Follow this chart to gain insight into some common causes of hip pain.

Begin here
1. Did you fall or suddenly feel your hip give way? No --> Go to Question 3.*
Yes, go down
2. Do the toes on your leg on the side of your injured hip seem to turn out, and does it hurt to straighten, lift or stand on your leg? Yes --> Your pain and deformity may be from a HIP FRACTURE. --> URGENT

See your doctor right away.

No --> Your pain may be from BRUISED HIPS. --> See your doctor. Use ice and an anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve the pain.

*3. Do you have stiffness, swelling, redness or pain in any other joints? Yes --> Your hip pain may be from ARTHRITIS. --> Try an anti-inflammatory medicine. If you don’t feel better, see your doctor.
No, go down
4. Have you felt a “click” in your hip or occasional pain with activity? Yes --> You may have a CONGENITAL HIP PROBLEM, a deformity of the hip joint that began before birth. --> See your doctor.
No, go down
5. Do you have pain in the back of your hip that starts in your lower back and travels into your buttocks or into your leg? Yes --> Your symptoms may be from SCIATICA, a pinched nerve. If the pain shoots down your leg near your knee or to your foot, this could be from a RUPTURED DISK. --> Heat, anti-inflammatory medicine and rest may help. See your doctor if the pain continues or if it travels down the leg. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop difficulty controlling urination or bowel movements.
No, go down
6. Is the person a child with pain in the knees, hips or groin? Yes --> This could be related to a number of disorders, including a SLIPPED CAPITAL FEMORAL EPIPHYSIS. --> See your doctor.
No, go down
For more information, please talk with your doctor. If you think the problem is serious, call your doctor right away.

This tool has been reviewed by doctors and is for general educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. The information in this tool should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health. Always consult your family doctor with questions about your individual condition(s) and/or circumstances. Source: American Academy of Family Physicians. Family Health & Medical Guide. Dallas: Word Publishing; 1996.