Recovery Guide: Hip

Putting the “hinge” in the Hip

Customized hip recovery guide

Stiff Hips

We understand how frustrating hip problems can really be. We use our hips for everything: sit down, bending over, walking, climbing stairs, balancing. Hip pain can present in many ways and mimic back or knee symptoms:

  • Radiating pain into the knee or butt
  • Painful pinch in groin when sitting down or lifting leg.
  • Stiffness when squatting or climbing stairs.
  • Weakness or instability when standing on one leg,
  • Painful limp when walking.
  • Limited ability to hike or exercise.

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.

Unlocking Hip Mobility

Hips were designed to be mobile and move in many directions. Over time hips stiffen up due to lack of stretching and degenerative changes of the cartilage. Swelling in the tissues will cause stiffness and will set off pain signals radiating into the groin or upper thigh. The first strategy we implement with patients is Improving hip mobility. This is followed up with improving squatting and hinging movements.

Hips Plan of care

I have treated hundreds of stiff and painful hips over 20 years of experience. I have been able to develop a reliable and effective recovery plan by following a very simple formula: “Calm the tissues down and then load them back up”. This is done by following 4 progressive steps:



Avoid painful movements like sitting or standing too long.
Sleep with a supportive pillow between your legs.
Place a hot pack or ice over the painful area.



Try to find another way of moving with less pain. Widen your feet when squatting.
Don’t stay in one position longer than 20 minutes.
Gentle use massage stick to the upper thigh.


Activate & Load

Try performing a bridge exercise.
Squeeze a pillow between your knees for 30 seconds.
take a 15 minute walk 2x day. 


Physical therapy

If symptoms persist for 2-3 weeks, consult with a physical therapist or medical professional.

Healthy Hips

Hips were designed to be mobile and flexible. After a few weeks of stretching and following our proven step by step recovery strategies, will be able to squat lower, climb stairs, and even bend over and sit with less pain. Hip pain while walking or standing in line at the grocery store will soon be a thing of the past.

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