Hip Pain FAQ

What Is The Best Treatment For Hip Pain?

The best treatment protocol for hip pain is the most flexible one. If you are lucky you might get relief with a single therapy like acupuncture. The longer you have had hip pain for though the more likely it is that you will need a more flexible approach. An important principle in most cases of hip pain is to incorporate pain treatments with rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the hip stabilising muscles, much like you would for the core in instances of back pain. 

Useful treatment approaches for hip pain can  include… 

  • Acupuncture
  • Deep Tissue Release
  • Post Isometric Stretching
  • Suction Cups
  • Taping
  • Scar Tissue Release
  • Vibration Massage
  • Custom Insoles
  • Glute & Quad Strengthing
  • Lifestyle Alterations
Is it okay to massage my hip pain? 

Yes massage of the muscles around the hip can be a very good way to help manage pain while you are working towards resolution of your hip pain. 

What are the best exercises for hip pain? 

The best exercises for most cases of stubborn hip pain are those which strengthen the stabilising muscles of the entire leg. . Being more specific, the best type of exercises are those that carefully and persistently challenge your ability to balance and bear weight in a coordinated way. 

For many with a history of hip pain it won’t be possible  to do this kind of rehab comfortably and safely until your pain is under control via effective treatment methods. 

How can I tell if I have arthritis in my hips? 

If you have extremely and persistently stiff hips and they also hurt and click you may have some form of arthritis. Don’t freak out though because there are many other possible causes. If you suspect you might have arthritis, get checked out by a qualified professional, x Rays are the only way to know for sure. 

Should I get a hip replacement? 

The most common approach to osteoarthritis/arthritis of the hip is to passively watch and wait until the pain is bad enough, then replace the joint. There is no question that in a percentage of cases of hip arthritis this is essentially what is needed. It is worth knowing however, there are countless millions of people alive today with arthritic hips will never require surgery. It is a little known fact that the majority of hips with arthritic changes will essentially live a long and happy (if slightly stiff) life without surgery. 

A wise approach on learning that you have osteoarthritis of your hip at any age,  is to take very very good & proactive care of that hip and all the other parts of your body that hip relies on. A purposeful daily regime of strength and balance exercises for your feet, knees and hips plus regular stretching sessions,  and insoles for your shoes (if you need them) would be a great start. Many people also report great improvements in the ‘wellbeing’ of their hips with correct nutritional support also. 

Do absolutely everything within your power to strengthen, mobilise, support and care for your hips (under the guidance of someone who can show you what specific measures you require). Then if you still find your quality of life so poor that a hip operation seems inviting then maybe it is what you need. 

What can cause hip pain?

There are many possible causes of hip pain, all of which relate to their own specific types of physical stress, injury or physical disease. Possible causes of hip pain include but are not limited to… 

  • Habit based movement issues
  • Muscles weaknesses & imbalances 
  • Soft tissue injuries 
  • Tendonitis / tendonosis 
  • Bursitis 
  • Bone fractures 
  • Excessively flat feet or high arches
  • Joint infections 
  • Osteoarthritis or wear & tear 
  • Inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis 

Figuring out what is causing your hip pain is a job for the professionals. Don’t be tempted to use guides like this to diagnose yourself, they are just for reference purposes. 

I can feel myself slowing down, what causes my hips to become stiff over time?

If you are becoming chronically stiff in your hips over time; it is quite likely that you have some specific movement issues, imbalances or weakness in your lower limb. There is an example that we see in clinic on a daily basis, the patient who has very flat feet that are causing their hips to stiffen up over time. If your arches drop when you walk 10,000 times a day,  it can easily cause repetitive strain and stiffness in the hips over time. Most of these patients don’t realise why they are becoming so stiff. 

Other examples of undiagnosed issues that can cause stiffening of the hips include, people with muscle wasting from old injuries that were never properly rehabilitated, and people with unusually high arches. There are many other possible mechanical ‘patterns’ that can cause your hips to stiffen up slowly. It is also the case that a genetic predisposition towards weak cartilage, or certain types of arthritis,  can lead towards premature stiffening of your hips

What’s the best treatment for hip burstitis? 

Effective treatment for hip bursitis starts with figuring out what has caused the bursae to become inflamed in the first place,  and dealing with that. Hands on type treatments to ease the pain of bursitis can be extremely useful and bring great relief. Mobilising tendons and muscles, releasing joint stiffness and promoting blood flow in and around the bursae May bring rapid relief. To these ends, cupping, stretching and acupuncture can all be useful tools. 

Many of that people who receive successful treatment bursitis, find that it wasn’t actually the enlarged bursae that was causing their pain. Enlarged bursae are extremely common in areas of weakness and mechanical stress,  and they are easy to see on ultrasound, this high visibility doesn’t necessarily mean the bursae is the ‘cause’ of the pain. There are many other soft tissue structures around that bursae that may be causing the person’s pain. These other tissues (like tendons) are often the key to easing bursitis pain. 

Why does my hip click?

Lots of people have clicky hips, some are painful and others are completely painless clicks. Many hips that click are minutely unstable in certain positions, others simply click as a tendon or ligament passes over a prominent piece of bone. Sometimes if the hip cartilage is degenerated or damaged it can catch intermittently,  which makes a click sound. 

Even amongst healthcare providers,  there can be a fair amount of guess work in figuring out the reason for a click. If you have a stubborn click in your hip it may be under a bit of mechanical stress, it makes sense to get not only the hips but the movement patterns of the whole leg checked.