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Why Your Hips Are a Pain in the Butt

Hip Injuries Can Cause Pain in Other Body Parts

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on February 24, 2006
From the WebMD Archives

Feb. 24, 2006 -- Hip problems can cause pain beyond the hips, and not necessarily where you might expect it, new research shows.

Pain experts are meeting in San Diego for the American Academy of Pain Medicine's 22nd annual meeting. One of the studies presented at the meeting pinpoints where people commonly feel pain stemming from hip problems.

The researchers included the University of Washington's John Lesher, MD. Lesher and colleagues reviewed the medical records of 51 people treated for hip problems.

Pain from hip problems has traditionally been thought to mainly affect the groin and part of the thigh, the researchers write. But that wasn't true in their study.

Where It Hurt

The patients studied by Lesher's team had all gotten hip injections for pain. Before getting the shots, they told doctors where they felt pain:

  • Buttocks: 71%
  • Thigh: 57%
  • Groin: 55%
  • Lower leg: 22%
  • Foot: 6%
  • Knee: 2%

As those percentages indicate, patients could report pain from a hip problem in more than one area. None mentioned pain in their lower backs, the study shows.

What caused the patients' hip problems? That's not reported in the study. The hips can be hurt by accidents, decades of wear and tear, and other conditions including arthritis.

Show Sources

SOURCES: 22nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, San Diego, Feb. 22-25, 2006. News release, American Academy of Pain Medicine.
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