There are many causes of leg and hip pain. Because your lower back, hips, and legs move together, pain in one area may cause pain in the other (referred pain).
Your hip joint, along with your ankle and knee joints is the largest in your body. It is also load-bearing which means that it supports the body’s weight. It can also move in multiple directions, and allows fluid movements.
The cartilage around your hip joints reduces friction when your hip bones move. This cartilage can become worn or damaged over time. Overuse of the muscles and tendons in your hip may cause damage or even breakage. These can all lead to leg and hip pain.
Leg pain from hip disorders
You may feel groin pain or reduced range of motion on one side of your hip. It is rare for the pain to reach below the knee and it does not cause numbness or sensations. The pain may be worse when you stand or walk, but it will improve with rest. It is possible to feel limited motion when you try to get out of a car, chair, or bed.
Sometimes, pain in the hip can be caused by inflammation of a Hip Bursa. If you have tight hip abductor muscles or hip arthritis, this could happen. Hip pain could also be caused, although less common, by fractures, tumors or infection.
Symptoms of pain in right leg and hip
The underlying cause of your hip or leg pain can vary. Your symptoms may help your doctor determine the cause. There may be pain or discomfort in your inner hip, outer hip, inner, and thighs. Your hip can also feel pain from your lower back, groin or stomach.
Nerve conditions such as sciatica can cause shooting pain in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. Shooting pain can also be caused by a hernia or lower back strain. Nerve damage can lead to a burning sensation or tingling in your feet and legs.
A dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint can lead to pain in the lower back or legs. This is usually on one side. Problems with the hip joint can lead to pain in your hip or groin. Pain in the hips, outer hip, upper thigh, and/or outer buttocks can be caused by straining muscles, ligaments, or tendons.
The cause of your hip or leg pain may vary. The cause of your discomfort can be determined by the type of symptoms.
- Sciatica (pronounced Sy-AH-tikuh) or other nerve conditions may cause sharp, shooting pains in your buttocks or lower back.
- Nerve damage or neuropathy can be indicated by a burning or tingling sensation in your legs, particularly in the lower legs.
- A sign of sacroiliac [SAKIL-ee] joint dysfunction could be pain in the lower back, legs or feet.
- A problem with your hip joint could indicate pain in your hips or groin.
- The cause of pain in the hip, upper thigh, and outer buttock is likely to be tight muscles, ligaments, tendons, or tension in the hip area.
- A hernia or lower back strain can cause shooting pains in your legs.
What causes pain in right leg and hip?
There are many factors that can cause hip and leg pain. Pain can be caused by abnormalities in the skin, nerves and bones of the hip, as well as blood vessels and soft tissues around the area. Wear and tear, injuries, and overuse are the most common causes for hip pain. Hip pain can also be caused by diseases that affect other joints, such as inflammation from arthritis. Problems in the lower spine can cause different types of leg and hip pain.
A few conditions that can cause leg and hip pain are:
Arthritis Hip pain is most commonly caused by arthritis, particularly in older people. Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the hip joint and damages the cartilage which cushions the hip bones. Arthritis causes gradual worsening pain and stiffness in the hip. This reduces range of motion. The hip is commonly affected by three types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis refers to a form of arthritis that involves cartilage, which cushions the bones of your hip. This is what causes stiffness and pain.
- This is a condition in which the connective tissue (synovial membrane), that lines the hip joint (rheumatoid arthritis) becomes irritated, causing too much fluid. Excess fluid damages cartilage and causes stiffness and pain.
- Traumatic arthritis can often be caused by an injury to the hip. More than 300,000 Americans suffer from a hip fracture each year in the United States.
Avascular Necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis, occurs when blood supply to bone is cut off. This causes bone tissue to stop growing and eventually leads to the destruction of the hip joint. This condition can result from a hip fracture, dislocation, long-term high-dose steroids (such prednisone) or other causes. Avascular necrosis can also affect other bones but it is most common in the hip.
Bursitis refers to inflammation or irritation of the bursa. This is a sac that contains lubricating fluid, which reduces friction and irritation between bone, muscle and skin. It is often caused by repetitive activities that cause inflammation or irritation to the hip joint.
Tumors (tumors that begin in or spread to the bone) can cause pain in the legs or hips.
Labral tear in the hip. This is a tear in the cartilage ring (labrum), that runs along the socket of the hip joint. The labrum cushions the hip joint and helps to hold the ball at top of the hip socket. This problem is more common in athletes and those who do repetitive twisting movements.
Hip-pointing. This refers to a strain or injury in the muscle connecting to the top of ilium (the crest at the pelvis, just above the waist). Hip pointer can happen after a fall, blow, or quick twist of the body.
Hip Fracture. This occurs when there is a fracture in the upper quarter (or thigh) of the femur bone. People over 65 years old are at greatest risk for a hip fracture. As bones become weaker and more fragile with age,
Meralgia paresthesiaa causes tingling, numbness and burning sensations in the upper thigh. This is a chronic neurological disorder that affects the lateral femoral skin nerve. It supplies sensation to the outer thigh.
Tendon strain. Overuse can cause injury and pain. A strain can cause the hip to stop working properly.
Occult Hip fracture. This is a small crack in the hip socket. It is more common in older women and people with osteoporosis. This condition is usually found in one hip.
Paget’s disease causes deformed or enlarged bones in the hip. This condition causes pain in the hips.
Primary Septic Arthritis refers to an infection in the synovial fluid (increases friction between the cartilage and joint). Adults are unlikely to experience the condition, with the exception of those with a compromised immune system and artificial hips. The pain usually starts quickly and affects only one side of your pelvis.
Radiculopathy is a condition in which a nerve becomes irritated or compressed at the root of the nerve (nearly the spine). It can be caused by degeneration of a spinal disk, osteoarthritis or joint degeneration.
Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction This is an uncommon neurological condition that affects the sacroiliac joints of the hip. It can be caused by trauma such as an auto accident or previous trauma. The pain is typically on one side.
Sciatica is most commonly caused by damage to the lower back (L4 and L5) nerve roots. However, it can also be caused by tension or inflammation in the piriformis muscles of the pelvis ( Piriformis syndrome). Although the pain is usually on one side, it can also occur on other sides on rare occasions or both.
Snapping hip refers to a condition where the hip joint moves when standing or walking. It is caused by a tendon or muscle moving over a bony protrusion at the hip. This condition is usually limited to one hip.
Tendinitis refers to inflammation or irritation of a tendon. It is a thick tissue band that connects bone and muscle. This is often caused by repetitive stress due to overuse.
Hip pain in children aged 3-10 years is most commonly caused by transient (or acute synovitis) hip arthritis. This is due to inflammation of the hip joint’s lining. Although the cause of the problem is not known, it may be caused by an injury or fall. The pain usually is on one side.
You may be able take the following preventative steps to alleviate chronic hip and leg pain.
- To relieve hip pressure, use a cane
- Strengthening exercises can be done to increase muscle strength and support painful joints.
- Avoid sudden movements and repetitive impacts
- To reduce inflammation, eat a healthy diet
- Sleep well and get plenty of rest
Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent leg and hip pains and improve mobility.
How pain in right leg and hip can be treated?
There are many options available for severe hip and leg pain. Depending on the cause of the pain, conservative treatment may include physical therapy and NSAIDs.
Ice can be applied to the hip area for around 15 minutes, a few times per day. Then let the leg or hip rest until the pain subsides. Sometimes, heating the area in pain can help to reduce it.
Low-impact stretching, resistance training, and stretching can help reduce arthritis pain and improve mobility in the hip joint. Physical therapy can improve hip stability in Osteoarthritis patients and increase range of motion.
Osteoarthritis or tendinitis can cause hip pain. These conditions are usually treated with over-the counter pain medication. Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis can include prescription anti-inflammatory medication, such as biologics and corticosteroids that target the immune system.
Patients with arthritis symptoms may also benefit from a joint injection of corticosteroids. This minimally invasive procedure can reduce inflammation and numb the joint. Many patients experience long-lasting effects from the injection.
Total hip replacement (arthroplasty), may be an option if osteoarthritis pain becomes so severe that it causes damage to the hip joint. In cases of hip fractures, surgery may be required to fix or replace the hip.
There are many other options depending on the cause of the pain. Each patient with leg or hip pain is different so a pain plan that is tailored to them is essential.