Hip Pain

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Hip Pain

Hip Pain Management

The hip is the largest ball and socket joint in the body. The ball is at the top of your thighbone (femoral head) and the socket (acetabulum) is in your pelvic bone. A cartilage surface ensures the ball and socket glide friction free and a thin lining (synovium) tops the cartilage and makes some synovial fluid, which further creates a smooth moving joint. Tendons, ligaments, and muscles complete the joint.

Hip pain is not always felt in the joint itself but may instead be felt in the groin or thigh.

All about Hip Pain

Georgia explains how Pilates can help with Hip Pain.

Causes of Hip Pain

Muscular, tendon strains and tendinitis.

Tendons are the thick bands of tissue that attach muscles to bones; "tendinitis" is inflammation or irritation of these tendons. It's usually caused by repetitive stress and classes as an overuse injury. When any of these structures become inflamed they can cause pain and prevent the hip from working normally.

Trochanteric bursitis

This condition occurs when the bursa, which is a liquid-filled sac near the outside of the hip joint, becomes inflamed. The bursae should help to ease friction between muscles. It is often due to overuse of the joints or posture problems.

Labral tears

The labrum is a piece of cartilage that lines the hip socket. Tears in the labrum can cause pain and discomfort in the hip joint.

Hip fractures

These can cause very sudden, severe hip pain, and they require immediate medical attention. There are complications that can arise from a fractured hip, such as a blood clot in the leg.


There are two types that can affect the hip joint:

Osteoarthritis (OA): This is the "wear and tear" type that many people get in middle age. Cartilage on the ball and in the hip socket slowly breaks down and causes grinding between bones. This can cause stiffness, pain and reduced range of motion. The pain may be felt in your crotch and at the front of your thigh, and it can radiate further to the knee and behind. It's often worse after a hard workout or when you don't move for a while.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): In this condition the immune system attacks parts of your body, which can include the synovium. This normally thin lining starts to thicken and swell and to make chemicals that damage or destroy the cartilage that covers the bone. The joint may hurt and swell, and you might notice heat and red skin around it.

Symptoms of Hip Pain

Hip pain is experienced as pain deep within the hip joint, and sometimes radiates down the front of the thigh. The pain can be a dull ache or a sharp pain that is usually aggravated with movement of the hip. Other symptoms include stiffness with reduced range of movement, weakness, and perhaps pain on resisted muscle testing.

Hip Pain Treatment

Modify or avoid activities that worsen your pain to help reduce irritation.

Ice and heat: applying ice or heat to the affected area can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Medication: seek appropriate pain relief to reduce discomfort and allow for more mobility exercises.

Do watch the PBG information class on hip pain and then try the QuickFix exercise class to learn how to safely mobilise, stretch and strengthen to relieve hip discomfort.

Free Class: Quick Fix for Hip Pain

Free Quick Fix video on Hip Pain
Got any questions?
Hip Pain

Physio Tip!

If recovery from your hip injury still isn't progressing as you hoped, it could be because there is stress being placed on the hip from an adjacent part of the body.

Commonly this is lower back stiffness, which can cause the hip muscles to become tight and tender. So do try some back stiffness and mobility classes!

Need more help?


Contact your healthcare provider immediately if:

  • You have severe hip pain that started suddenly but you've not had a fall or injured your hip
  • Your hip is swollen and feels hot
  • The skin around your hip has changed colour
  • You have hip pain and feel generally unwell and have a high temperature or feel hot and shivery.
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Disclaimer: All information presented on this page is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. The information contained herein is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Georgia is a fantastically experienced and knowledgeable physiotherapist.
Oliver Templeton-Ward
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
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