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Hip Pain Traveling Down the Leg

Do you suffer from hip pain traveling down the leg?

Hip pain traveling down the leg is a complex ailment that is caused by a variety of conditions. The pain is a problem that limits your physical activities and causes discomfort.

Understanding the pain you feel

Pain in the hip is often associated with pain that travels down the leg. Acting as a connecting point for the thigh bone and pelvis, the hip is a ball-and-socket joint that contains both the sciatic and femoral nerve.

The sciatic nerve supplies sensation to almost all major muscle groups in the lower leg. The femoral nerve supplies sensation to the muscles in the front of the thigh down to the knee. Irritation or trauma to these nerves could produce hip pain that travels down the leg.

Closed filled sacs called bursa are located adjacent to the tendons near the hip joints. Bursa, when working correctly, reduces friction between tissues and the body. If the bursa becomes inflamed, both hip pain and a burning sensation may occur. Some symptoms you may experience are:

  • Numbness, or tingling and a burning sensation
  • Usually symptoms are on one side of the body
  • Sensitivity to a light touch as opposed to firm pressure
  • Pain that extends from the outer side of the thigh, down to the knee

Possible causes of Hip Pain Traveling Down the Leg

The origin of hip pain traveling down the leg could have one of many causes. Of the many forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the arthritic condition that most commonly affects the hip. It can cause limited motion of the hip and cause pain that radiates down the leg.

Bursitis of the hip is associated with stiffness and pain around the joint that causes pain that travels down the leg. Piriformis syndrome is an irritation of the sciatic nerve that manifests itself in a deep burning pain in the buttock that travels down across the leg. A more common non-arthritic hip pain condition is spine disorder, such as a ruptured disk, or degenerative arthritis. In the more advanced stages of this disorder, chronic hip pain that travels down the back of the leg may be experienced.

What can be done to ease the pain?

Hills and stairs should be avoided as well as any direct pressure to the hip area. Sometimes the hip pain traveling down the leg is relieved by applying an ice compress and taking anti-inflammatory medication. Get plenty of rest and wear nonrestrictive clothing. Contact your health care professional if the pain persists or worsens.

Preparing to Discuss your Symptoms with your Health Care Professional

Hip pain traveling down the leg can be treated, and full function may be regained. To get the correct diagnosis you may be asked to get X-rays, be checked for sensory differences, or get an MRI. It is important to get the correct diagnosis, so be prepared to answer your health care provider’s questions.
Some questions that you may be asked are:

  • What surgeries have you experienced in the last five years?
  • Have you ever had a hip injury?
  • What repetitive activities seem to irritate your condition?
  • Does your job require you to wear any type of restrictive clothing?
  • Do you have a history of arthritis in your family?