Hip Pain

Your hip joint is one of the largest joints in your body. It’s in near-constant motion as it supports the body’s weight and maintains balance for everyday activities, including walking, going up and down stairs, and sitting. When something’s not right in your hips, it’s immediately noticeable and quickly affects your quality of life.

Hip pain can range from merely annoying to absolutely excruciating. Whether you’ve noticed an occasional twinge or are experiencing discomfort with every step, it’s best to get it checked out.

Common Causes of Hip Pain:

  • Injury and Accidents: Sudden injury from sports, a fall, or an accident can result in a fracture, dislocation, or labral tears.
  • Pinched Nerve: There are many nerves that run through the hip joint. Meralgia paresthetica, Sacroiliitis, and Sciatica are common causes of hip pain due to pinched nerves.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in your joints. Hip arthritis is common. It causes symptoms like pain, swelling, and stiffness. Several types of arthritis can lead to pain in your hips, including Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis is painful swelling in a small, fluid-filled sac called a bursa. Bursae (the plural of bursa) cushion spaces around bones and other tissue. Hip bursitis happens when the bursa in your hip becomes irritated and swells.
  • Daily Life: Jobs or hobbies can cause repetitive strain injuries caused by doing the same motion or activity until it starts to hurt your body. Any motion or movement — from typing on a computer at work to practicing an instrument — can cause a repetitive strain injury if you do it too often.

(Source: Mayo Clinic & Cleveland Clinic)

What a Doctor of Chiropractic Can Do for You

Your doctor of chiropractic may take one or more approaches to alleviate hip pain:

  • Perform physical and neurological exams to assess the affected area as well as areas surrounding the hip. 
    • In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. Your doctor will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasms. 
    • During the neurological exam, your doctor will test your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain spread.
  • Perform spinal manipulation or hip adjustments to align and improve spinal function to alleviate the stress on the hip joint.
  • Develop a personalized program of care that may combine or recommend more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to spinal manipulation, the treatment plan may include mobilization, massage, rehabilitative exercises, or something else.

Ask your Chiropractor to see if the following Pain Management Techniques are Beneficial for You:


  • Rest: Stop the physical activity that caused the pain to avoid making the injury worse.
  • Ice: Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 10 to 15 minutes every hour for the first day after your injury. After one day, you can apply ice every three to four hours. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin (wrap the ice pack in a towel or washcloth).
  • Compression: Compression helps reduce blood flow to your injured hip and reduces swelling. Apply a compression bandage or wrap around your hip. You can also wear compression shorts or pants to help keep pressure on your hip.
  • Elevation: If possible, lift your hips and lower body above the level of your heart. Support your leg with pillows, blankets, or cushions.

(Source: Cleveland Clinic)


Aerobic exercise, including low-impact activities like walking and bicycling, can help increase blood flow to the hip to decrease pain and stiffness. Stretching can help improve flexibility to decrease tension in tight muscles, including the hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and piriformis muscles surrounding the hip joint. Resistance exercises and strength training can also help strengthen surrounding muscles to support the hip joint and decrease the risk of injury. Consult your chiropractor for personalized exercises to help relieve your hip pain.

(Source:  Verywell Health)


Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the hip muscles to help relieve pressure points and reduce pain. Acupuncture is more effective for superficial conditions that affect the soft tissues rather than conditions deep within the hip joint that are difficult to access.

(Source:  Verywell Health)


Applying heat or submerging the area in hot water can loosen and relax muscles to reduce pain while increasing blood flow. Applying ice or submerging in cold water can numb pain and reduce inflammation. You should end with the cold treatment when using both hot and cold.

(Source: Mayo Clinic)

Book a massage

Applying gentle pressure around the affected area may help relieve tension, and a full body massage can help the muscles relax. Chiropractic offices often offer massage services; consult your chiropractor to see what services they offer to book a massage.

(Source: Mayo Clinic)


Whirlpools and tubs submerging the hip in water can help improve blood flow to the hip and reduce pain. Use cold water immersions to reduce inflammation.

(Source: Verywell Health)


Proper nutrition can improve the health of cartilage, including preventing continued cartilage damage.  Increasing vitamin D (D3) intake can reduce inflammation as well as promote bone health. Introducing supplements like “Glucosamine and chondroitin can help repair damaged cartilage in the hip joint and prevent enzymes from breaking down cartilage further.”

(Source: Verywell Health)

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Research Shows Healing Power of Chiropractic