Why Do I Have Sudden Hip Pain Even Though I Have No Injury?

When you suddenly start experiencing hip pain without any apparent injury, it can be pretty puzzling. Imagine this: you wake up, and out of nowhere, there’s this nagging pain in your hip. 

You’re sure you haven’t had a fall or overexerted yourself, yet the discomfort is real. You might wonder, “Why am I suddenly feeling this unexplained hip pain without injury?

The key to tackling sudden, unexplained hip pain is understanding its common causes and effective management strategies. While the onset of pain may be surprising, various underlying factors could be at play.

Common Causes of Sudden, Unexplained Hip Pain Without An Injury

While a variety of factors can lead to unexplained hip pain, here are some of the more frequent causes to consider:1,2

Bursae Inflammation (Bursitis)

Bursitis is a condition where the bursae, tiny fluid-filled sacs cushioning the tendons near your joints, become inflamed. Typically, these sacs prevent tendon friction against the bones, but they can get inflamed due to overuse or extended periods of sitting. This inflammation results in a sudden, painful condition in the hip without any prior injury.

Tendon Inflammation (Tendinitis)

Tendinitis occurs when the hip’s tendons are overworked, leading to inflammation. This condition often manifests as a tender, burning pain in the hip area, especially when attempting to move or use the hip joint.

Joint Inflammation (Arthritis)

Arthritis might develop gradually, but its symptoms can appear suddenly. It arises from inflammation in the hip joints, leading to the breakdown of cartilage. This creates painful friction during hip movement and can significantly limit mobility.

Overuse Injury

Weak muscles in the hip and buttock area can lead to overuse injuries. This often involves irritation of the iliotibial (IT) band, a connective tissue running from the hip to the knee. When strained, it causes discomfort and tightness in the hip area.

Muscle Tightness

Tight gluteal muscles and IT band can exert undue stress on the thighbone at their attachment points, resulting in side hip pain. This tightness is often a result of muscle imbalance or overuse.

Spinal Issues

Sometimes, pain in the hip can actually stem from the spine. Conditions like arthritis in the spine, a pinched nerve, or bones rubbing together in the spine can manifest as hip pain, a phenomenon due to the body’s complex pain referral patterns. Whenever you are dealing with spinal issues, it’s best to contant your local chiropractor in Vuaghan right away.

Hip Impingement (Femoroacetabular Impingement)

Femoroacetabular Impingement, or hip impingement, occurs when the ball of the hip (femoral head) pinches against its cup (acetabulum). This can damage the surrounding labrum (cartilage), leading to stiffness, pain in the hip, and potentially paving the way for arthritis.

At-Home Care for Hip Pain: Implementing the RICE Method

Managing hip pain at home can often be effectively done using the RICE method. Here’s a breakdown of how to apply it:

  • Rest: First and foremost, give your hip a break. Cease any activities that might have triggered the pain to prevent exacerbating the issue.

  • Ice Application: For the initial 24 hours post-injury, place an ice pack or a cold compress on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes every hour. After the first day, reduce the frequency to every three to four hours. Remember to wrap the ice in a towel or cloth to avoid direct contact with your skin.

  • Compression: Compression can help minimize swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area. You can use a compression bandage or wrap it around your hip. Alternatively, compression garments like shorts or pants can also be effective in maintaining consistent pressure.

  • Elevation: Try to elevate your hips and lower body above your heart level if possible. This can be achieved by propping up your leg with pillows, blankets, or cushions, which assist in reducing swelling.

When To Consult An Expert For Hip Pain?

When hip pain persists and interferes with your daily activities, it’s time to consider professional help. If at-home methods like the RICE technique haven’t brought relief, especially if the discomfort impacts your enjoyment of usual activities, seeking medical advice from a pain clinic is crucial.

A chiropractor or sports physiotherapist can accurately diagnose the root cause of your hip pain and recommend effective treatment strategies to restore your mobility and alleviate pain.

For many dealing with hip pain, physiotherapy offers a valuable path to recovery. A physiotherapist can tailor exercises specifically to your condition, enhancing mobility and reducing discomfort. These exercises, developed through a detailed understanding of your pain and physical capabilities, aim to bring long-term relief and prevent recurrence.

Chiropractic care is another avenue, primarily focusing on manual adjustments to address hip pain. Chiropractors may integrate various treatment methods to manage your condition effectively, ensuring a comprehensive approach to your hip pain.

Registered massage therapists also play a vital role in managing hip discomfort. They employ various techniques, from Swedish and deep tissue massage to trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and targeted stretching. These techniques are designed to relieve tension and pain in the hip area, contributing significantly to your overall treatment plan.

Each of these professionals offers a unique approach to treating hip pain, providing you with various options to find the most suitable and effective treatment for your specific needs.

What To Expect During The First Visit

Depending on the expert you consult, here’s an overview of what you can expect:

  • Physical Examination: Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam, focusing on your hips, thighs, back, and gait (how you walk). This examination identifies any physical abnormalities or movements contributing to your pain.
  • Detailed Inquiry: Expect to answer questions about your hip pain. Your doctor will want to know where exactly you feel the pain, how and when it started, any activities or situations that aggravate it, and what measures (if any) you’ve taken to alleviate it.
  • Mobility Assessment: The doctor will evaluate your ability to walk and bear weight. This helps them understand the impact of the pain on your daily functioning.
  • Medical History Review: Be prepared to discuss other medical conditions you have and the medications you’re currently taking. This information is vital as it can influence the diagnosis and treatment choice.
  • Diagnostic Imaging: In some cases, your doctor may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI scan to get a clearer picture of what’s happening inside your hip joint. These tests help identify structural issues, inflammation, or other abnormalities.

If your hip pain persists despite your efforts, our team of experts, including physiotherapists, chiropractors, and registered massage therapists, at our multidisciplinary clinic is here to help. With a wealth of experience and a comprehensive approach, we can guide you toward understanding your condition better and finding the right solutions tailored to your needs. 

Consult our experts now and be at the top of your hip pain.


  1. Chamberlain R. (2021). Hip Pain in Adults: Evaluation and Differential Diagnosis. American family physician, 103(2), 81–89.
  2. Lee, Y. J., Kim, S. H., Chung, S. W., Lee, Y. K., & Koo, K. H. (2018). Causes of Chronic Hip Pain Undiagnosed or Misdiagnosed by Primary Physicians in Young Adult Patients: a Retrospective Descriptive Study. Journal of Korean medical science, 33(52), e339. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e339
  3. Tyler, T. F., & Nicholas, S. J. (2007). Rehabilitation of extra-articular sources of hip pain in athletes. North American journal of sports physical therapy : NAJSPT, 2(4), 207–216.

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