How To Treat Hip Pain

Fitness, Pain + Recovery, Training Advice

By: // December 18, 2018

The hip is the largest joint in your body, supporting most of your weight and helping you move and balance throughout the day. So it’s no surprise that when hip pain strikes, it can be debilitating to your everyday life. While you should always visit your doctor for chronic or severe pain, there are some hip pain treatments you can try on your own to find relief, whether it’s light exercise or a homeopathic remedy. Let’s explore some common causes of hip pain and delve into how to best treat hip pain.

Causes of Hip Pain

Many things can cause hip pain, from simple strains and sprains to chronic conditions. Here are some common causes of hip pain:

  • Fractures. If you fracture your hip, you’ll likely experience intense, sudden hip pain. Hip fractures are more common as you get older due to falls.
  • Tendinitis or bursitis. These conditions are both caused by inflammation. Tendinitis usually presents as a dull ache or stiffness in the hip, and pain from bursitis is usually noticed when standing or walking. This is the most common cause of chronic hip pain in women. The pain is often felt in the front part of the thigh or groin.
  • Psoas Injury.  Most people are unfamiliar with the term. The psoas is a rope-like muscle located deep in the belly, which runs obliquely from spine to the femur. The psoas is they body’s most powerful hip flexor and, when tight or injured, can cause pain and inhibit your regular exercise. Every time you lift you knee the psoas contracts, so you can imagine it is easily overused; especially if you are a runner.
  • Injury or overuse. If you’ve over-trained as a runner, you may experience hip pain, which is why it’s important to safely increase your running mileage
  • Sports hernias can cause frontal hip pain in women.
  • Wear and tear. With age, the cartilage surrounding your hips can wear down or get damaged, or the muscles and tendons in the hip can become sore from overuse.

Related: 7 Exercises To Relieve Tight Hips

Ways To Treat Hip Pain

Know When To Use Hot Vs. Cold Therapy

Know when to use hot vs. cold therapy to treat your hip pain: chronic hip pain caused by conditions like arthritis will require heat. Soak in a warm tub or apply a hot compress. However, if you’ve recently injured your hip and it’s an acute injury (less than 6 weeks old) you’ll want to use cold therapy, by applying an ice pack or using a cold compress.

Start Your Day By Stretching

If your hip pain is from tight muscles or injury, start your day with light stretches and yoga poses like bridge pose to relieve your hip pain. Opening up tight hips at the start of the day can help keep you pain-free throughout the rest of the day, especially if your hip pain is caused by simple wear and tear.

If you have psoas or other hip flexor tightness, try crescent lunge on knee pose or other yoga lunges.


Strengthen Your Thigh Muscles

Your thigh muscles help support your hips more than you may think. Particularly if you suffer from arthritis, strengthening those thigh muscles will help support your hips more and hopefully lessen your pain. Try these exercises that strengthen the thigh muscles or add leg lifts and Pilates moves that target the hips and thighs into your exercise routine. Also, be sure to check out our hip-strengthening exercises for seniors.

Try Water Aerobics

When you’re dealing with hip pain, it’s best to avoid high-impact activities that put undue stress on your joints. Instead, change up your workout to make it low-impact. Swimming and water exercises are great for this, as are other low-impact forms of exercise like walking or yoga.

Find Out If Your Feet Are the Problem

Everything in your body is connected, and hip pain can sometimes signal problems with how you’re walking or the type of shoes you wear. If you’re a runner, make sure your shoes have adequate cushioning and support. Chiropractors can also help asses your gait—how you naturally walk—and see if you over-or-under-pronate your foot. Pronation is how your foot rolls inward when you walk and run, but if you over or under pronate it can cause hip issues.


This 3000-year old Chinese practice is used to treat a variety of ailments, from muscle pain to depression. Hip pain sufferers may consider acupuncture as an alternate therapy or something to explore to try and avoid hip surgery.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Carrying excess weight can contribute to hip pain, as your hip is a weight-bearing joint, and the more you have to support when walking and moving, the more strain you will put on your hip. Getting rid of excess bodyweight if you’re overweight can help lessen the strain put on your hips.

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Treat hip pain at home with these helpful tips.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Yoga Poses To Relieve Tight Hips

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on October 5, 2020 at 3:30 PM Reply

Please describe “Dry Needling”!!

    on October 6, 2020 at 3:15 PM Reply

    Dry needling is a treatment for pain often performed by trained physical therapists. This technique is used to tap into trigger points of a muscle that needs pain management. The trained professional will use a thin needle to penetrate the skin and help relieve neuromusculoskeletal pain.

on August 10, 2020 at 12:23 AM Reply

I read full article and follow your tips for hip pain relieve. I have problem on hip pain when standing from sitting now it works for me. Thanks

on May 14, 2020 at 3:38 AM Reply

Thank you for posting this blog, this very helpful. I wrote a post on my blog that talks about hip pain. It has a few points that you may want to check.

on April 22, 2019 at 2:30 PM Reply

About 5 years ago l got a new Hip no problems About a month ago l go Groin pain in the other Hip Now on the outside of the new hip oh the pain today

    on May 31, 2019 at 9:19 AM Reply

    I am so sorry to hear about your hip pain you are experiencing. Are you doing a lot more movement since your surgery? I am hoping that this will be something that you can pass, but first and foremost with your new hip make sure that you are listening to your doctor and what they are advising you to do and not do. From there - take it easy and work slowly through workouts and exercises, Don's push yourself too far where you feel pain. Try some low impact workouts easy on the hip. I hope this gets better for you soon.

on January 1, 2017 at 4:06 PM Reply

Hi! We found that working out the issues with adhesion helping out with our patients a lot! Do you guys allow guest blogging? Would love to interview or get some dialogue going?

    on January 4, 2017 at 4:39 PM Reply

    Hi Dr. Maggio - thanks for sharing! We do work with guest bloggers on occasion though we are not currently looking for more at the moment. Feel free to shoot an email to if you have specific ideas.

on July 15, 2016 at 4:41 PM Reply

Something else to try - Dry Needling. I'm having it done to my bad hip and it is really great. Just make sure that the person doing it is truly trained/certified.

(This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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