Hip Pain

What causes Hip Pain?

There are a number or reasons for hip pain, some of which can be helped by visiting a physiotherapist.

Pain can come from a tight, strained or overused muscle in the hip or from the joint itself. Pain in the hip can sometimes be the result of an injury, it can be referred from the back or related to the way you move, stand and/or use your hip.

Pain from osteoarthritis or wear and tear in the hip joint is also common. Your physio can’t cure the arthritis and it depends on the severity of the wear and tear but treatment and advice from your physio can often help ease the symptoms.


What will happen when I see a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists look at the patient as a whole, assessing the way the hip moves, strengthen and stretch the muscles, gently massage the hip muscles and stretch the hip joint to reduce tension and improve the mobility of the joint and work on the secondary problems like backache.

So that your physio can have a good look at how you move, they may need you to remove some clothes. It’s a good idea to dress comfortably and wear suitable underwear.

X-rays, scans and other tests are sometimes required to make a diagnosis and your physio may refer you to your GP or a specialist for any additional investigations or treatment.

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How can I help myself?

It’s generally best to carry on doing your normal activities, but try not to overdo things. Depending on the individual person, changes in your posture and lifestyle may be useful. You might need to pace yourself to allow you to do a little bit more each day.

Learning how to ‘pace’ yourself will help you to carry on with your usual activities. Pacing yourself means that you keep active without overusing joints.

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Top tips for Hip Pain

  • Avoid sitting in low chairs as this bends the hip a lot and might give you more pain
  • Don’t carry heavy weights. Use a trolley when you go shopping if carrying a basket is uncomfortable
  • Find a comfortable sitting position at work to lessen the strain on your hip
  • Use a walking stick to make walking easier. Use the stick on the opposite side to your painful hip. A therapist or doctor can advise on the correct length and the best way to use the stick
  • Lose weight if you’re overweight
  • Alter activities where you have to stand on one leg; for example, when you get into a car, sit on the side of the seat and swing both legs in rather than stepping in one leg at a time


More information on Hip Pain

Arthritis Research UK – Hip pain education and information
NHS Choices – Comprehensive information on hip pain


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