Addressing the Source of Your Hip Pain

If you experience pain or discomfort in your hip, the logical conclusion is that you have a hip-related injury. But don’t be so quick to check Google or WebMD for the best way to treat your symptoms. The pain you feel in your hip may not be coming from your hip at all.

Have you ever wondered how a heart attack can cause pain in your arm? Or how a kidney infection can produce back pain? This phenomenon is known as referred pain, and it occurs when a problem in one part of the body causes pain somewhere else. While hip pain can be the result of an injury or misalignment within the hip joint, it could also be an instance of referred pain stemming from other hip-related structures, such as the lower back, groin, buttock, pelvis, and thigh.

When hip pain occurs, avoid temptation to stretch, massage and apply pressure to the pain site. Doing so may increase inflammation and irritation, making your symptoms even worse. Instead, follow these steps to address your hip pain at the source:

Align your posture
Achieving a neutral-spine posture helps to relieve stress on the structures that are contributing to your hip pain. Lie flat on the floor or a firm, comfortable surface and place supports (such as a rolled towel) beneath your neck, lower back and knees. This position helps to realign the spine and will not cause any structural damage.

Apply cold therapy
Applying ice to your lower back can help to numb the pain and reduce inflammation. And best of all, you can do this while you practice aligning your posture. Cover your ice or gel pack in a soft towel and place it on top of your lower back support. Apply cold therapy for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and allow at least one hour between treatments.

Reduce tension
Stress and anxiety can produce tension in the body which may be contributing to your hip pain. Take time throughout the day to evaluate your stress levels, breathe deeply, and relax. You may find that exercise and meditation help to keep stress under control.

Engage in low-impact physical activity
Gentle movement can sometimes help to work the pain out of your sore muscles and joints. If you are able to move without too much discomfort, try going for a walk or swimming a few laps in the pool. Most importantly, listen to your body and stop any activity that becomes painful.

Talk to your doctor
If you continue to experience hip pain, schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician. Identifying the true source of your hip pain will guide you towards the right course of treatment and put you on the fast track to recovery (Source: Care2).