Hip pain and injury can present in many forms, but most commonly we see people complaining of this when they have to walk distances longer than a few blocks, or when walking after sitting for an extended period of time.
Specifically where you feel pain can tell us a lot. Do you feel pain:
In your groin?
Through the front of the thigh?
At the outside of the hip?
Deep in your buttock?
Many of these complaints we diagnose as common issues such as hip flexor tendinitis, hip bursitis, glute tendinopathy, and some of these pains can even be referred from the low back or SI joint. Each of these injuries is a bit different than the other, meaning they have different treatments, and no two people with the same injury have the exact same symptoms.
Here are some quick self-assessment tips to help you figure out if there are specific movements or muscle groups giving you the most trouble:
Standing trunk rotation - does doing this give you any groin or buttock pain?
Standing forward flexion - do you feel this in your back, your buttock, your hamstrings?
Standing hip flexion/stork - is it painful to hold one leg in the air, versus put all of your weight on the other leg?
Sidelying hip abduction - does it hurt to lift one leg in the air versus lie with all your pressure on one side?
Your answers to those questions matter! These are things we often assess and ask while evaluating our patients in-office to help determine the cause of their pain. Give the few exercises below a try - keep in mind these are very general recommendations but basics we commonly have patients perform when they first get started! Do they give you some relief? Do they make things more uncomfortable? (In drive: figure four stretch, Thomas stretch, 90/90 supine alternating heel taps, supine clam)
Additionally, if you’re having pain when going for a walk:
1. Stop and stretch as needed - and stretch after!
2. Listen to your body - give yourself some time to warm/loosen up, but avoid pushing through intense pain if you can
3. Wear supportive shoes - this just gives a little extra shock absorption from the ground up to take pressure off your joints
As always, a thorough and personalized assessment is best to find what your body specifically needs!