What Causes Hip Pain in Younger People?

What Causes Hip Pain in Younger People?

Hip pain can seem like an older person’s problem. And while hip pain is more common later in life, plenty of younger folks experience it, too. 

Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, has extensive experience and know-how in diagnosing and treating hip pain. 

Here, we explore hip pain in younger people, including potential causes and ways we can help.


While osteoarthritis becomes more likely with increasing age, young adults can develop it, too. Research shows that carrying excess weight or being especially physically active can lead to the same wear-and-tear in your hip joints that older adults experience. Playing sports that involve a lot of collisions with others, jumping, and twisting, such as football and basketball, can especially put you at risk.

Once you have it, osteoarthritis causes inflammation and the breakdown of cartilage around your hip bones, leading to pain and stiffness that progressively worsens.

Osteoporosis and fractures

Osteoporosis causes the weakening of your bones, which makes them vulnerable to fractures. Women, in particular, are at risk for this condition. Starting around age 20, women start gradually to lose bone density and the likelihood of weak bones increases. Eating a restrictive diet or too little calcium also raises your risk for osteoporosis and its complications. If this starts to happen early on in your life, hip pain and pain related to broken hip bones can happen. 

Hip tendonitis

When you have hip tendonitis, a tendon in your hip has become irritated or inflamed. As a result, you’re likely to experience pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area that worsens steadily over time. You can develop hip tendonitis at most any age, but in early adulthood, it’s most common among athletes. Activities such as biking, running, swimming, and high-intensity exercise classes can all lead to this condition. 

Other potential causes of hip pain in younger people include:

What to do about hip pain

If you’re experiencing ongoing or recurrent hip pain, your provider at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine will conduct a physical exam and order any needed tests to determine the underlying cause. They may also recommend hip arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure in which a tiny camera is inserted through a small incision in your hip. Meanwhile, live images are produced so that your doctor can get a better look.

Depending on factors such as your age, overall health, and the root cause of your hip pain, your customized treatment plan may include: 

If conservative treatments fail to sufficiently reduce your hip pain, we may recommend surgery.

To learn more about hip pain or get the care you need, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request an appointment on our website.

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