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Lateral Hip Pain (Side)

Lateral Hip (side) pain is pain this experienced over the outside of the hip (Figure 1). There are many potential causes for lateral hip pain. Explore the information under each tab below to understand more about the anatomy of the area and things that may go wrong.

If you have already visited our “Hip Pain Explained” page, you may have already read some of this information. On this page you will find information specific to conditions related to pain in the lateral hip.

Common conditions associated with lateral hip pain are:

  • Hip Osteoarthritis – see Joint Related Pain
  • Gluteal Tendinopathy (previously bursitis) – see Soft Tissue Related Pain
  • Gluteal Muscle tear – see Soft Tissue Related Pain
  • Lower Back (referred or radicular pain) – see Back-Related Lateral Hip Pain

Pain experienced in the lateral hip region may be related to:

  • joints of the hip & pelvis, where two bones meet
  • ‘soft tissues’, non-bony structures, such as muscles
  • bones, such as the femur (thigh bone) or bones of the pelvis
  • the lower back
  • nerves that run through and around the hip & pelvis
  • pelvic organs or blood vessels, or other health issues masquerading as hip pain.

Explore each of these further in the tabs below.

What is pain?

Pain is an experience that the brain creates for the purposes of stimulating you to change your behaviour or seek help for a perceived problem with your body. Irritating or potentially damaging stimuli in your body (like high levels of pressure, tension or extremes of temperature) activate sense receptors (danger sensors) in the area. Signals from danger sensors in the body travel through the nervous system to the brain. Here the information is processed and the brain sometimes (but not always) produces a pain experience.

If you would like to read more about understanding what pain is, please click here.

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