Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Hip Pain in Adults


Am Fam Physician. 2021 Jan 15;103(2):online.

  See related article on hip pain in adults

Who gets hip pain?

Hip pain is common and can happen at any age.

What causes it?

Many different problems can cause hip pain. Problems inside the hip joint cause pain at the inner thigh or groin. Problems with the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and soft tissues around the hip joint cause pain on the outside of the hip, upper thigh, or buttock. Problems in the lower back may also cause hip pain in the buttock area. Sometimes hip pain is even caused by stomach problems or problems related to menstrual cycles.

What will my doctor do?

Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, like when they started and if anything makes them worse or better. Your doctor will also examine your hip, back, and legs. Sometimes, a picture needs to be taken of the inside of your leg. This is called an x-ray or MRI. For many causes of hip pain, physical therapy can help improve the pain.

What are the worrisome symptoms?

You should see a doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you:

  • Can't put weight on your leg or hip

  • Can't move your leg or hip

  • Have fever or chills

  • Have severe pain

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor

U.S. National Library of Medicine

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


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