Hip buttock pain may be triggered by many different causes and conditions. The goal of this article is to briefly list and describe the most common causes of hip buttock pain, but only a doctor can diagnose the source of your discomfort and recommend ways to get relief.
Pain in the hip and buttocks areas are, more often than not, caused by issues related to the nerves, muscles and blood vessels.
Of all the possibilities, a condition known as sciatica is probably accounts for the most frequent complaints. The word sciatica comes from the sciatic nerve, which is one of the largest and longest nerves in the human body. The sciatic nerve travels from the spine all the way down to the feet. It passes through the buttocks and hips, and when there’s a problem with it, the result is hip buttock pain.
There are a number of ways this nerve can cause problems. Most often, it is damaged when you have to sit in the same position for a long time. Professional truck drivers and those who sit all day in cubicles or office settings are candidates for sciatica. When the sciatic nerve is compressed by an injury or by sitting too long, it causes stinging buttock and hip pain that can be intense and distressing.
A similar cause of hip buttock pain is a pinched nerve. This can happen anywhere in the body, of course, but when it happens in the hip and buttock area it can be especially uncomfortable. Sitting, standing, and walking can be difficult, and at times you may feel as if you can’t get comfortable.
Another type of nerve pain that affects the hips and buttocks is called referred pain. This happens when there’s damage to a nerve somewhere else in the body (usually the spine). The pain follows a nerve pathway and “hurts” in a location different from the origin of the problem.
Piriformis syndrome is another source of hip buttock pain. A muscle called the piriformis is located deep within the buttocks. When there is damage to this muscle, the pain can range from mild to intense.
Claudication is a problem involving blood vessels in the hip and buttock region. If these blood vessels don’t get an adequate supply of blood, pain will result. Claudication usually involves a blockage or obstruction in an artery, and the pain is worst when you’re walking or exercising. If the pain stops when you rest, you probably have a claudication problem somewhere.
Claudication can be a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which is caused by a blockage or narrowing of arteries in the legs. Reduced blood flow to the muscles in the buttock region triggers pain in the hip.
Bone, joint and soft tissue problems are sometimes the cause of hip buttock pain. Arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, and since the hips are among the largest joints in the body, arthritis in the hip area can be especially unpleasant.
One of the most painful joint conditions is known as sacroiliitis. Sacroiliitis occurs due to inflammation in one or both of the sacroiliac joints, which are major joints in the lower back and pelvis. Sacroiliitis can be caused by many other illnesses and conditions, including injuries, arthritis, or an infection.
Bursitis pain comes from an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac between a tendon and bone. Several different kinds of bursitis can affect the buttocks and hips.
Osteoporosis is particularly common among the elderly, and it sometimes results in hip buttock pain. Osteoporosis causes the bones of the pelvis to become weak and brittle.
Other possible causes of hip buttock pain include a number of diseases involving organs of the abdomen. There are, unfortunately, several different kinds of cancer that can cause discomfort in the pelvic area. Cancer can occur in the bones of the pelvis themselves, as well as other bones nearby.
Colon cancer and rectal cancer don’t usually present symptoms at first. But when they advance to a later stage, hip and buttock pain are prominent signs.
Finally, pregnancy can be a cause of hip and buttock pain. Carrying the extra weight of an unborn child places a strain on the muscles of a woman’s lower back, hips and buttocks. This pain usually goes away after childbirth.
Once again, the intent of this article was to give you an overview of the most common causes of hip buttock pain. Your doctor, however, is always your best source for information about causes and treatment.