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Causes of Hip Pain and Ways to Relieve It

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Woman with hip pain
Hip pain can be managed with the right treatment.

Patients with hip pain, or patients who have had hip surgery come through the doors of Physionique regularly. These patients highlight their source of pain at either the front, side or back of the hip joint and it usually is painful with walking. The common theme is the immediate need to find out the source and cause of their pain in order to find hip pain relief.

Common Causes for Hip Pain

Soft Tissues Overuse

In addition to falls or sports injuries, the pain can also occur due to repetitive overuse of the soft tissues surrounding the joint, which may be caused by incorrect alignment and faulty mechanics of the hip.

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint that moves in a sliding and rolling motion, similar to a ball in a hollow cup. It should be properly centered for optimal function. It's worth noting that the hip and shoulder are both ball and socket joints, which means they are closely connected and often mirror each other in terms of position and alignment. For example, if the shoulders are hunched forward, it's not uncommon for the hips to also shift forward.

Many times, individuals who experience hip pain may notice that their hip joint tends to move forward or rotate too much inwards while walking. This repetitive motion can put a lot of pressure on the sensitive tissues around the hip, which can then result in pain.

Distancing of the hips

If there's a certain area above or below the hip that's causing the hip to shift out of its usual position, then fixing those parts will be necessary to completely remedy the issue with the hip joint.

Muscle Tightness

Tight, tense, and shortened muscles around the hip and lower legs are often linked to hip pain. The rectus femoris, hip flexors, inner thigh muscles, and glutes can pull on the hip, creating an imbalanced tug-of-war sensation.

Hip Pain Case Studies and Treatments

In a recent case study, a patient experienced pain in both hips that was worsened by long-distance walking and hiking. The muscles on the sides of her hips were sore. Upon assessment, it was found that her standing posture was asymmetrical, with her trunk rotated to the right due to her workstation setup, where a second monitor was placed to the right. When she took a step forward, instead of her hips aligning with the rest of her body, they were leading the way forward.

The treatment involved correcting the rotation in her trunk through massage and stretching, as well as improving her workstation ergonomics. The muscles around her hip were sore and tender from being pulled each time she took a step forward. These muscles were released, and she practiced stepping forward with the correct alignment of her upper and lower body.

In another case study, a golfer had a total replacement of his right hip. He had put a lot of torsion and compression on his hip from repeatedly hitting golf balls at high speed.

After the surgery, his rehabilitation focused on massage around the incision site and the tight, restricted muscles. Then, he gradually worked on improving the range of motion of his hip joint, along with progressive strengthening and stability exercises. Adjustments were made to his golf swing to put less pressure on his lower back, sacroiliac joints, and operated hip. The rehab process went smoothly, and he was able to return to playing golf again.

Treatment Options for Hip Pain

For treatment, it is important to locate the primary site of muscle imbalance and malalignment in order to address it. Massage, relaxation techniques, myofascial release, stretching, and muscle activation are aimed at restoring balanced tensions that keep the hip in a good place.

At Physionique, our holistic approach determines that it may not be the hip that is being treated, but an area of the body that has influence over the hip joint. We have tremendous success with getting to the root cause of hip pain and finding a solution that works for the short, medium and long-term.

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