What is causing my hip pain and how can I manage it?

Therapeutic Associates
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I’m experiencing mild pain on the outer side of my right hip, from just below my hip bone up into my right side (feels like there is a muscle/tendon forming a line from hip up towards obliques and it is quite sore). I am most often experiencing this pain after a core workout and after walking on a treadmill at my desk. Could this be due to weak muscles in the area of the core or hips? What is the best way forward? Can I dive straight into exercises for strengthening my hip flexors and continue lower body strength training, or would that exacerbate the problem? How should I move throughout a day of computer work to help it heal — is there a better sitting position for the hips, or should I attempt to stand?

Disclaimer: Please note, this reply is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with a medical condition.

Things to Know

  • While muscle soreness after working out is okay, exercise that causes sharp pain should be avoided.
  • While muscle weakness can contribute to hip pain, an evaluation is the only way to determine the cause of your symptoms.
  • Ensuring your computer workstation is ergonomically sound is the best way to avoid posture-related issues.

We are sorry to hear that you are having pain in your right hip. While we cannot make specific recommendations regarding your case without doing a thorough evaluation, we can offer some general information that may be helpful for you.

It is possible to have weakness that leads to pain. Whether the hip pain you are experiencing is due to weakness in your core, or your hips, can only be determined with a thorough biomechanical exam, such as a physical therapist could provide. Consulting with a physical therapist is the optimal way to rule out any injuries or musculoskeletal dysfunction.

In general, some muscle soreness is okay following a workout. This sensation is referred to as DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and can be beneficial because it is the body getting stronger. However, exercises that cause sharp pain should be avoided. Have you heard the old saying “No pain, no gain,” … well, it doesn’t work. One exception to this may be the “hurst so good” sensation that often comes with foam rolling. It is possible that foam rolling may help relieve your muscle pain. This type of myofascial release is essentially self-massage.

As for getting through the workday, trying to optimize your computer workstation to be ergonomically sound can be very helpful. It is hard to speak to your sitting position without knowing how you are sitting and what your workstation looks like. Alternating sitting and standing could potentially be of benefit if you have a sit/stand desk but getting up to move and stretch at least once an hour is the best way to ensure your work doesn’t wind up causing you more problems with your hip pain. Check out the resources below for more tips on ergonomics!

Overall, the best piece of advice I can give is to have an evaluation by a licensed physical therapist. They will be able to properly diagnose what is causing your pain and develop a plan of care that will address your specific scenario and prescribe exercises that match your strength and goals. They can also evaluate your sitting position and offer additional resources on ergonomics.

Start your physical therapy journey today.

As physical therapists, we know the importance of movement for overall health and well-being. From injury recovery to achieving optimal performance, our passion is to help every patient reach their goals and live an active, pain-free life. Get started with PT today!

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