Hip pain is a common but troublesome ailment for many people at some point in their lives.
Sometimes the pain gets better on its own, while other times, it may persist or be a sign of a serious problem.
Your hip is a complicated joint with many moving parts and is in constant use throughout the day.
Therefore, any pain associated with it can be bothersome.
In this article, I’ll discuss seven at-home remedies for mild to moderate hip pain as well as when to see a medical provider about hip pain.
Rest and Protect the Joint
When you experience pain, a good first step is to rest the joint.
Take note of what movements cause pain and avoid those movements or positions.
When standing, balance your weight evenly between your feet, and if standing for long periods, use a cushioned surface.
Avoid crossing your knees when sitting and try to maintain good posture.
Remember to stand and stretch to prevent sitting for prolonged periods.
At night when you sleep, avoid laying on the painful hip and use a pillow between your knees for better hip alignment.
Apply Heat or Ice
Heat or ice may help relieve hip pain.
Cold helps reduce inflammation, while heat can help draw blood to an injured area to speed up healing.
Icing an injury or strain is recommended for the first 48-72 hours.
After that, use the heating pad.
To use ice, wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables in a towel and place it on your hip for about 20 minutes at a time.
To use heat, use a heating pad or soak in warm water such as your bathtub.
Take Pain Medications
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen can be purchased over the counter and may help ease discomfort.
If these medications upset your stomach, take them with food or try acetaminophen instead.
Topical NSAIDs such as diclofenac (Voltaren) gel or methyl salicylate (Icy Hot, Aspercreme) may also bring some relief.
Engage in Gentle Exercise
Staying active and safely moving your joint helps maintain healthy blood flow to the area.
In fact, evidence shows that aerobic and stretching exercises may help reduce hip pain.
A physical therapist or personal trainer can help you determine a safe and effective exercise plan for you.
Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and using a stationary bike or elliptical are best when you have pain.
Warm up before exercising and avoid high-impact activities (such as running, jumping, and contact sports) and any exercise that causes pain.
Wear Proper Shoes
Wearing high heels puts your foot at an unnatural angle and changes your body’s alignment, which can put stress on the hip joint and increase pain.
Flat shoes without arch support, sandals, and shoes without cushioning can also increase stress on your joints.
Opt for shoes that support your feet with appropriate arch support and cushioning.
Wearing the correct type of shoes puts your body in better balance and can decrease pain.
Chronic pain can increase stress, and high stress levels can increase muscle tension and pain.
Seeing a massage therapist can be a valuable tool in easing pain, stimulating blood flow, helping relax tense muscles, and reducing stress.
Hydrotherapy, sometimes called aquatic therapy, is a type of physical rehabilitation.
Some studies have found it provides short-term benefits for people experiencing musculoskeletal pain.
Hydrotherapy uses all forms of water as a method of treatment, including:
- Swimming pools
- Whirlpool pas
Talk with your medical provider about which types of hydrotherapy may benefit your hip pain most.
When to See a Medical Provider
Seek immediate medical help if you have a severe fall or other injury and are:
- Unable to bear weight on your leg
- Unable to move your hip
- Having extreme pain
- Having bleeding or bruising
- Experiencing new urinary symptoms
- Feeling numbness
Let your primary medical provider know if:
- Your hip is still painful after two weeks
- A fever or rash develops
- Other joints hurt
- Walking or climbing stairs becomes difficult
How K Health Can Help
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Frequently Asked Questions
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
Chronic hip pain in adults: Current knowledge and future prospective. (2020).
Contemporary acupressure therapy: Adroit cure for painless recovery of therapeutic ailments. (2017).
Effects of chiropractic care on pain and function in patients with hip osteoarthritis waiting for arthroplasty: A clinical pilot trial. (2010).
Non-drug pain management. (2018).
Taking care of your back at home. (2020).