Hip joint pain: Is yours caused by arthritis or something else?

Hip pain is a common issue and one of the causes of functional disability. This condition more commonly affects older adults, but it can affect people at any age. It’s estimated that among the U.S. adult population aged 60 years old and up, almost 15% of people experience hip pain. Of this number, a large portion of hip pain, specifically hip joint pain, is due to arthritis. In fact, 1 in 4 people may develop osteoarthritis pain by the time they’re 85 years old.

Pain in the hip joint can affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities and even basic tasks. Getting your pain under control can often depend on the cause of the pain and if effective treatment is pursued. Take a moment to learn more about the causes of hip joint pain and what types of treatment can be used to relieve it, listed in the sections below.

What are some of the other issues that commonly cause hip joint pain, besides arthritis?

Arthritis isn’t the only cause of hip joint pain. Here are a few different reasons why someone might be experiencing this type of pain:

  • Bursitis — Bursitis, a condition in which the small sacs of fluid around the joints become inflamed, can often cause pain and irritation. When the bursae in the hip joints become inflamed, it can be mistaken for arthritis pain. 
  • Dislocation — The joints that connect the thighbone to the pelvis can become dislocated in cases of traumatic injury. A joint dislocation in the hip, if left untreated, has the potential to create symptoms that may appear similar to arthritis. Pain and inflammation can increase with time, which is why it’s important to see a physical therapist for help. 
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) — A femoroacetabular impingement is a type of impingement syndrome that occurs in the hips. The joints in the hips are not formed correctly, which causes the bones in the joint to grind against each other. It can make movement painful and cause stiffness around the hip joint, similar to arthritis. 
  • Labral tear — A labral tear usually occurs as a result of an overuse injury. It affects the cartilage in the hip socket and can cause locking, pain and stiffness in the hip joint. 
  • Avascular necrosis — If you have avascular necrosis, you’re dealing with a necrotic disease that causes the tissue in your bones to die because of insufficient blood flow. This type of necrosis can occur near a joint and can cause bone and joint damage that might cause symptoms that feel like arthritis at first.

What are some other ways physical therapists can help those with hip joint pain?

Now that you’re familiar with some of the conditions that could cause hip joint pain, take a moment to review how a physical therapist may help someone manage their joint pain:


  • Iontophoresis — Iontophoresis is a type of anti-inflammatory treatment that may be offered in some physical therapy settings. If your hip joint pain is related to inflammation, this method may be used to treat your symptoms. 
  • Hands-on treatment — Most physical therapy clinics offer hands-on treatment, which is helpful for a variety of conditions. In the cases where patients come in with hip joint pain, their therapist may use gentle joint stretching, joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization. 
  • Aquatic therapyAquatic therapy is frequently used for patients with hip joint pain. Therapy in the water can be effective for a number of patients because it’s gentle and allows for minimal pain during movement.

Let Lattimore PT help you get the right physical therapy treatment for your hip joint pain

Lattimore Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation Network first got its start in 1992. John and Cindy Shuman, husband and wife, first launched their own physical therapy practice with the aim of improving the quality of life of each member of their community. Since 1992, Lattimore PT has opened nearly 30 locations across New York.

Our team of talented physical therapists spread across the state is dedicated to understanding the treatment that works best for you. We specialize in taking a hands-on, interactive approach with each of our patients to provide them with the best care possible. We love to see our patients thrive, which is why we’ll do as much as we can to help get them to that point. The physical therapists at each of our Lattimore locations take pride in their work and do their best to come to the clinic each day with a smiling face. We aim to make each physical therapy session enjoyable yet productive. The ultimate mark of success, to us, is a patient who feels positively impacted by our work. Are you ready to experience “the Lattimore way”?

If you’re dealing with a condition that is causing pain in your hip joint, let us be the ones to address it. Our team of experienced professionals can provide the physical therapy care you need to get relief for your hips.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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