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  • Writer's pictureChang Min Lee

Hip Pain: Understanding the Causes



If you're experiencing hip or groin pain, you're not alone. Many people suffer from this type of pain, which can be caused by a variety of factors, including hip impingement syndrome, piriformis syndrome, and hip osteoarthritis. Each of these conditions has its own unique set of symptoms that can make diagnosis difficult. However, there are some key differences between these three conditions that can help you to narrow down the possible causes of your hip pain.


Hip Impingement Syndrome


Hip impingement syndrome, or femoroacetabular impingement, is a condition that can cause pain in the hip joint. The condition is caused by a narrowing of the space where the hip joint meets the thighbone. This can cause the ball of the femur (thighbone) to rub against the socket of the joint, leading to pain and inflammation.


Hip impingement syndrome is most common in young adults who are physically active. It can also occur in older adults who have arthritis. Symptoms of hip impingement syndrome include pain in the groin, hip, or thigh area; difficulty walking or bearing weight on the affected leg; and a clicking or popping sound in the hip when moving.



What causes hip impingement syndrome

There are a number of different factors that can contribute to the development of hip impingement syndrome. One of the most common causes is a change in the shape of the hip joint. This can be due to conditions such as developmental dysplasia of the hip, arthritis, or previous trauma to the joint. Other risk factors include tightness in the muscles and connective tissues around the hip joint, or a change in the alignment of the leg.


What are the common symptoms of hip impingement syndrome

The most common symptom of hip impingement syndrome is pain in the hip joint. Hip pain may be worse with activity, or it may come and go depending on how much you are using the joint. Other symptoms can include stiffness in the hip, clicking or popping sounds when the joint is moved, and weakness in the muscles around the hip.


How is hip impingement syndrome treated


There are a number of different treatments available for hip impingement syndrome. The first line of treatment is typically conservative measures such as rest, ice, and physical therapy.


What is the prognosis for hip impingement syndrome


The outlook for patients with hip impingement syndrome is generally good. With proper treatment, most people are able to find relief from their symptoms and return to their normal activities. In rare cases, the condition may lead to the development of arthritis in the hip joint.


How can you prevent hip impingement syndrome and pain in the hip joint


There are a few things that you can do to help prevent hip impingement syndrome. One of the most important is to maintain good muscle tone and flexibility in the muscles and connective tissues around the hip joint. You can do this by practicing regular stretching exercises. It's also important to maintain good alignment of the leg, and avoid activities that put excessive stress on the joint.


Piriformis Syndrome



Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle becomes too tight and compresses the sciatic nerve. This can cause sciatic pain, tingling, and numbness in the buttocks and down the leg.


The symptoms can be aggravated by sitting for long periods of time or by running or biking. Treatment options include stretching and massage of the piriformis muscle, ice and heat therapy, and medication if needed. In most cases, piriformis syndrome resolves with treatment, but in some cases it may persist or recur.


There are several things you can do to prevent or treat piriformis syndrome. First, make sure you warm up properly before exercising. Second, avoid sitting for long periods of time. Third, stretch the piriformis muscle regularly. Fourth, massage the muscle if it feels tight. Fifth, use ice or heat therapy as needed. Sixth, take medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you do these things, you should be able to prevent or treat piriformis syndrome.


Hip Osteoarthritis


Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the hip joint. It is the most common type of arthritis, and it typically occurs in people who are over 50 years old.


The cause of hip osteoarthritis is not fully understood, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Symptoms of hip osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the hip joint. Treatment options for hip osteoarthritis include medications, physical therapy, and surgery. Prognosis for hip osteoarthritis varies depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, hip osteoarthritis can lead to disability.


There are several things you can do to prevent hip osteoarthritis. The most important is to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts stress on the hip joint and can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis. You can also help to prevent osteoarthritis by practicing regular stretching and strengthening exercises. It's also important to maintain good alignment of the leg, and avoid activities that put excessive stress on the hip joint.


Sports Injury


Another common cause of hip and groin pain is a sports injury. Sports-related hip and groin pain can be caused by a number of things, such as a muscle strain, ligament sprain, or tendon rupture. One of the most common causes is a hamstring strain. The hamstring muscles are located in the back of the thigh, and they are responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. Hamstring strains are often caused by excessive stretching or overuse, and they can occur in any of the three hamstring muscles. Symptoms of a hamstring strain include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the back of the thigh. Treatment includes rest, icepacks, compression bandages, and physical therapy.


How SKYE Physiotherapy and our physical therapist can help you recover from hip pain


Hip impingement syndrome, piriformis syndrome, hip osteoarthritis, and sports injuries are all common causes of hip and groin pain. Each condition has its own unique set of symptoms, which can make diagnosis difficult. However, there are some key differences between these three conditions that can help you to narrow down the possible causes of your pain. We have provided a brief overview of each condition in order to help you better understand them.


At SKYE Physiotherapy, we specialize in the assessment and treatment of hip and groin pain. Our physical therapists will take a thorough history of your symptoms and perform a physical examination. Based on their findings, they will develop a treatment plan that may include holistic body work, dry needling, posture training, and corrective exercises to help you best manage pain.


The goal of physical therapy is to help you reduce your pain and improve your function. Physical therapists work with you to set realistic goals and help you reach them. They will also teach you how to prevent your hip and groin pain from returning in the future.


If you are suffering from hip or groin pain, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to help you get back to your active lifestyle.




Chang-Min (Skye) Lee,PT, DPT, MS, OCS, COMT, CMTPT

8000 Locust Mill Street Suite P Ellicott City, MD 21043

(410) 357-6500




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