Causes of Hip and Leg Pain

If you’re wondering why your hips or legs are aching, then you’ve come to the right place. From wear and tear over the years to more serious underlying issues, We’re here to explain some of the main causes of hip and leg pain. Ready to take a journey to find out the root cause of your discomfort? Let’s go!



Leg pain and hip pain can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from muscle strain to nerve damage. Leg pain can be felt anywhere along the lower extremities, from the hip joint to the ankles and feet, while hip pain is mostly experienced in the area surrounding the joint. Common sources of leg and hip pain include muscle strains, joint dysfunction, lower back strain, neuralgia, and other nerve issues.

Muscle Strain

Pain from a muscle strain can be dull or sharp with a burning sensation. It may cause localized tenderness around joints with sudden movements bringing about sharp shooting pains in the legs or hips.

Joint Dysfunction

This type of leg or hip pain usually results from abnormal movement and misalignment of joints due to wear and tear over time or sudden intense movements that cause structural damage. It typically causes soreness across the outer buttock areas radiating towards the lower back and down legs toward the ankle.

Lower Back Strain

Pain resulting from lower back strain will normally cause sharp shooting pains in legs or hips that can radiate from between muscles close to the spine across the upper thighs and down the lower legs near the ankles when walking. It may also cause local tenderness in areas close to the neck and upper spine when moving certain body parts due to referred discomfort when internal structures have been overstretched.

Nerve Problems

Nerve-related problems such as neuralgia may affect any part of the leg and thighs causing burning sensations in the affected area of muscles as well as further down into the feet due to irritating other nerves close by along pathways connected throughout the body’s networked system infrastructure.

Likewise, nerve damage suffered through traumatic events elsewhere such as impact near shoulders can reflect referral feelings along arms toward hands even though the actual source was not directly impacting upon affected limb locations at all!

Various types of temporary tingling pins-and-needles buzzing sensations around affected leg regions could point towards involving some kind of larger set of nerve conditions requiring further investigation approaches too!


Sciatica is a commonly-used term for leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. This type of leg pain can range from a mild ache to severe or even debilitating pain and is usually caused by a herniated disk, bone spur, spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease, or pregnancy. In rare cases, it can be caused by a tumor or other injury to the lower spine.

Not everybody who experiences sciatica will experience the same symptoms; some may only feel an occasional dull pain in the lower back and thigh region, while others may experience more frequent shooting pains that travel down one side of the buttocks and down one leg. Symptoms can also include numbness in the foot area up to your knee and loss of feeling in any bladder control muscles.

Treatment for sciatica depends on its cause and severity — mild sciatica may resolve with conservative treatments like over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin or ibuprofen as well as muscle relaxants like Flexeril or Robaxin — while more severe cases usually require physical therapy or even surgery.

If you have severe pain, it’s important that you see your doctor right away; some causes of sciatic nerve compression require immediate medical attention such as cauda equina syndrome which can include a loss of bladder control if not treated quickly enough. Your doctor will likely recommend conservative treatment first before considering more aggressive measures such as medication or surgery to help relieve your symptoms.


Bursitis is very common and can cause pain in the hip and leg. It occurs when fluid collects in the protective sacs (bursae) around your hip joint between muscles and bones. Bursitis is typically caused by repetitive motions over extended periods of time, bad posture, or an abnormal gait.

If your doctor suspects bursitis, he or she may suggest a corticosteroid injection for more immediate relief and possibly a course of oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

Trochanteric bursitis is the most common type of hip bursitis and it’s caused by inflammation of the bursa located on the side of the hip bone closest to your thigh. Pain caused by trochanteric bursitis may radiate down your leg, usually gradually worsening with the activity until you rest. The pain may improve with lying on either side but it should get worse if you press on that part of your pelvis near where the trochanteric bursa is located.

The first line of treatment for hip bursitis symptoms is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). NSAIDs work against inflammation and can help reduce pain from swelling and irritation in the affected area. Examples of these drugs are Motrin, Aleve, and many others that can be bought over the counter without a prescription from your doctor.

In some cases, a stronger dose may be needed for more severe hip pain. Even if self-care measures don’t provide relief, there are other options available to treat this condition including steroid injections or physical therapy when conservative measures fail to alleviate symptoms adequately. Your doctor will want to understand all possible factors contributing to as well as aggravating this condition before recommending any particular treatment option.


Dislocation is one of the more common causes of hip and leg pain. It occurs when the head of the femur (thigh bone) moves out of its normal socket within the pelvis, and when it does the intense pain usually indicates that medical help is needed. Commonly, dislocations occur as a result of extreme force applied to a joint during motor vehicle accidents, but can also happen during athletic activities if there is an unnatural twist or torque in your body.

When your hip dislocates, your doctor’s procedure for putting it back into its proper position may cause immense pain, followed by additional pain for days or weeks afterward as muscle tissue heals. Once the hip is relocated treatment will depend on several factors and may include physical therapy to help strengthen muscles around the hip joint and other treatments designed to reduce inflammation and enhance healing. In time, most sufferers can return to their usual level of activity and strength in that particular joint.

Prior medical conditions such as fractures or infections should always be ruled out before dislocation is diagnosed. Tell your doctor if you ever experienced any trauma to this area prior to suffering these symptoms and have a discussion with them about any concerns you may have regarding diagnosis, treatment options, or recovery processes available for this type of condition.


Arthritis is one of the most common causes of hip and leg pain. It is an autoimmune disorder that attacks and degrades the protective cartilage tissue in the joints, causing general discomfort, pain, and inflammation. Joints become stiff so movement can be difficult, which reduces physical activity, leading to even more pain. Without treatment and lifestyle changes, arthritis can cause serious complications or even worse—permanent damage to the joints.

Arthritis is diagnosed through physical exams, X-rays, and laboratory tests that look closely at joint fluid samples. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis seen in people with hip and leg pain. Other types include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

The best treatments that can help control pain while also preventing further joint damage include a combination of physical therapy (using exercises to increase endurance), medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling, lifestyle changes such as weight loss or transition to a less stressful job, adaptive aids such as using a cane or splint, in addition to dietary supplements that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric or fish oil. Surgery may also be offered for more severe cases as a last resort when all other treatments have failed.

Pain management techniques are critical in controlling arthritic conditions caused by hip and leg pain. Techniques may involve massage therapy for muscle tension associated with daily movement, topical creams for topical inflammation due to excessive activity, or certain foods or drinks consumed periodically throughout the day for comfort from general aches and pains related to activity levels used throughout the day which add up over time contributing to arthritic periods of flare-ups from overuse syndrome when not managed appropriately with rest periods included during active days if needed.


Tendinitis is a more common cause of hip and leg pain, so it’s important to understand the condition if you’re experiencing discomfort. Your hip joint is comprised of two bones: the largest ball at the top of your thighbone and a small socket joint between your pelvic bones. Tendons, which attach muscles to your bones, also help move your leg around your hip joint.

That flexibility comes at a price, however — when these tendons experience repetitive motions or movements multiple times over a short period of time, they can become irritated or swollen as a result. This condition is known as tendinitis in the hip and leg area.

Signs that you have tendinitis include localized pain in the affected area that worsens with motion and tenderness along the tendon’s path around the joint. You may also notice swelling or redness in this particular part of your body.

To get relief from this type of pain, elevate your legs several times throughout the day and take over-the-counter Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for temporary relief. If that doesn’t help, then it may be time to visit your doctor for more comprehensive treatment options like physical therapy or an anti-inflammatory injection.

When it comes to long-term pain management for tendinitis in the hip and legs, there are several exercises designed specifically for this condition that can be done safely at home with minimal equipment needed. However, we recommend consulting with your doctor first before attempting any exercise regimen on your own since he/she will be able to create a program tailored to fit both your lifestyle and unique needs.


Navigating the treatments for hip pain can be a complicated process. Depending on the cause and context of your discomfort, your doctor will provide advice about which treatment options are best fit for you. In most cases, rest is usually recommended as well as physical therapy. Heat and ice therapy are also popular approaches to managing hip pain.

Certain underlying conditions or ailments may need to be addressed before any other form of treatment can be administered properly. If you have existing medical conditions such as arthritis in the affected area, your doctor may give you a tailored care plan that involves specific medications or dietary supplements intended to treat the existing condition and minimize the resulting pain in the long run.

Physical therapy is considered one of the first steps in treating hip joint discomfort since it helps strengthen and condition muscles near the region for better support and stability. A physical therapist will also inspire range-of-motion exercises tailored to each individual’s needs with consideration of their overall health status.

Pain management treatments include stretching, massage, ice-packs or heating pad applications, topical medications, and oral medicines prescribed by your doctor when needed. Depending on what causes your pain and discomfort, managing it with medicines can provide faster relief but comes with potential side effects so proceed with caution after consulting with your physician about this option.

Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen are often recommended to control joint-related inflammations although some individuals prefer natural alternatives such as chamomile or lavender tea or other herbal remedies meant to reduce swelling altogether.


Hip and leg pain can be caused by a variety of issues, ranging from injury or sports-related trauma to the development of chronic health conditions. Taking preventative measures can go a long way in avoiding painful hip and leg pain.

It’s important to talk to a doctor if hip and leg pain occurs, as a timely diagnosis is essential for effective treatment and preventative action. Regular exercise as part of an overall healthy lifestyle also helps keep joints flexible and less likely to become painful from sudden movements or from persistent impact from activities like running.

Additionally, placing extra cushioning under the hips and knees during sleep may help prevent additional strain on joints which could lead to painful flareups.

In order for hip and leg muscles to function properly, maintaining a balanced diet full of essential vitamins, minerals, oils, proteins, and carbohydrates helps ensure optimal nutrition and activity levels. Eating nutritious foods helps strengthen muscles around joints making them better able to absorb the impacts of a repeated movement.

Additionally supplementing with vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, or glucosamine may help reduce joint inflammation as well as nourish tissues around them preventing further development of painful symptoms that could affect leg function such as walking or running.

Lastly, managing stress levels plays an important role in commanding physical health in general as well as reducing risk factors for developing repetitive impact injuries related to overstraining joints leading potentially to lasting ailments like tendonitis or arthritis in hips ultimately causing significant levels of discomfort while standing or exercising.

Utilizing relaxation techniques such as yoga or massage therapy has been proven highly effective at both reducing stress itself but also keeping loosened musculature relaxed mitigating prospects for future complications due to the persistent activity carried out without proper should recovery periods included amidst executing exercises routines over extended periods of time contributing significantly towards the potential onset of chronic conditions associated with uncomfortable pain in hip or legs regions if kept unchecked over time.

When to See a Doctor

Leg pain encompasses a wide range of symptoms and can result from many different causes. In some cases, leg pain is minor, temporary, and easily treated at home. However, persistent or severe leg pain may be an indication of a more serious condition related to the bones, nerves, muscles, joints, or blood vessels in your legs. Sometimes this type of leg pain needs medical attention.

When assessing whether you should seek medical care for your leg pain there are several factors to consider such as the intensity and duration of the pain as well as what caused it. It is important to see a doctor immediately for any sudden onset of intense or severe pain that is accompanied by numbness or tingling in your lower extremities or genitals.

When these symptoms present themselves it can be an indicator that you need immediate emergency care due to a possible spinal cord injury or vascular issue in your legs or pelvis.

In other cases where the pain signals an underlying condition but is not deemed an immediate emergency any leg soreness that lasts more than a few days calls for a visit to your physician as it could be indicating something more serious like rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome which can cause long-term damage if left untreated.

Additionally, if physical exertion has triggered the leg pains after just one instance, especially if the intensity doesn’t decrease over time then it would be wise to get checked out by your doctor as soon as possible since any form of chronic strain could indicate a future injury waiting to happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hip and leg pain at the same time can be caused by a number of medical conditions, including arthritis, sciatica, bursitis, and muscle strain. Other possible causes include pinched nerves, nerve entrapment, nerve damage, and even tumors. If the pain persists or worsens, it is important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Hip pain and leg numbness can be caused by a variety of conditions, including pinched nerves in the lower back, sciatica, herniated discs, arthritis, bursitis, muscle strains, or fractures. In addition, some medical conditions, such as diabetes, can cause nerve damage, which can lead to hip pain and leg numbness. It is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Pain in the back of the hip area can be caused by a variety of conditions, including sciatica, piriformis syndrome, herniated discs, osteoarthritis, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Depending on the cause, treatment may include physical therapy, medications, activity modification, and/or injections.

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In conclusion, pain or discomfort in the hip or leg can be caused by a range of conditions. Individuals can often treat mild cases of leg pain with rest, warm compresses, and over-the-counter medications. However, people should seek medical attention if they experience severe or prolonged discomfort in any part of their hip or leg, as this could indicate a more serious condition requiring treatment.

Regardless of the cause of your hip and/or leg pain, there are many ways to manage it and help reduce your level of discomfort. Over-the-counter medications may help to relieve mild forms of pain, and physical therapy may reduce stiffness and promote healing in affected areas. Specialized treatments such as nerve blocks may be suggested by your doctor in certain cases.

Before taking any new medication or pursuing any form of treatment for yourself or a family member, always consult with your doctor for guidance on managing the specific type of hip and/or leg pain you’re experiencing.

Spine Institute NY