Hip Pain and How to Heal It at the Source

December 28, 2021

Hip pain is a widespread problem, especially when associated with lower back pain or groin injuries. The femur and pelvis serve as anchors for muscles in your hips, and when any of them are strained or injured, it can result in pain. 

And while older adults complain about hip joints, or hip pain radiating down their legs, this pain is not limited to older patients. There are several factors that can result in hip pain.


hip pain

Today you will learn:

• The top causes of hip pain

• The lower back and hip pain connection

• What it means when hip pain radiates elsewhere

• How to know if your hip pain is serious

• Treatments for hip pain

• Preventing hip pain


Let’s get started…


The Top Causes of Hip Pain

Hip pain can be caused by injury, surgery, or illness, including:

• Arthritis

• Being overweight (strain)

• Fracture of the hip

• Hip joint strain or sprain

• Radiating low back pain

• Slips or falls

• Inflammation

• Blood flow restriction


Arthritis and Obesity

Joint pain and stiffness are the main characteristics of arthritis, which is tenderness and swelling of the joints. 

Overweight people tend to suffer from arthritis more than those of a healthy weight, regardless of their age. In fact, 65 percent of patients diagnosed with arthritis are considered overweight or obese. ¹

Because these go hand in hand, both arthritis and obesity should be treated to help reduce hip pain.


Hip Fractures

Osteoarthritis is also the overwhelming reason for hip fractures. A whopping 97% of hip replacements are due to either osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis caused hip fractures. ²


Hip Joint Strain or Sprain

Hip and groin strains limit your range of motion when stepping forward or lifting your leg. A strain or sprain is caused when one of the muscles that support your hip joint is stretched beyond its limit. 

Groin injuries and hip strains typically occur in athletic activities but can also be caused by slipping or lifting a heavy object. This strain can cause you to experience hip pain.


Radiating Low Back Pain

Because the pelvis and femur anchor muscles that run across the abdomen and buttocks, it is sometimes hard to identify the source of hip pain. Low back pain in conjunction with hip pain could be related to sciatic pain, low back strain, or injury. 


Slips or Falls

When we slip, sometimes our body tries to fight the fall, resulting in strain and pulling on our muscles. Other times, our bodies make an impact against another object, like the ground, causing us injury. Either way, we can experience hip pain from these accidents, even if they don’t result in a hip fracture.

Bruising of the hip is also very common with slips and falls and is very painful.



Inflammation is another cause of hip pain and can be caused by something as simple as walking irregularly or from a condition known as hip bursitis. Bursitis is the inflammation of bursae – tiny sacs in tissue where friction occurs.

Hip bursitis impacts those on the head of the femur or in the internal part of the hip joint itself. This inflammation is the source of a percent of hip pain.


Blood Flow Restriction

A condition known as Hip Osteonecrosis is one cause of hip pain due to blood flow restriction in the hip joint. This condition is connected to the use or abuse of alcohol or steroids, sickle cell anemia, and genetic disorders.


Is My Hip Pain Serious?

Hip pain that is negatively impacting your ability to fully participate in life needs to be addressed by a health professional. A chiropractor can help you reduce pain and address the underlying condition that is causing the pain.

If your hip pain is unbearable or has sudden swelling or signs of infection, it is serious, and immediate care should be taken.


hip pain relief Treatment for Hip Pain

Hip replacement surgery has been the go-to for many people, especially elderly patients. But, for those who don’t want to go under the knife with a lengthy recovery period, pain medication, and possible complications, or the hip replacement wearing out, there are other options.

Ice – An ice pack can help reduce swelling or inflammation on the hip joints. Rest comfortably and apply ice to the hip or groin. This can be particularly helpful if there is bruising.

Heat – If cold or ice don’t feel good, a warm bath or heat compress can also help relax the muscles in the hips.

Chiropractic CareChiropractic care supports pain reduction by adjusting the joints in the hips, as well as the knees, ankles, and low back that could be the source of the problem. Chiropractic care can be used in place of hip replacement surgery for non-invasive, safe correction.

Pain relief is often achieved through chiropractic adjustments. These improve blood flow to the area and take pressure off joints.

Stretching – Gentle stretching of the muscles in and around the hip joint can also reduce stiffness and pain in the hips, low back, and groin.


Preventing Hip Pain

If you are at risk for hip pain, chiropractic care can be used to keep your body in alignment, including your hip joints.

A healthy weight along with a consistent exercise plan will also help, especially because obesity and arthritis lead to the bulk of hip replacement needs. Wearing good shoes, being proactive about reducing the chance of falls, and stretching regularly will also help.


Hip Pain Relief with Chiropractic Care

Some hip pain will improve on its own, but if it doesn’t, or if you want to heal more quickly, seeing a chiropractor who specializes in soft tissue and rehabilitation modalities will address the alignment issues causing the pain. Failure to address the pain can impact other parts of your body, and this overcompensation could create more pain in the hip or other areas. Ultimately, it is important to have your hip pain evaluated by a professional to get to the underlying cause and address it.


The Takeaway

Discovering the root cause of your hip pain is the first step in finding relief. Our chiropractors in FremontGreen Lake, and West Seattle, and Slabtown Portland will evaluate your condition and symptoms and create a unique plan for your body and situation. Addressing the underlying problem without drugs or surgery is our ultimate desire for you. Book an appointment today to get started.



  1. https://www.hss.edu/newsroom_bmi-rheumatoid-arthritis-sustained-submission.asp
  2. https://www.everydayhealth.com/hip-pain/the-basics-of-hip-pain/