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Why Do I Have One-Sided Hip Pain?

The hips are strong joints that sustain a lot of wear throughout life, sometimes leading to pain and discomfort. Depending on the cause of the problem, you may have pain on only one side or both.

One-sided hip pain is incredibly uncomfortable because it affects how you walk, sit, and sleep. But is it always a hip issue that's causing one-sided discomfort?

When you need answers, Dr. Steven J. Svabek has the technology and knowledge to resolve your hip issues. He is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who provides nonsurgical and surgical treatment for hip and spine issues.

What causes one-sided hip pain?

Hip pain can occur for many reasons, including injuries and overuse of the joints. Various factors play into hip pain, including activity level, weight, and genetics. One-sided hip pain is incredibly frustrating when you can't get comfortable or have pain for long periods.

One-sided hip pain has many causes, some of which are acute and others that are chronic. The most prevalent causes of one-sided hip pain include the following:


Various forms of arthritis affect the hips, including rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, and septic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is another form that causes permanent damage to the cartilage in the joint.

Arthritis often leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness in the hip joint. It may affect just one or both hips.


Small fluid-filled sacs called bursa protect the bones and other tissues in the hip joints. Bursitis is a painful inflammation of the bursa that causes pain, sometimes on only one side.


Various tendons in the joint may become injured or inflamed, causing tendonitis. It can be acute or chronic and lead to stiffness and pain in the hip joint.


Hip fractures, dislocations, and muscle or ligament strains are common injuries in the hip. Sudden one-sided hip pain is indicative of an injury to one of the structures in the joint.

Other issues in the back and spine can also cause hip pain. For example, inflammation of the nerves in the spine or sciatica may lead to hip pain, especially on one side of the body. You may also have back or leg pain.

Seeking help for hip pain

You may be able to manage hip pain independently, especially if it's only mild and intermittent. One-sided hip pain usually responds well to the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Resting the hip is suitable for a few days, but taking too much time off can cause more harm than good. Motion is significant for an aching hip, but too much causes painful issues. Take it slow when adding in physical activity with one-sided hip pain.

However, don't wait too long to seek treatment when your hip pain isn't getting better with home care. If pain persists past a week with home treatments, it's time to seek professional care.

The longer you wait to get treatment, the more severe hip pain may become, especially when dealing with chronic issues like arthritis or repetitive use injuries.

What are my treatment options?

At your appointment, Dr. Svabek evaluates the painful hip and discusses your symptoms. He also asks if you remember injuring the affected hip, or if the pain began slowly.

Dr. Svabek also orders imaging studies such as an X-ray or MRI to see the structures inside the painful hip. These images help him determine the best route of treatment for quick and long-term pain relief. A few of the treatments you can expect include:


Medications are often the first line of treatment for one-sided hip pain. Dr. Svabek recommends over-the-counter pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, or steroids to reduce hip discomfort.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is another essential part of reducing hip pain. A physical therapist assesses your hip to determine the best treatment route.

During a physical therapy session, the therapist provides stretching, rehabilitative exercises, and electrical stimulation to reduce pain, improve mobility, and increase the range of motion in your joint.

Hip surgery

Dr. Svabek usually reserves surgery for severe cases of hip pain due to arthritis and other chronic issues or pain that doesn't get better with conservative measures.

Dr. Svabek offers hip replacement surgery to remove damaged parts of the joint due to arthritis and injury. During a hip replacement, he eliminates the damage. He replaces parts of the joint with prosthetic materials to improve functionality and eliminate pain.

To learn more about our hip pain treatment options, call our office in Coral Springs, Florida, today or request a consultation with Dr. Svabek on our website.

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