Pain Edu: Hip Pain

Orange County’s Guide to Hip Pain:

What is hip pain?

Hip pain can often be misdiagnosed and mistreated. It is important to undergo a complete musuclo-skeletal evaluation in order to understand the underlying causes. Hip joints are designed for stability and mobility. It important for hips to move and the muscles around the hip and pelvis to control the movement. Hip problems will occur when there is excessive tightness of the connective tissue and weakness of stabilizing muscles.

Pain Edu: Intro To Hip Pain

Are you experiencing pain or problems in your hip? Click on this video to learn more about hip pain and steps you can take to decrease your pain.

The main types of hip pain

Hip Bursitis

Hip Bursitis

A common diagnosis caused by excessive compression and friction of the bursae located underneath the outer muscle of the lower hip. Typically caused by over tight muscles or weakness of hip stabilizers.

Hip Arthritis

Hip Arthritis

Cartilage degenerative changes and joint inflammation that occurs with excessive hip tightness and prolonged compression of the hip joint. The joint cartilage is deprived of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.

Snapping Hip

Snapping Hip

A “snapping” or popping sensation that occurs with hip movement. Typically caused by a tight tendon that snaps across a bony protruberence in the groin or lower hip. Poor pelvic alignment, hip stabilization and excessive muscle tightness create this imbalance.

Acetabular Impingment

Acetabular Impingment

A condition in which the bony part of the hip joint is irregularly shaped and does not fit together perfectly in the socket. This irregular alignment caused the bones to rub against each other during movement. Over time this friction can damage the joint, causing pain and limiting activity.

Labral Tears

Labral Tears

A problem that involves tears in the cartilage caused by a combination of compression and excessive torsion or twisting within the joint. This condition is diagnosed with an MRI and typically requires surgery.

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis is a muscle located underneath the buttock muscles and can either become too tight or strained but abnormal pelvic alignment. The sciatic nerve travels in close proximity to the muscle and therefore excessive muscle tightness can also result in “sciatica” pain down the leg.

What you can do about your hip pain

Alleviating hip pain involves identifying the source of your pain and any injuries that may have occurred. First, consult your doctor and discuss the recommended options for treating your knee pain. They may recommend limiting certain activities, medications and physical therapy. Try these helpful solutions in between or before your physical therapy appointment.



If your pain isn’t increased by movement, stretching the hip muscles could be the first step to decreasing knee pain.


Heat/Cold Packs

Applying heat or cold packs to the hip can help decrease inflammation and pain. Apply the packs in intervals of 15 minutes in order to reduce damage to the skin surrounding the knee.



When you experience pain it is critical to rest your hip and limit your activity so that the joint has an opportunity to heal.


Physical therapy

Our physical therapy approach combines technology, manual therapy and corrective exercise. We use all of these techniques in our therapy sessions, this separates us from other Physical Therapists in Orange County.

Six stretches for hip pain

Try these exercises to help alleviate your hip pain. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist before you try these and stop if you sense discomfort or pain.

Butterfly Stretch

Frog Stretch

Kneeling Lunge

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