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  • Writer's pictureMr Simon Garrett

What Causes Sudden Hip Pain?

Hip Pain

Have you ever experienced sudden hip pain without any apparent injury? It can be a perplexing and uncomfortable situation.

One common culprit behind this type of pain is bursitis, a condition where the fluid-filled sacs cushioning your joints become inflamed. Another possibility is tendinitis, which involves inflammation of the tendons due to overexertion or repetitive motion. In this blog post, we'll delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatments for these conditions to help you better understand and manage sudden hip pain.

Hip Bursitis

Bursitis occurs when the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints, become inflamed. These sacs help reduce friction between moving parts in your body, but when they become irritated or inflamed, they can cause pain and discomfort.

Causes of Bursitis

  1. Repetitive Motion: Activities that involve repetitive movements of the hip joint, such as running, cycling, or climbing stairs, can irritate the bursae and lead to bursitis.

  2. Poor Posture: Incorrect posture while sitting or standing can put undue pressure on the hip joint, leading to inflammation of the bursae over time.

  3. Joint Stress: Excessive pressure on the hip joint due to obesity or carrying heavy loads can increase the risk of bursitis.

  4. Underlying Conditions: Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or infection can also predispose individuals to bursitis.

Symptoms of Bursitis

  • Pain and tenderness around the hip joint, especially during movement or pressure.

  • Swelling and redness in the affected area.

  • Limited range of motion in the hip joint.

  • Warmth around the hip joint.

Treatment Options for Bursitis

  • Rest: Avoid activities that exacerbate hip pain and allow the affected area to rest.

  • Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs to the hip for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

  • Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help manage pain and inflammation.

  • Physiotherapy: Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises prescribed by a physical therapist can improve hip joint mobility and reduce the risk of recurrence.

  • Injection Therapy: In severe cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.

Hip Tendonitis

Tendonitis refers to inflammation or irritation of the tendons, the thick cords that attach muscles to bones. In the context of sudden hip pain, it often involves the tendons surrounding the hip joint.

Causes of Tendonitis

  1. Overexertion: Engaging in intense physical activities such as running, jumping, or sudden changes in exercise intensity can strain the tendons around the hip joint.

  2. Poor Biomechanics: Incorrect technique or biomechanics during physical activities can place excessive stress on the tendons, leading to inflammation.

  3. Muscle Imbalance: Weakness or imbalance in the muscles supporting the hip joint can increase the risk of tendinitis.

  4. Ageing: As we age, tendons tend to become less flexible and more prone to injury.

Symptoms of Tendonitis

  • Pain and stiffness in the hip joint, particularly during movement or weight-bearing activities.

  • Swelling and tenderness around the affected tendon.

  • Gradual onset of symptoms, worsening with activity and improving with rest.

Treatment Options for Tendonitis

  • Rest: Avoid activities that aggravate hip pain and allow the tendons to heal.

  • Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

  • Compression: Using a compression bandage or wrap around the hip can help reduce swelling and provide support.

  • Elevation: Elevating the affected hip above the level of the heart can help reduce swelling.

  • Physiotherapy: A tailored exercise program focusing on stretching and strengthening the hip muscles can improve flexibility and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Sudden hip pain without injury can be attributed to conditions such as bursitis and tendinitis, which involve inflammation of the bursae and tendons around the hip joint. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for these conditions is essential for effective management and prevention of recurrence.


If you experience persistent or severe hip pain, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, while self-care measures such as rest, ice therapy, and over-the-counter medications can help alleviate symptoms, it's essential to seek medical attention if the pain persists or worsens over time. Your healthcare provider can offer personalised treatment recommendations tailored to your specific needs, helping you regain mobility and improve your quality of life.

Based in Dorset and experiencing persistent hip pain? Book an initial consultation to see me at one of my private clinics in Bournemouth, Poole, or Dorchester. Let's get you back on your feet as quickly and comfortably as possible.


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