A man at the beach having sever hip pain and holding his hip with both hands.

Bursitis

The small cushions of fluid that are found near joints are called bursae. Bursae add another layer of protection to tendons, muscles, and joints. Therefore, an injury to one of these small sacs can cause considerable pain with movement. Most commonly, such an injury is the inflammation of a bursa, which is called bursitis.

Bursitis occurs most often in the joints located around the shoulder, hip, or elbow, though any bursae in other joints can be affected as well. Symptoms include swelling from inflammation, possible redness, and a variable degree of pain, possibly leading to limitation of joint movement.

Arthritis

The hip is one of the largest joints in the body and is a “ball-and-socket” joint. Arthritis in the hip is primarily the result of degenerative changes that occur as one ages. Arthritis in this joint could disrupt movement. This type of arthritis could be brought on by overuse, injury, or rheumatoid disease and is more predominant in older adults.

Labral Tear

A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage (labrum) and follows the outside rim of the socket of the hip joint. In addition to cushioning the joint, the labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the femur securely within the hip socket.

Symptoms of a labral tear are similar to many other hip injuries, including a locking, clicking or catching sensation of the hip joint, pain in the groin, and stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip joint. These tears also result from the same types
of injury: repetitive overuse, age, or specific contact injury. A visit to the doctor, with a diagnostic MRI can help to determine the specific nature of the injury. Hip labral tears are often associated with sports injuries.