Dear Hips Don't Lie:
It’s possible, but the causes of hip pain can be complex.
Let’s first start by understanding that the site of your pain (on the side of your “hip”) is actually not the location of your hip joint. Your hip joints—the bony connections between your thigh bones (femurs) and your pelvis—are located closer to your groins and deeper within your body. 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. What are bursae? 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. Altogether, these symptoms are known as greater trochanteric pain syndrome, a common problem that accounts for more that 20% of visits to a primary doctor for hip pain (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.