Like most symptoms, there are a variety of causes. Hip muscle pain is caused by tendonitis, bursitis, or a muscle strain. Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon – the tissue that attaches your muscles to your bones. It is frequently caused by overuse or repeated use. For example, runners may experience tendonitis in the hip flexor or in the tensor fascia latae muscle. The repetitive movement in running causes the tendon to become aggravated and inflamed – causing pain.
Bursitis sometimes goes hand-in-hand with tendonitis. If a tendon near a bursa becomes inflamed, it may aggravate the bursa sac. It may hurt to move the hip. Thus, the pain may be mistaken for muscle pain – but it is actually originating from the bursa.
A muscle strain is the stretching or tearing of a muscle. This can happen to any of the small or large muscles at the hip joint. Frequently, you will know what caused a muscle strain – such as a fall or injury in sports. If the strain happens at the hip, you may experience hip muscle pain. Pain may range from mild to severe – depending on the type of strain.
If the pain is more prominent in the buttocks, piriformis syndrome could be the cause. Piriformis syndrome is where the tiny piriformis muscle spasms. It can cause pain in the buttocks area. As well, it can compress the sciatic nerve – creating radiating pain down the leg