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Hip Pain

Pain in and around the hip can have multiple causes, including referred pain from trigger points in surrounding muscles.  Persistent pain should be diagnosed by a physician.  The most common hip pain, arthritis, is felt in the joint with motion and load.    Pain felt over the hip and on the back side of the hip joint and the buttocks is often ligament, nerve or muscle pain.  Pain in a ligament attachment is usually felt at the point of attachment only and worsens when you put pressure on the area.  Nerve pain like sciatica may travel down the leg, be continuous and is often not position related.   Muscle pain may also be continuous like a cramping muscle and may subside with heat treatment or rest.

Common Causes   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •

A number of tendons and ligaments are either attached to or cross the hip.  A frequent cause of added tension in these tendons and ligaments comes from an internal rotation of the leg - typically resulting from hyperpronation of the feet.  The internal rotation of the leg also rotates the hips forward, and because hyperpronation is usually not symmetrical one hip drops compared to the other leaving the pelvis un-level and posture compromised.  All of these factors contribute to over- worked muscles and tendons.   Hip or buttock pain can also be sciatica which is caused by the sciatic nerve becoming entrapped by the Piriformis muscle (Piriformis syndrome).

A number of muscles and ligaments can cause pain in and around the hip.  One of the biggest offenders is the Piriformis muscle. 

The first step is to distinguish between joint (arthritic) pain and surrounding (tendon, ligament or muscle) pain. A good orthopedic doctor will know how to manipulate your leg and where to push and prod to help identify the pain source. If you can't seek the help of an orthopedist, try to consciously rotate your legs externally  by walking on the outside margin of your feet.  If this helps reduce the pain, your problem is most likely associated with muscles and ligaments and tied to hyperpronation.  Controlling hyperpronation will be your path to pain relief.