Hip Pain Outside the Joint
Sometimes the source of hip pain is found outside of the problem joint entirely, and in some cases the most effective treatments are also the least invasive. A few examples of these outside-the-joint (extra-articular) causes include trochanteric bursitis, which is inflammation of the sac of cushioning fluid between the knob (trochanter) on the top of the femur bone opposite of its ball joint and the muscles of the thigh and buttocks; internal snapping hip syndrome, which is often a snapping of a tendon over a particular groove in the pelvis; external snapping hip syndrome, which is a similar snapping or clicking sound when a tendon catches on the same femur knob (trochanter) at issue in trochanteric bursitis; and a sports hernia, which is a strain or tear of a muscle, tendon, or ligament in the lower abdomen or groin area due to sharp twisting and frequent movement that are often inherent in sporting activities.
For internal snapping hip syndrome, pain accompanies any flexing or extension of the hip flexor tendon in the groin area, and rotational movements of the hip can often reproduce symptoms of the problem. A common treatment to resolve internal snapping hip syndrome is taking conservative care measures like physical therapy, medication, or injections.
For trochanteric bursitis, pain typically focuses on the side of the hip, which can feel tender to the touch and may prevent you from laying down on the affected side of your body. Pain also accompanies rotational movements of the hip. Both trochanteric bursitis and external snapping hip syndrome usually respond to conservative therapies as well.
However, if hip pain and swelling stem from more serious joint inflammation, also known as arthritis, your options for treatment become more limited.