Hip Pain Treatment

We find that the piece of treatment related information the majority of hip pain sufferers find most useful is the following. Deep muscle and fascia (connective tissue) are by far the most common sources of hip pain. This means that they are the first target of effective treatment in most cases of ‘normal’ hip pain, meaning there is no major injury of disease process in the hip. 

When it is done in the right way, working with the soft tissues of the hip brings rapid improvements in hip pain for the vast majority of sufferers whom we see. The hip joint itself and also the sacroiliac joint and spinal joints can most definitely cause hip pain and require treatment but the soft tissues are a more common source of pain signals in the hip area. 

In general terms effective treatment of hip pain starts with accurate diagnosis and then finds ways to successfully target the specific source of the pain. Hands on treatment and targeted strength based rehab of hip pain are in a sense the exact opposite mechanism to pharmaceutical pain killers, they aim to be as specific as possible to the problem areas, rather than being dispersed widely through the body via the bloodstream. When it comes to hand on treatment and rehabilitation of hip pain the rule of thumb is ‘the more specific the better’. 

Step 1 – Get A Correct Diagnosis For Your Hip Pain

When you have hip pain it is obviously important to know if you have hip bursitis, a labral tear, arthritis or some other form of injury/wear & tear. A deeper level of understanding still is knowing why these issues have arisen. Healthy labrums don’t tear as a rule and only a percentage of us get hip osteoarthritis.. these facts point to a deeper level of possible insight into our hip pain. Questions like ‘Why has your right hip developed arthritis but your left hip which has exactly the same mileage not got arthritis’ or ‘Why would your labrum tear just doing a few warm ups?’.. are the types of enquiry that start a deeper level of investigation into hip pain.

 Ultimately most hip pains and even injuries  boil down to faulty movement patterns and patterns of weakness, these are what lead to hip pain and hip injury. Identifying pain generating tissues, injured tissues AND the movement abnormalities that cause them is the longer term path to successful treatment of hip pain. 

Step 2 – Hands On Treatment 

In most cases of hip pain it’s necessary to work with someone who is willing to try a range of hand on  methods to ease your pain. There are exceptions to this but if you have a fundamentally healthy, normal body you probably need fairly vigorous exercise to stay fit and you probably need hands on treatment in order  to heal. At our clinic for treatment examples include… 

  • Acupuncture – the use of acupuncture needles as a treatment for hip pain is designed to reduce pain signals, reduce muscle spasm and increase blood flow.
  • Mobilisation – manual mobilisation of the hip joint can be extremely helpful and is much the same as the stretching you do yourself but can often achieve greater range of movement. 
  • Stretching – using hands on ways of stretching the hip muscles with a trained practitioner can help a great deal when you are working to relieve hip pain. 
  • Manipulation – manual joint manipulation as a treatment for hip pain is designed to increase movement and reduce pain signals.
  • Cryotherapy – the use of icepacks for managing hip pain can bring great relief. Ice reduces inflammation and interrupts pain signals. 
  • Vibration Massage – deep percussive massage with the use of a mechanical massage machine can be extremely effective at reducing muscle pain around the hip.
  • Deep Tissue Release – releasing acupressure points that are found in the soft tissue of hip pain sufferers can often bring surprising levels of relief even for arthritis sufferers.
  • Suction Cups – using suction cups for the treatment for hip pain increases blood flow in the area and can stretch the fascia.
  • Scar Tissue Release – if you have had problems with hip pain for a long time you more than likely have a build up of microscopic scar tissue in the tissues of the hip. There are stretching and scraping techniques that can break thisbkind of scar tissue up and free the movement of the hip. 

If you have stubborn hip pain you may find that you need a determined, flexible and open minded practitioner who is willing to throw the kitchen sink at your pain and find out what works for you. Patients who have had significant hip injuries for example often find that they need a sizeable list of different treatments to manage and progress their hip pain at different times in order to progress. 

Step 3 – Rehabilitation 

If you have had persisting hip pain that you want to get rid of permanently it is a virtual certainty that you will need to address the underlying weaknesses and imbalances uncovered in Step 1. This ‘rehabilitation’ step is crucial for those who want to do everything they can to resolve their hip pain in the longer term. 

The key to effective strengthening exercises for hip pain is a willingness to learn the exercises inside out and keep doing them over a long period of time. This is in much the same way that you cannot go to the gym for just 6 weeks and expect lasting change.

A percentage of people with stubborn hip pain also benefit from insoles in their shoes, usually those with either very high or very low arches. We spend our whole lives on extremely hard flat and unnatural surfaces like concrete, this puts untold strain in even the healthiest of hips. Orthotics are a way of protecting the hip joint from these unnatural stresses in the longer term which can be extremely helpful when managing hip pain. 


Regardless of which treatments and exercises your particular case of hip pain responds to the truth is these are all just the details. At the deepest level what we are talking about is the freedom to live a normal active life without being limited by unnecessary hip pain. This fact in combination with the knowledge that a huge number of elderly people suffer terribly with hip pain are the reasons that is worth the effort involved in finding the right treatment for your hip pain.