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November 2021

Why Does My Hip Hurt?

If you are a woman with hip pain, figuring out the cause is key to getting the right treatment. Here are 3 common causes of hip pain in women:


Osteoarthritis is a common condition that many women develop in middle age. As cartilage wears away, bones rub together, causing pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. The condition develops slowly over time. Your risk is higher if you had a previous hip injury, are obese, have a family history of osteoarthritis, or are over the age of 50.


Between the bones and soft tissues of your joints there are jellylike sacs called bursae that act like pillows to reduce friction. Your hip bone has 2 major ones—one in the groin area and another at the bony point of your hip. When a bursa becomes inflamed, it’s called bursitis. The pain may be sharp and intense at first and then become more of an ache. It’s more common in women and middle-aged and older adults.

Hip fracture

If you fell or had a direct blow to your hip, you may have a hip fracture, a break in your thighbone. Hip fractures are extremely painful, usually in the upper thigh or groin area. Women and older adults—especially those with osteoporosis—face the highest risk for hip fracture.

If you have hip pain, be sure to see your healthcare provider. They will examine you and may ask for additional tests such as an X-ray, a bone scan, or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to diagnose what’s causing your pain. The right treatment approach will help you get the best pain relief.

Need surgery?

Could you be a candidate for a total hip replacement? Learn more about this procedure by watching a video.  




Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Gonella, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, MSN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2021
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