When Hip Pain May Mean Arthritis
Learn about the various causes of hip pain, including different kinds of arthritis.
From cartilage breakdown to joint inflammation, these conditions can cause painful hips. Learn about the diseases that can affect hips. Many forms of arthritis and related conditions can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the hips. Pain can occur on the outside or inside of the hip, the upper thigh or outer buttock. Here are some diseases that can affect the hips.
When Hip Pain May Mean Arthritis
The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis happens over time as the protective lining (cartilage) at the ends of the bones where they meet to form joints wears away. The cartilage breakdown causes the bones to rub against each other. This may result in pain, stiffness, the loss of movement and the formation of bony overgrowths (spurs). Pain from hip OA is often felt in the groin area and front of the thigh. Stiffness may be worst after periods of inactivity.
Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction and cushion the areas between bones, tendons and muscles. They are found in hips and other parts of the body. When these soft tissues become inflamed, they cause pain in the affected area. The condition is called bursitis. Injury or overuse of bursae are common causes of bursitis.
Tendons are fibrous tissues that join muscle to bone and some of them surround the hip joint. When they become inflamed, irritated or swollen, it can cause pain. The condition is called tendinitis. Injury or overuse of tendons are common causes of tendinitis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the immune system doesn’t work properly and attacks the joints (and possibly other parts of the body). Pain can occur in the hip and groin area, along with other joints.
Juvenile arthritis is the term used to describe joint and rheumatic diseases that affect children and teens. There are several types of juvenile arthritis that cause hip joint pain and swelling.
This condition occurs when a lack of blood flow to an area of bone causes it to die and break down. Blood flow may be blocked because of inflammation, the use of corticosteroids or a clot. The hip is one of the most commonly affected joints.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that primarily causing spine inflammation and can lead to chronic pain and stiffening. Joint pain may spread to the hip.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, meaning that the body's immune system mistakenly sends blood proteins to attack healthy tissues. Lupus can cause joint inflammation, including in the hip. The inflammation may affect the skin, heart, lungs, and kidney.
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that usually happens along with the skin disease psoriasis. Arthritis pain and inflammation can affect large and small joints, including the hip.
Also called septic arthritis, this condition is caused by an infection from bacteria, virus or fungus. The infection travels through the bloodstream and can affect many joints, including the hip.
Common injuries that cause hip pain include stress fractures, muscle strains and hip dislocations.
Talk to your primary care doctor about your symptoms. This is the first step to getting an accurate arthritis diagnosis. You may be referred to a rheumatologist or orthopaedist to confirm an arthritis diagnosis. Visit our resource center to learn more about these conditions.
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