Left Side Pain Above Hip: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

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Left Side Pain Above Hip: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Left side pain above the hip can be caused by problems with your hip bone, pelvis, or organs in your lower left abdomen. Pain above the left hip can feel like a persistent dull ache or a burning sensation that comes and goes. Or, pain at the left hip bone can result in sharp, shooting pains in your lower back and down your left leg. Sometimes, pain from other organs in your abdomen can radiate to your left side and can feel as if your left hip is sore.

Pain on the left side above the hip bone in the front can often affect women more than men. For example, ovary pain or endometriosis can cause sharp aches in the lower left abdomen and left hip. However, both men and women can experience left side hip pain if they have inflammation in the pelvic bone, digestive issues, kidney stones, or an abdominal hernia.

In order to treat pain on the left side of the body above the hip you need to address the underlying problem. For example, a course of physical therapy can help to relieve a pressed nerve or release pressure from a painful hip joint. If kidney stones are causing agonizing pains in the left abdomen above the hip, diluted apple cider vinegar can help to dissolve the stones. However, whatever the reason for left side hip pain, a hot or cold compress can bring temporary relief.

In this article, I will examine the many and varied reasons for having aches and pain above your left hip. You will also find helpful home remedies for relieving the lower left side pain above your hip.

What Organs Are Located Above or Near the Left Hip?

Your lower left abdomen is sometimes referred to as the left lower quadrant (LLQ). The left lower quadrant is the area on your left side between your belly button and your pelvis.

Dr. Jacqueline Payne on Patient.info says that organs near or above the left hip that can cause pain include the following:1

  • Part of your large bowel. Digestive issues can cause inflammation or infections that can affect the area just above your left hip bone.
  • Your left kidney. Although located in your left upper quadrant above the hip, stones in your left kidney can cause referred left-sided hip pain.
  • The left ovary and fallopian tube. Part of a women’s reproductive system is in the LLQ. Cysts or polyps in the left ovary can be a source of pain on the left side above the hip bone and back.

Symptoms of Left Side Pain Above the Hip

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that hip pain is a common problem which can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Sometimes the location of the pain is in the actual hip bone and can feel like groin pain. Or, the deep aches and discomfort could be in your left back or buttock.2

Because left side hip pain can come from a number of sources, describing the intensity of hip or back pain and what else hurts on your left side can help to identify the cause. Dr. Benjamin Wedro on eMedicineHealth says that other symptoms of hip pain can include:3

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  • Sharp, stabbing hip bone pain that shoots down the left leg to the knee
  • Numbness or tingling in your left leg if your left sciatic nerve is affected
  • Burning sensation in the hip along with pain when moving your leg if inflammation or damage has occurred
  • Limping because of soreness when walking
  • Tenderness or discomfort in the lower abdomen just above the left hip bone
  • Lower back pain that spreads to your hip
  • Excruciating pain from kidney stones that affect your middle back, lower abdomen, and groin

Causes of Left Side Hip Pain

Left side pain near your hip can have a number of causes, and it’s not always easy for doctors to identify the source of pain. The journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases says that knowing exactly what is causing hip joint pain is very complex. Very often, people with pain in their right hip or left hip have to describe their painful symptoms and show how the pain affects them.4

Let’s look in more detail at what it can mean if your left hip bone or the area above your left hip is sore and painful.

Pain on the Left Side Related to the Hip Bone

The most common reason for aching discomfort or sharp, jabbing pains in your left hip area is related to your hip bone.

Dislocated hip bone

Dislocating your hip bone can cause agonizing pain when trying to move your leg. In fact, the pain can be so severe that it causes nausea and sweating.

People who have experienced their hip bone popping or slipping out of the hip joint describe symptoms of severe pain in their hip.

The journal StatPearls says that Doctors may have to administer a strong analgesic to numb the pain when putting the hip back in place. Usually, the pain eases when the hip is placed back in its socket. However, a person may have extreme discomfort when trying to put any weight on the leg.5

Pelvic fracture

Your pelvic bone is comprised of your left hip bone and your right hip bone and any kind of fracture will cause varying degrees of pain on that side.

Acute pelvic bone pain can be directly related to the injury, or hip bone pain can become chronic as the fracture heals.

According to the journal Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, even seemingly small injuries can fracture part of the pelvic bone and cause low back pain or pelvic pain. To treat the pain, it’s important to rest the affected leg to allow the fracture to heal. Usually, supporting the affected leg can bring about some pain relief.6

Arthritis or osteoarthritis

Inflammation of your hip joint caused by arthritis can result in sharp, jabbing pains in the left buttock or right one. Arthritis can be caused by wear and tear, and symptoms of arthritis can intensify as a person gets older.

According to expert on rheumatology, Dr. David Zelman, the first symptoms of hip osteoarthritis can be difficult to recognize. This is because the pain could be felt above the hip, in the groin, buttocks, or knee. There may be stiffness in the joint that is associated with constant dull aches or sharp shooting pains as the joint inflammation gets worse. Other symptoms of osteoarthritis in either hip can include:7

  • Stiffness in the left hip after sitting or lying down for a long time
  • Tenderness in the hip joint with a possibility of some swelling
  • Crunching sounds when moving your left or right leg because of your hip bone and femur rubbing together

Doctors recommend regular exercise and getting enough rest to help manage the painful symptoms of arthritis. Walking with a cane can also help to relieve the pressure on your left hip if that is the affected one. There are also many natural remedies to treat arthritis symptoms. You can also try my delicious smoothie recipe for relieving joint inflammation.

Hip bursitis

Your hip contains small jelly-like sacs called bursae that help to cushion the hip bone and prevent friction and pain. Hip bursitis (inflammation of the bursa) in the left hip can cause painful aches in the groin or intense sharp pains on the outside of the left thigh.

Doctors from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons say that as hip bursitis progresses and gets worse, it may affect the whole left hip. Hip bursitis pain can feel like a deep ache in the buttock or hip area. Usually, the pain is worse when getting up from a chair or walking for a long time.8

Very often, exercises to strengthen your lower back can help to relieve one-sided pain above the hip.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Your sacroiliac (SI) joint is located between the bone at the base of your spine and your hip bone. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can occur due to too much movement or too little movement of your SI joint.

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Doctors from Cedars-Sinai say that the SI joint acts as a shock absorber and supports the weight of your upper body. SI joint dysfunction can result in hip pain in one or both hips and also aches in the groin area. Other symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be any of the following:9

  • Difficulty sleeping because of a painful hip, back, or pelvis
  • Weakness and tingling down the leg of the affected side
  • Increased pain in the hip when sitting on one side

At the end of the article, you can find out how to use hot or cold treatments to treat sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Pelvic girdle pain

Pelvic girdle pain can be a reason why many women have lower back pain in their left side above their hip.

The journal BMC Medicine says that pregnancy can cause persistent pain in the pelvic area that radiates to the hip. There are a number of reasons why pelvic girdle pain affects pregnant women, but extra pressure on the pelvic area could be one.10

At the end of this article, you can find out more about hip pain during pregnancy.

Pinched nerve

One reason for lower back pain on the left side of your body above the hip area is a pinched or trapped nerve. Pressure on a nerve from a herniated disc or joint dysfunction can cause sharp shooting pains in the affected hip.

According to Dr. Danette C. Taylor on MedicineNet, problems with your sciatic nerve can cause back pain that shoots down one leg. Also, many people with sciatica complain of hip pain and lower back pain. Other symptoms of a trapped nerve in your lower back include:22

  • Burning pain that radiates from the affected area
  • Muscle weakness on the side of the trapped nerve
  • A sensation of “pins and needles” in your hip or leg

There are many ways of treating a pinched sciatic nerve and getting rid of pain in your left hip area naturally. For example, you can learn how to use a tennis ball to beat sciatica, try these foam roller exercises, or these yoga stretches for sciatic nerve pain relief.

Pain on Left Side of Abdomen Above Hip Bone

Pain in the hip bone on the left side along with discomfort in your lower left abdomen could be symptomatic of a digestive issue or a kidney problem.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Doctors from the UW Medical Center say that inflammatory bowel disease can aggravate the symptoms of arthritis. Very often, the hip joints are affected by arthritis flare-ups that ulcerative colitis causes. This can cause pain, inflammation, and even redness in the affected joint.11

Expert in gastroenterology, Dr. William A. Rowe says that ulcerative colitis usually causes cramping pain on the left side of the abdomen just above the hip bone.12

Other symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease can include:

Diverticulitis

Another issue with your digestive system that can result in lower left abdominal pain and pain above the left hip is diverticulitis. The Journal of the Korean Surgical Society reports that an abscess or severe infection in your colon could cause hip and buttock pain as well as flank pain.13

For more information on the symptoms diverticulitis and how to treat them, please see my article on the best home remedies for diverticulitis.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

If you have frequent bouts of diarrhea and digestive upset along with pain above the left hip, there could be a chance that you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

Dr. Jenifer K. Lehrer, who specializes in gastroenterology, says that very often irritable bowel syndrome results in abdominal pain in the left lower quadrant just above the hip bone. IBS can sometimes cause persistent dull aches in the lower left abdominal area, or sometimes the cramping can be sharp and severe.15

Other symptoms of IBS can include:

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If you are bothered by LLQ pain and symptoms of irritation in your digestive system, please read my article on how to treat IBS using natural remedies.

Kidney infection or kidney stones

Although your kidneys are located in your middle back, a kidney infection or kidney stones can cause pain and agony in the area just above your left hip and groin.

Doctors from Southern Cross say that kidney stones can cause pain ranging from mild twinges to excruciating debilitating pain. The most common location to feel the symptoms of a kidney stone is pain just below the ribs and in the hip bone. The pain may start from your middle back and travel right down to your groin.16

Kidney stones or infections can also cause symptoms like:

Try consuming diluted apple cider vinegar regularly to help dissolve kidney stones and prevent them from causing severe pain above your left or right hip bone.

Hernia

A hernia occurs when tissue pushes through a weak part of your abdominal wall. If the hernia occurs in your left groin, you will feel pain in your left side above your hip and groin.

According to Dr. Benjamin Wedro on eMedicineHealth, your hip can hurt if you have an inguinal or a femoral hernia. The bulging tissue can push on nerves and cause pain to be felt in the hip. Depending on the location and severity of the hernia, you may also notice a bulge in your lower abdomen or groin.3

Sometimes, it is easy to mistake a hernia for a pulled abdominal muscle.

Lower Left Back Pain and Left Side Pain Above Hip

Some causes of pain in the hip bone on the left side can also cause lower back pain.

Herniated lumbar disc

A herniated disc in your lower back area on the left side can send agonizing sharp pains to your left hip and buttock.

Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic report that a herniated lumbar disc is the most common reason for lower back pain. The bulging disc can press on a nerve that causes both lower back pain and pain in your hip. Usually, you can tell if the lumbar pain is due to a herniated disc if the pain is limited to your hip, buttocks, or back.16

To help relieve the discomfort and aches in your lower back, you can try some essential oils to relieve inflammation and pain. Also, some people have found that certain yoga poses can release pressure from the lower back.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

This chronic condition mainly affects the spine and causes ongoing inflammation of soft tissues around the spinal bones (vertebrae). This can cause long-term left-sided hip pain and pain in your lower back.

Dr. Jason Eck, a specialist in orthopedic spine surgery, explains that the most common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are hip pain, lumbar pain, and stiffness. Usually, as ankylosing spondylitis develops, pain in the upper back becomes more common as well as rib pain. 17

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Other Causes of Left Side Hip Pain

Pain above your left hip in your abdominal area or lower back can also be connected with other reasons that may be rarer or not be so obvious.

Bacterial or viral infection

Doctors say that some bacterial or viral infections can inflame the hip bone and cause hip discomfort along with a fever, chills, and headache. Some examples of infections that cause hip pain are Lyme disease, food poisoning, or Reiter’s syndrome.3

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that can affect any joint or muscle in your body, including your left hip bone and buttock muscles. Doctors say that it’s not uncommon for fibromyalgia to cause extreme hip discomfort.3

Cancer

In rare occasions, persistent chronic hip pain can be a sign of colorectal cancer. This type of pain in one or both of the hips happens if cancer has spread to the bones. However, it’s important to remember that in the majority of cases, issues connected with your hip bone or spine are the root cause of pain in the left hip area.

Causes of Left Side Hip Bone Pain in Women

Women can be affected by pain in the hip bone on the left side and lower abdominal pain more than men because of issues with the reproductive organs.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus and can affect the surrounding organs. This is a common cause of abdominal cramping in women and lower back pain.

The journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research reports that if endometrial growths spread to the hip bones, it can cause chronic pain in one or both hips. Other signs of endometriosis can include:18

Ovarian cysts

Benign growths on the ovaries can also cause lower left hip pain if the left ovary is affected. Small sac-like pockets grow on the ovaries as part of the menstrual cycle and usually show no symptoms. However, if they get larger, they can cause a lot of lower abdominal discomfort.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that ovarian cysts can cause dull cramping or jabbing pains just above the hip bone on the side of the cyst. Along with the lower abdominal pain, you might have bloating and a feeling of fullness in your stomach.19

There are many causes of ovary pain and some of the symptoms are similar to cervical cancer. Therefore, you should visit your doctor if you have irregular spotting, increase in the intensity of menstrual cramping, or other changes in your menstrual cycle.

Left Side Hip Bone Pain During Pregnancy

Many women who are pregnant find that they have more pain near the left side hip bone. Of course, pregnancy pelvic pain can also affect the right side of the hip.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that pain around the hip bones during pregnancy is called pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain. This can cause painful symptoms in your hips, lower back, groin, or the top of your thighs. Some reasons for left side hip bone during pregnancy affecting your pelvis can include:20

  • The position of your baby
  • The weight of the growing baby pushes on the hip bone and stretches abdominal muscles
  • The hormone relaxin is released which affects the joints in the pelvis

How to Get Relief from Left Side Pain Above the Hip

Putting a hot or cold compress on the painful left hip area can help to relieve the pain and increase joint movement in your left leg.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD advises when to use cold therapy and when to use heat therapy for hip joint pain.

  • Cold therapy. Cold helps to reduce inflammation in sore hip joints and can also alleviate pain from a pinched nerve. Cold therapy is good for arthritic conditions and other inflammatory pain in your left hip area.
  • Heat therapy. Use heat to help increase circulation to the painful area above your left hip joint. Heat therapy helps to relax muscles and can help ease abdominal cramping, herniated discs, or chronic back pain.

To find out how to make your own heat treatment compresses, please read my article on how to use cold or heat therapy for pain relief.

When to See a Doctor

Thankfully, most conditions that cause pain on the left side of your body above the hip don’t last long and are no cause for serious concern.

Doctors advise that in certain conditions, it is best seeing a doctor for lower abdominal pain above the hip. These include:20, 21

  • Pain in your left hip or right hip that lasts longer than a few weeks
  • Hip pain that flares up when you exercise
  • Stiffness or loss of range of motion in your hip
  • Groin pain that gets worse at night
  • Hip pain that is accompanied by signs of infection
  • Changes in your bowel habits
  • Shooting pains down one leg that extends further than your knee

Read my other related articles:

Medical Sources

  1. PatientInfo. Left lower quadrant pain.
  2. MayoClinic. Hip pain.
  3. eMedicineHealth. Hip pain.
  4. Ann Rheum Dis.2005 Jan;64(1):95-8.
  5. NCBI. Dislocation, hip (femur), posterior.
  6. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2012 Sep; 5(3): 222–228.
  7. WebMD. Hip osteoarthritis.
  8. OrthoInfo. Hip bursitis.
  9. Cedars-Sinai. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
  10. BMC Med. 2011; 9: 15.
  11. OrthopEdu. Inflammatory bowel disease.
  12. Medscape. Inflammatory bowel disease clinical presentation.
  13. J Korean Surg Soc. 2011 Jun; 80(Suppl 1): S17–S20.
  14. SouthernCross. Kidney stones.
  15. Medscape. Irritable bowel syndrome clinical presentation.
  16. ClevelandClinic. Oh, my aching back, or is it my hip?
  17. MayoClinic. Hip pain. Causes.
  18. Clin Orthop Relat Res.1999 Nov;(368):207-11.
  19. MayoClinic. Ovarian cysts.
  20. WebMD. Help for your hip pain.
  21. MayoClinic. Hip pain. When to see a doctor.
  22. MedicineNet. Pinched nerve.
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