Maintaining your joint health is key to prolonged mobility and independence. However, it's common for certain joints to begin to ache as you get older. Hip pain is a common orthopedic complaint, especially among aging adults. To discover common causes behind discomfort in your hip joints, review the guide below before your next orthopedic appointment.

What Could Be Causing Your Hip Pain?

1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects joint health by wearing down protective cartilage. It can affect any joint in the body, but commonly occurs in the hands, knees, and hips, causing stiffness and pain. Factors like age, genetics, or trauma contribute to its development, and treatment varies based on severity. Conservative efforts like medication and walking aids to reduce discomfort are often suitable for minor cases, but more severe cases may require hip surgery, like joint replacement.

2. Inflammation


Inflammation in joint tissues can also cause hip pain. Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa sac, which is a fluid-filled sac that cushions bones. Previous injury, overuse, and bone spurs are a few risk factors for bursitis. Rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and physical therapy can help with this condition. In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove the bursa or affected tissue.

Tendonitis refers to inflammation of the tendons connecting bone to tissues in the hip, and it's also caused by overuse, age, or injury. Your hip may ache, experience a limited range of motion, and feel tender or swollen. For hip tendonitis, conservative treatments like rest and light exercise are recommended at first, but hip surgery may be needed if symptoms become severe or don't improve.

3. Fractures

For the older population, hip fractures most often occur after a fall, as bones become weaker and more prone to developing conditions like osteoporosis, which can increase the risk of fractures. A hip fracture will lead acute discomfort, swelling, and compromised mobility to the point of not being able to put weight on the affected leg. 

Prompt orthopedic surgery is almost always needed to restore motion, stop discomfort, and prevent complications. The only exception is a nondisplaced fracture, which is small and caused by repeated stress. While you'll still experience pain and possibly limited movement, it may not be as severe.


Protect your joint health by addressing your hip pain at the office of Peter A. Matsuura, M.D. in Hilo, HI. For over 23 years, Dr. Matsuura’s private practice has served locals with skilled orthopedic care by providing conservative treatments for inflammation, muscle injuries, and joint degeneration. This clinic also specializes in advanced and minimally-invasive surgery, including joint replacement, fracture repair, and arthroscopy. To see all care options, visit the website, or call (808) 969-3331 to schedule an appointment.