There are many different common causes of sharp hip pain. The most likely causes are usually the result of arthritis, hip injury, or a pinched hip nerve. In some cases, the primary cause of hip pain may be determined by considering the location of the hip pain. If sharp hip pain is on the inside of the hip, near the groin area, it is possible that the problem lies within the actual hip joint. When a person experiences sharp pain on her buttocks, upper thigh, or the outside of her hip area, the cause of the pain is likely related to a problem with the soft tissues surrounding her hip joint.
Arthritis is considered a possible cause of many types of hip pain, but this does not typically present itself until a person reaches middle age. Younger people do occasionally experience arthritis in the hip area, but it doesn't happen often. A person with hip arthritis may not consistently have sharp hip pain. Studies have shown that most patients with arthritis have pain that varies and may be tolerable for long periods of time before suddenly becoming very painful. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications may be of great help to people who experience hip pain due to arthritis.
Hip bursitis usually occurs when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones around the hip joint become inflamed. The bursitis is often the result of repetitive motion that ultimately resulted in injury and may go away on its own after a couple of weeks if it is cared for properly. Hip tendinitis occurs when a hip tendon has become injured. The purpose of a tendon is to connect the muscles to the joints, and they can become easily inflamed with frequent repetitive motion. In some cases, the tendons become so injured that they require surgery to fix, but most of the time home care is all that is required.
Pinched nerves might also cause hip pain. When a nerve is pinched in the hip area, it will occasionally resolve itself. A person who believes this is the cause of her hip pain should try to stay off of it for a few days to see if the pain goes away. If it does not, the pinched nerve will probably require medical care. Doctors often recommend surgery and occasionally physical therapy for pinched nerves in the hip that do not correct themselves.
Most types of hip pain are not serious and will usually go away on their own after some time has passed. A person who is experiencing sharp hip pain can try to limit activity and use ice or heat therapy on the pained area to see if there is any improvement. If there is no improvement after a few days, a trip to the doctor's office might be necessary. There are certain circumstances in which a doctor should be contacted without delay. If the hip pain is accompanied by massive swelling or if it is painful enough that a person is unable to walk, he should probably go ahead and seek medical attention as soon as it is possible for him to do so.