More than 7 percent of American adults experience chronic hip pain, according to a 2011 government report. Although the source of the pain might appear to be an arthritic hip, the cause might be something completely different-and something more serious. If you do have hip discomfort, be cognizant of the fact that it could be a sign of arthritis of the hip or lead to arthritis of the hip, says A.J. Cianflocco, MD, an orthopaedist with Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. But hip pain can also be related to bursitis, a hip fracture, or even a problem in your lower back.