Numerous conditions can cause hip and pelvis pain. Hip and pelvis pain may be caused by traumatic injury or certain medical conditions. Pain in the region may signal a serious underlying condition that requires medical intervention. However, some types of hip and pelvis pain respond well to conservative care methods.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Hip bursitis can cause hip and pelvis pain. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons or AAOS, bursitis occurs when a bursa--a small fluid-filled sac--becomes inflamed or irritated 2. Bursae are located throughout the body, usually around the body's principle weight-bearing joints, and help reduce friction between gliding muscles and bone. The AAOS states that inflammation of the bursa overlying the hip's greater trochanter--a bony prominence on the sides of the hip--often causes trochanteric bursitis, which is one type of hip bursitis. Another type of hip bursitis occurs on the inside of the hip, between the iliopsoas muscle and the thigh bone.
- Hip bursitis can cause hip and pelvis pain.
- The AAOS states that inflammation of the bursa overlying the hip's greater trochanter--a bony prominence on the sides of the hip--often causes trochanteric bursitis, which is one type of hip bursitis.
Causes of Pain in the Upper Left Hip
A fractured pelvis can cause extreme hip and pelvis pain. The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center or CSMC--a Los Angeles, California-based non-profit hospital and academic medical center--states that pelvic fractures are rare and range in severity from mild to marked 3. Minor pelvic fractures require several weeks to heal. Major pelvic fractures can endanger a person's life and damage the bladder, intestines and rectum. According to the CSMC, pelvic fractures are classified as stable or unstable. Stable pelvic fractures involve one break point, minimal bleeding and no bone displacement. Unstable pelvic fractures two or more pelvic breaks, along with significant bleeding.
- A fractured pelvis can cause extreme hip and pelvis pain.
- According to the CSMC, pelvic fractures are classified as stable or unstable.
SI Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac, or SI, joint dysfunction can cause hip and pelvic pain 4. According to the Sports Injury Clinic website, the SI joints are situated at the base of the spine, on either side of the sacrum or the wedge-shaped bone in the low back 4. The SI joints link the sacrum with the ilia or hip bones. The Sports Injury Clinic website states that SI joint dysfunction describes either hypomobility or lack of movement within the joint or hypermobility--too much motion--within the joint 4. In some cases, the SI joint becomes locked, which affects the nearby ligaments and muscles. SI joint dysfunction usually responds well to conservative care methods, such as joint manipulation, manual therapies and certain physical therapy modalities.
Causes of Pain in the Upper Left Hip
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- MedlinePlus: Hip Pain
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Hip Bursitis
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: Pelvic Fracture
- Sports Injury Clinic: Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Sembrano JN, Reiley MA, Polly DW, Garfin SR. Diagnosis and treatment of sacroiliac joint pain. Current Orthopaedic Practice. 2011;22(4):344-350. doi:10.1097/bco.0b013e31821f4dba.
- Arthritis Foundation. Ankylosing Spondylitis.
- Cleveland Clinic. Sacroiliitis. Updated March 13, 2018.
- Kennedy DJ, Engel A, Kreiner DS, Nampiaparampil D, Duszynski B, Macvicar J. Fluoroscopically Guided Diagnostic and Therapeutic Intra-Articular Sacroiliac Joint Injections: A Systematic Review. Pain Med. 2015;16(8):1500-18. doi:10.1111/pme.12833
- American Physical Therapy Association. Physical Therapist's Guide to Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. Updated October 17, 2019.
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.