helpful Prescription strength, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are useful for some patients, though, in general, long-term use of these drugs is discouraged Arthritis unloader braces or hip sleeves are helpful for some patterns of arthritis Joint injections (corticosteroid or “cortisone” injections) might help Total hip replacement surgery may be used if non-operative interventions don’t suffice.. Typically, patients undergo this surgery after non-operative treatments (such as activity modification anti-inflammatory medications or hip joint injections) have failed to provide relief of arthritic symptoms.. In general, they are more commonly used for arthritis of other joints than they are for arthritis of the hip joint.. Osteoarthritis of the hip is common and can result in severe hip joint pain and disability.. FACT: While it is not “curable”, it most certainly is treatable using activity modifications, medications, injections and if those interventions, don’t work hip replacement surgery often will relieve the pain associated with hip arthritis.. In fact, there are exercise programs that can alleviate the pain in mild arthritis, a variety of medications can be helpful for moderate arthritis, and severe arthritis of the hip is very commonly successfully treated with hip replacement surgery.
Learn more about arthritis and sciatica, and which risk factors, symptoms, and treatments are similar and different.
Sciatica, however, is a pain that occurs when something irritates or presses on the sciatic nerve.. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disk (aka a slipped disk), but arthritis can sometimes cause it, too.. People experience sciatica differently, but the sensation usually starts in the lower back and travels down the back of the leg.. (The pinched or irritated nerve is in your lower back, but you also feel pain or numbness in your buttocks and leg.). Some people, however, are more at risk of experiencing sciatic pain because of their lifestyle and other health conditions.
Find all the information you need about medical cannabis to treat arthritis. Learn how medical cannabis (CBD and THC) can helps people with arthritis to alleviate their symptoms.
Medical Cannabis vs.. CBD has been used to treat inflammation and chronic pain, along with managing anxiety and insomnia.. It’s recommended that individuals with arthritis start with CBD-dominant products and introduce THC in small amounts if needed.. To learn more about CBD and THC, visit our online module:. Topical Creams:. Topical creams can be applied directly on the skin and are absorbed into the blood stream.. If you are using medical cannabis for the first time, it’s recommended to start with a CBD-dominant product at the lowest dose, and gradually increase your dosage until your symptom needs are met.. For cannabis-infused foods, it’s important to exercise caution and take small amounts with lower doses of THC, as the effects of edibles can be stronger than other forms of cannabis and may result in more pronounced side effects.. Important Notes While medical cannabis is legal for use in Canada with a physician's order, medical cannabis is not a Health Canada-approved treatment.. People under the age of 25 are at an increased risk of adverse effects from cannabis use, including cognitive problems from THC-dominant products.. This guide has been created for educational purposes to provide information about medical cannabis as a potential treatment option for arthritis symptoms.. However, there are many unanswered questions about the use of medical cannabis to treat arthritis symptoms, and physicians have received no formal guidelines about when and how to authorize cannabis for medical purposes.. To address this gap, the Arthritis Society is funding research into the use of medical cannabis for treatment of arthritis symptoms, and is leading a coalition of voices from across the Canadian health care sector in calling for more investment in medical cannabis research.. The Arthritis Society has been involved in discussions and research around medical cannabis as a treatment option for arthritis symptoms.. Our online learning module, “Understanding Medical Cannabis for Arthritis”, is designed to provide you with reliable, evidence-based information about medical cannabis to help you make informed choices about your arthritis care.
Article featured on MedicalNewsToday, medically reviewed by Gregory Minnis, DPT — Written by Lois Zoppi on February 27, 2021 Weak hip flexors can cause the surrounding muscles to overcompensate, which can cause pain and difficulty walking. Treatment for weak hip flexors includes physical therapy and exercises. The hip flexors are muscles that connect the lower back to the hips, […]
This is different from weak hip flexor muscles, although weakness can cause a strain to occur.. There are many different possible causes of weak hip flexors.. Osteoarthritis in the hip can also cause weak hip flexors.. Weak hip flexors are not the same as tight hip flexors.. Slowly lift and lower the leg to strengthen the psoas muscle.. Return to a standing position by lifting the front knee Repeat.