Hip pain

Hip pain is often equated with hip osteoarthritis. However, the causes are mostly in the muscles, tendons, bursae and nerves

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Hip area (in the background: thighbones, sectional view, schematic)

© W & B / Marcel Weber, Szczesny / edited by Neisel

What is the hip anyway?

Those who shake the dance floor "show their hips" too. And the hip bone? As a pair of bones, it is part of the pelvic ring. With its two hollows, the "hip socket" on the right and left, it serves to anchor the thighbones to the trunk. The head of the thigh bone and the acetabulum form the hip joints on both sides of the body.

The area around the hip joints is roughly outlined - the hip area

It extends from the so-called roll mound, a protrusion on the thigh bone at the top outside, and the front edge of the pelvis - here, too, a hump can often be felt at the front in slim people - all the way back to the lateral buttock area.

Various possible causes of pain take place in this limited, but anatomically not precisely defined area. In addition, there is sometimes an overlap with groin pain or buttock pain.

The thigh bone is our strongest and longest tubular bone. Tendons of important hip and gluteal muscles attach to its large roll mound (greater trochanter) above and below it, on the shaft.

Between the bone and the overlying muscles and tendons as well as in the vicinity of the joint capsule, fluid-filled bursa (bursae, for example the trochanteric bursa) lie as cushions. Their job is to protect tendon tissue that slides over protruding bones when moving. For example, the trochanteric bursa plays an important role in hip pain.

In some publications, the hip joint is sensibly counted as part of the hip. Since the pain emanating from this joint mainly radiates into the groin, sometimes also into the thighs or buttocks, are hipjointillnesses are not a focus of this article, but are briefly mentioned below.