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Stay in motion with hip pain

Updated on January 8, 2016

Thousands experience hip pain each year. With advanced age and extended use, the cartilage, muscles and tendons in and around your hip can become damaged or worn. In this article we look at hip pain, common causes, and what to do about it.

Hip pain is pain in or around the hip joint. Although a lot of people with hip issues, may not necessarily feel pain in this area. Many people feel pain in their knee, thigh, buttocks, or groin.

Common causes of hip pain

  • Arthritis in the groin area or front part of the thigh
  • Hamstring, hip flexor or groin strain
  • Hip fractures from falling from a standing height (osteoporosis)
  • Hip impingement syndrome (a condition of too much friction in the hip joint causing the ball and socket to rub abnormally)
  • Illiotibial band syndrome (swelling/inflammation of the illiotibial band, the tendon running along the outside leg)
  • Infection in bones or joints
  • Loss of blood supply to the bone (avascular necrosis)
  • Snapping hip syndrome (a condition where you hear a snapping sound or feel a snapping sensation caused by the movement of a muscle or tendon over a bony structure in the hip when you are moving)

Lessing hip pain

Maintain healthy weight – Proper nutrition is key. If overweight, ask a health professional for nutritional/diet help to achieve a healthy weight goal.

Proper exercises - Warm up before any exercise activity by stretching your quadriceps and hamstrings. Low-impact exercises and resistance training can improve joint mobility and reduce pain. Try swimming rather than running or biking which can put undue pressure on your hips.

When running - If you plan to run, try a flat, soft track rather than a hard surface and make sure your running shoes fit well and are cushioned.

When standing - Don’t stand for long periods of time or on hard surfaces. Put equal weight on both legs. Wear comfortable, flat shoes along with inserts and arch supports for foot support.

Avoid pain - Try to avoid activities that worsen the pain. Sleep on the opposite side of your body so not to add to the pain. Consider placing a pillow between your legs for comfort.

Medication and ice - Take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen as prescribed. Hold ice to the area for about 15 minutes a few times each day.

When to contact a medical professional

If your hip pain is caused by a sudden fall or other injury, you need to seek professional medical help. You should also call a professional if you have difficulty moving your hip(s) or putting anyweight on your leg(s), and if you experience pain in both hips and related joints. Your doctor might recommend x-rays or an MRI scan. Physical therapy may help increase your range of motion and eventually alleviate some of the pain.

Some patients with end stage arthritis or impingement may benefit from a total hip replacement. Ask your doctor if this is right for you.

Hip pain is prevalent with many common causes. However, you can take tangible steps to lessen this pain. There may be times when you need to contact a medical professional. If you have any questions or suggestions on future articles contact us at


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