The hip joint can withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. This ball-and-socket joint—the body’s largest—fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement. Whenever you use the hip (for example, by going for a run), a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket.
Despite its durability, the hip joint isn’t indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. Bones in the hip can break during a fall or other injury.
Hip pain is often caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, especially in older adults. It is sometimes caused by disease and conditions in other areas of your body, such as your lower back. This type of pain is called referred pain. Another common cause is bursitis the inflammation of the bursae, the sacs of liquid found between the bone, muscles and tendons of joints.
Hip pain is a common complaint that can be caused by a wide variety of problems. The precise location of your hip pain can provide valuable clues about the underlying cause.