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Dear Vori,

The side of my hip hurts when I walk—is this arthritis?​

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Hips Don’t Lie
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Dear Hips Don't Lie:​

It’s possible, but the causes of hip pain can be complex.​ Where you feel your pain (on the side of your hip) is actually not the location of your hip joint. Your hip ​joint, which connects your thigh bone (femur)and pelvis, is located deeper within your body, closer to your groin. People with hip arthritis—or other problems affecting the hip joint itself—generally tend to feel discomfort near the groin area. (Chamberlain, 2021).​

The pain you feel—on the outside of what is commonly referred to as the "hip"—can signal a variety of causes. It could still be related to hip arthritis, but it can also come from injury to nearby muscles, tendons, or bursae.

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs (like little pillows) in your body that protect muscles and tendons from the friction of moving bones. You have bursae around your outer hip that cushion the big bony bulge of your femur (known as the greater trochanter). If these bursae or nearby tendons become irritated, they can cause pain here. Certain movements usually make this type of pain worse, as does touching or lying on the area. This condition is known as greater trochanteric pain syndrome. It's a common cause of hip pain that accounts for more that 20 percent of visits to a doctor for hip discomfort (Reid, 2016; Speers, 2017).​

If you have pain in your hip, it is important to get a thorough evaluation because the underlying issue is not always clear. Multiple problems can exist at once, and in some cases, the root problem may be in a different area of the body altogether, like your back. Get a personalized assessment with medical experts to get to the bottom of your pain and on the road to the right results.​

Truly yours,​

Vori Health​

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