Right Side Pain Above Hip: Symptoms, Causes and Effective Treatments

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Right Side Pain Above Hip: Symptoms, Causes and Effective Treatments

Pain on your right side above your hip may be caused by issues with organs in your lower right abdomen, spine, hip bone, or pelvic area. Aching pains near your right hip can be a source of daily discomfort. The right hip pain can be so severe and intense that it makes walking or moving your body difficult. Sometimes, gnawing pains or dull aches above the hip can feel relentless and it can be challenging to get rid of the hip pain.


Many people who suffer from back pain above the right hip often find that the aching hip pains spread to other parts of the body. For example, if the cause of hip pain is due to a herniated disc or pinched nerve, you might have shooting pains down your right leg. Inflammation in the hip socket could also result in tenderness around the hip area.

Both men and women can suffer from right side pain above the hips and below the ribs. This is because gastrointestinal problems, appendicitis, kidney stones, or an abdominal hernia can cause intense right-sided pain. However, problems with a woman’s reproductive organs like ovarian cysts or endometriosis can result in female pain in the right hip area.

Treating lower back pain in the right side above the hip usually requires treating the underlying issue. For example, natural remedies for digestive problems can help to relieve cramping pain in the lower abdomen near the hip. Or, if a trapped nerve or slipped disc is causing lower back pain above the right hip, some physical therapy may be the best treatment.

In this article, you will find out what it means if you frequently suffer from right side pain above the hip. You will learn how to naturally relieve most types of right-sided pain near the hip.

Organs Located Near or Above the Right Hip

Knowing what organs are located near your right hip bone can sometimes help to diagnose the cause of pain above your hip. The lower right abdomen is also referred to as the right lower quadrant (RLQ).

Dr. Jacquline Payne on Patient.info explains that your RLQ is the right side your abdomen between your belly button and waistline. Organs that are in your lower right abdomen near or above your right hip include:1

  • A large part of your colon. Inflammation or infection of your digestive system can cause RLQ pain that can feel as if you have a sore right hip. A buildup of gas or stool can also cause severe lower abdominal cramping pain.
  • Appendix. Sharp squeezing pains above your right hip are often caused by appendicitis if the small organ becomes inflamed and infected.
  • The right kidney. Your right kidney is located in your middle back. However, a kidney infection or kidney stones can cause intense pain to spread through your lower right abdomen.
  • The right fallopian tube and right ovary. Issues connected to a woman’s reproductive system often just affect one or the other side of the pelvic area. This can also cause lower back pain in women or cramping abdominal pain.

What Does Right Side Pain Above Hip Mean?

It can be difficult to know exactly what the pain in the right side of your pelvic region and abdominal area can mean. The pain on your right side could be due to your hip bone, pelvic bone, digestion issues, or spinal nerves.

Knowing the symptoms of right side pain above the hip can help your doctor diagnose exactly where the pain is coming from. Dr. Neha Pathak on WebMD says that some of the symptoms of pain around your hip area can include:2

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  • Tenderness in the right side of your buttocks
  • Shooting pains that spread from your back down your right leg
  • Pain in the top of your inside leg
  • Groin pain
  • Dull throbbing pain in your hip joint
  • Walking with a limp because of having a sore hip
  • Pain that radiates to or from your back and hip
  • Severe lower abdominal pain that spreads to your groin because of a kidney stone3

Causes of Pain Above or Near the Right Hip

According to the journal Pain Medicine, pain that seems to come from near or above the right hip can be hip pain or referred pain.4

Let’s look in more detail at the many causes of pain near the hip bone on the right side.

Pain on the Right Side Due to Hip Bone Issues

The most obvious causes of aching pain on the right side above your hip are usually related to the hip bone, pelvic bone, or hip socket.

Hip arthritis or osteoarthritis

Wear and tear of your hip bone can cause inflammation in the hip socket which results in dull aches or, sometimes, sharp jabbing hip pain.

Researchers from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons say that arthritis of the hip causes stiffness and pain. This can affect everyday activities like walking, bending over, or rising from a chair. Other associated symptoms of arthritis of the right hip can include:5

  • Pain that intensifies with physical activity
  • Hearing a grinding noise when you move the right leg or left leg
  • Pain that radiates from your right hip to your groin or thigh
  • Pain in the hip socket in damp weather
  • Tenderness and possible swelling in the hip

Some ways of reducing pain in your right hip caused by arthritis include losing excess weight, low-impact physical exercise, or physical therapy.

If you suffer from inflammation of the joints, then it’s important to know which foods to avoid to prevent inflammation. For example, taking omega 3 supplements regularly is a natural remedy for arthritis. Also, turmeric can help to alleviate joint pain and other inflammatory conditions of the joints.

Right hip dislocation

You can suffer severe, crippling pain at the top of your right leg if your hip bone pops out of its socket. Hip dislocations are common among athletes or as a result of a traumatic injury.

Dr. Matthew Gammons, who is a specialist in sports injuries, says that dislocating your hip can happen when landing on the ground when the hip is flexed. This can cause intense pain that can last long after the hip is back in the socket. Other symptoms of a hip dislocation can include:6

  • Pain in the lower back, knee, or lower leg
  • Fractured bones if the injury was severe
  • Pain when walking or moving the affected leg
  • Tingling in the lower leg

Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction

A common cause of pain in the right side above the hip that affects your back is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Your SI joint is the joint between your pelvic bone and the base of your spine. Movement in the SI joint can cause irritation and inflammation that can result in deep aches and pains in your left hip or right one.

Rheumatologist Dr. Catherine Burt Driver says that arthritis, pregnancy, being overweight, or ankylosing spondylitis can cause SI joint dysfunction. The irritation in your SI joint can cause pain in the back of the hips. If you have inflammation in the sacroiliac joint, you may also experience:7

  • Tenderness in the SI joint
  • Walking with a limp to try and ease the hip pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Reduced motion of the joint
  • Pain when sitting for a length of time

At the end of this article, you can find out how to treat pain in your sacroiliac joint.

Bursitis of right hip

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that hip bursitis can cause disabling pain in the hip bone that restricts movement. If the small fluid-filled sacs (bursae) in your hip become very inflamed, you may experience shooting pains radiating from your hip area.8

Pelvic bone fracture

According to researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, pelvic fractures can cause lower back pain above the right hip or left hip. Damage your pelvic area can also result in abdominal pain, pain when walking, or difficulty standing for a long period of time.9

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Causes of Lower Right Back Pain and Right-Side Pain Above the Hip

Apart from damage to the hip bone or pelvic bone, issues with muscles (such as the psoas muscle) and ligaments near the hip bone can also cause back pain along with one-sided hip pain.

Pinched nerve

If your sciatic nerve gets pinched or becomes trapped, you may get shooting pains from above your right hip and down your right leg. Pain near the hip bone on the right side occurs if your right sciatic nerve is pinched.

Dr. Catherine Burt Driver on eMedicineHealth says that your sciatic nerve goes from the base of your spine behind your hip joint and down to your ankle. The classic symptom of sciatica is pain in your lower back that reaches as far as your knee or even lower. Other symptoms of sciatica can include:10

  • Electric-like sharp pains
  • Burning sensation above your affected hip
  • Tingling or numbness in one of your legs
  • Weakness in one leg and walking with a limp

There are many ways to treat sciatic pain naturally. For example, foam roller exercises can help to release tension on your sciatic nerve. Also, strengthening your core muscles can help to provide better support for your lower back.

Herniated lumbar disc

Another reason for feeling intense pain in your back above your right hip is if you herniate a disc in your lumbar region.

The European Spine Journal reports that the hip pain happens when the spinal disc bulges and presses on a nerve or when the disc degenerates and causes vertebrae to rub together. For some people, a herniated lumbar disc can cause chronic pain near the hip bone and in the lower back.11

Other symptoms of a herniated disc above the hip bone are:12

  • Persistent back pain or back pain that comes and goes
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower leg or foot
  • Changes in bowel habits or bladder function

Some people have found that certain yoga poses can help to relieve back pain caused by a herniated disc. Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve tender pains in your lower back.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic painful arthritic condition where inflammation causes persistent dull pain on the right side above the hip. Of course, AS can also result in left-sided hip pain.

Researchers from the Arthritis Foundation say that ankylosing spondylitis usually affects the hip joint. Along with hip pain, you may have continual chronic pain at the bottom of the spine. In time, the spine can stiffen which results in a reduced range of motion.13

Pain on Right Side Above Hip Bone: Internal Organ Related

Many doctors agree that getting to the root cause of pain in the area above the right hip can be a challenge. This is because there are also a number of organ-related reasons for pain above the right hip.

Appendicitis

A common reason for intense cramping pain on the right side above hip is because of appendix inflammation (appendicitis).

Your appendix is located in the lower right abdomen and it can cause severe pain in the RLQ. According to Dr. Mary Lowth on Patient.info, the pain of appendicitis can start as a gnawing ache around the belly button. The pain intensifies and spreads to the lower abdominal area just above the right hip. Other symptoms of appendicitis can include:13

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty passing gas
  • Bloating

Interestingly, the journal Pediatric Emergency Care reports that hip pain can be a sign of appendicitis in children.14

Appendicitis is a medical emergency and the appendix needs to be removed surgically before it bursts. If you or your child shows any signs of appendicitis like severe RLQ pain and nausea, you should seek emergency medical help.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic digestive condition that can cause cramping pain in your lower abdomen. Dr. Jenifer K. Lehrer, a specialist in gastroenterology, says that although IBS usually affects the lower left quadrant, sharp pain or dull aches can be felt on both sides above the hip bone.15

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Other symptoms of IBS can include:

Some ways to relieve IBS symptoms naturally can include taking probiotic supplements to improve your digestion or peppermint oil capsules to relax your colon.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammation in the right side of your digestive tract can cause painful abdominal cramps above the right hip and below the ribs. The World Gastroenterology Organization says that Crohn’s disease usually causes right lower quadrant pain. Other symptoms of IBD can include:16

Diverticulitis

Infections in small pockets of your intestines called diverticula can be a source of severe cramping in the lower right abdomen that is tender to touch. According to the journal RadioGraphics, diverticulitis is a cause of RLQ cramping that is often misdiagnosed.17

A high-fiber diet can help to naturally relieve the symptoms of diverticulitis and reduce lower right aches and pains above the hips.

Kidney stones or kidney infection

Kidney-related problems like an infection or kidney stones can cause sharp, intense pain that can spread from your middle back to your groin. According to Dr. Minesh Khatri on WebMD, when a kidney stone moves, it can cause severe pain under the ribs and in the lower abdomen. You may also experience a burning sensation when you urinate and your pee may look cloudy.

Drink diluted apple cider vinegar to get rid of kidney stones and reduce the flank pain and abdominal pain. Also, drinking plenty of water helps to keep your kidneys in good health and flush out toxins from your system.

Abdominal hernia

A dull pain in your right side above your hip could be caused by an abdominal hernia. A hernia can develop when tissue bulges through your abdominal wall, often causing a noticeable bulge in your lower abdomen or groin. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that an inguinal hernia can cause a burning sensation in the pubic bone or a feeling of pressure on the right side of your groin or left side.18

Please read this article to find out how to tell the difference between a pulled muscle and a hernia.

Other Causes of Right-Sided Hip Pain

There are other causes of pain in the right side of your hip.

Fibromyalgia

According to Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD, fibromyalgia is a chronic painful condition that can cause deep pain in muscles and ligaments. Very often, fibromyalgia causes stabbing pains or general achiness in the area around the hips, back, or shoulders. Sometimes, fibromyalgia pain can feel like a pulled muscle.21

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Bacterial infection

Dr. Nayana Ambardekar on WebMD says that a bacterial infection can affect the hip joint causing severe pain in the hip. There may also be redness around the hip area and the buttocks will be tender to touch.19 Lyme disease and the effects of food poisoning can also be a source of pain near the hip bone on the right side.20

Cancer

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that in very rare conditions, hip pain is associated with cancer of the bones or leukemia.22 However, it’s good to know that most causes of pain above the right hip are noncancerous.

Right Side Hip Pain in Women

Issues with a woman’s reproductive system mean that, very often, women suffer from back pain above the right hip or left hip more than men.

Ovarian cysts

Cysts on the ovaries usually come and go during the menstrual cycle. However, they can cause a lot of pain near the hip bone on the right side in females.

Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet says that ovarian cysts will cause one sided abdominal pain in women just above the hip bone. The pain is generally felt on the side of the abdomen where the cyst is growing. If the cyst ruptures, you may feel severe abdominal cramping and some irregular spotting between periods.23

Other symptoms of ovarian cysts can include:

  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Changes in your bowel habits (constipation) or an urgent need to urinate
  • RLQ or LLQ pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

If you notice changes in your menstrual cycle or an increase in cramping before your period, you should speak to your doctor about your symptoms. In rare occasions, the symptoms of ovarian cysts are similar to symptoms of cancer of the cervix.

Endometriosis

Pain in the right side of your body above the hip could be a sign of endometriosis, especially if you also have painful periods.

The journal Physical Therapy reports that pain around the hip area can affect women with endometriosis. Endometrial tissue that grows outside the uterus can gown anywhere in the pelvic area and cause female hip pain in one or both hips. Other signs of endometriosis can include:24

Lower Right Hip Pain During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you may experience more hip pain during pregnancy because of fluctuations in hormones and more pressure on your pelvis.

Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PPGP)

The journal BMC Medicine reports that girdle pain during pregnancy can affect the hip and thigh bones. According to doctors, hip pain that is related to pregnancy can start as early as the first trimester or develop after giving birth. The hip pain can come from the iliac crest or inflammation of the sacroiliac joint.25

Researchers say that right sided pregnancy pain which is pelvic related can be due to one or more of the following conditions:

  • Increase in the hormone relaxin that loosens joints in the pelvic area
  • The position of the baby pushing on the pelvic bone
  • Increased weight in the abdomen that stretches abdominal muscles

How to Relieve Right Side Pain Above the Hip

Generally, addressing the underlying cause of back pain or lower abdominal pain above the hip should alleviate the pain. However, a hot or cold compress can help to relieve most types of right side pain above the hip.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic explain which method is best for relieving hip pain or lower abdominal pain.26

  • Cold compress. Cold packs help to reduce blood flow to the inflamed area and reduce swelling. This can help to reduce lower back pain above the right hip if you have a pinched nerve or inflammation in your joints.
  • Heating pad. Heat increases blood flow and also eases stiff muscles and ligaments. Very often, heat is good for alleviating pain from cramping, chronic back pain, or herniated discs.
  • Combination of cold and heat. Alternatively, you can try alternating between a cold compress and a heating pad to get better pain relief.

You can find out how to use cold packs or heat therapy for natural pain relief.

When to See a Doctor

Usually, right side pain above your hip can be easily resolved and is not something to be unduly concerned about. However, there are some circumstances when it is best to seek medical advice for pain on the right side above your hips and below your ribs.

Dr. Benjamin Wedro on eMedicineHealth advises seeing a medical professional for pain near the hip bone in the following circumstances:

  • There is extreme pain when you put any weight on your right leg
  • There is intense, debilitating pain with even minimal movement of the right leg
  • Lower right hip pain affects your daily activities
  • You have a loss of bladder or bowel function
  • Home remedies don’t help to relieve hip pain after a week or so

A doctor will carry out a physical examination, arrange for an MRI scan, or take blood tests to identify the source of your right-sided pain above your hip.

Related articles:

Medical Sources

  1. PatientInfo. Right lower quadrant pain.
  2. WebMD. Hip pain: causes and treatment.
  3. MayoClinic. Kidney stones.
  4. Pain Med. 2008;9(1):22-25.
  5. OrthoInfo. Osteoarthritis of the hip.
  6. Medscape. Hip dislocation clinical presentation.
  7. MedicineNet. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
  8. MayoClinic. Bursitis.
  9. Cedars-Sinai. Pelvic fracture.
  10. eMedicineHealth. Sciatica.
  11. Eur Spine J. 2013 Apr; 22(4): 721–726.
  12. HopkinsMedicine. Lumbar disk disease.
  13. PatientInfo. Appendicitis.
  14. Pediatr Emerg Care.2010 Jun;26(6):431-3.
  15. Medscape. Irritable bowel syndrome clinical presentation.
  16. Medscape. Inflammatory bowel disease.
  17. RadioGraphics. 2011;31(4): 927-947.
  18. MayoClinic. Inguinal
  19. WebMD. Septic arthritis.
  20. eMedicineHealth. Hip pain.
  21. WebMD. Fibromyalgia pain.
  22. MayoClinic. Hip pain.
  23. MedicineNet. Ovarian cysts causes.
  24. PhysicalTherapy. 2007 June;6(1): 801-810.
  25. BMC Med. 2011; 9: 15.
  26. MayoClinic. Self-care approaches to treating pain.
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