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Physiotherapy for Hip Pain

The hip is a complicated area of the body because it has so many ligament and tendon attachments as well as multiple layers of muscles surrounding the bones and joints. It is also quite a deeply situated ball and socket joint, meaning that it allows for movement in multiple directions but is quite stable (think how this compares to the shoulder which is also a ball and socket type joint but quite shallow and more common to dislocate). So keeping that in mind, what can physio help with? 

This list is by no means exhaustive and so if you experience difficulties with hip pain or joint restriction, visit your physiotherapist for a full assessment so they may be able to point you in the right direction. 

Gluteal Tendinopathy 

  • Often something that starts with a gradual onset 
  • Pain on the outside of the hip, usually localised to the hip but occasionally can cause pain down the outside of the thigh (never below the knee) 
  • Sometimes can hurt to lay on the side 
  • Usually requires strengthening and management to promote tendon adaptation and education surrounding activity modifications in the early/irritable stages 


  • Rarely the sole cause of outer hip pain (usually a secondary issue to gluteal tendinopathy) 
  • Pain at rest and can be severe 
  • Pain extending from the outer hip down into the thigh 

Impingements of the hip 

  • These can be both structural and soft tissue related 
  • Often felt as a pinching or sharp pain only experienced in certain postures or positions. (if irritable enough may experience aching at rest as well) 
  • Common in activities that involve repeated hip movements and deep squatting 
  • Your physiotherapist can help you to identify what type of treatment approach is best suited to your impingement as it can vary depending on the type and location and the cause of it 

Adductor and Hip flexor Strains 

  • Muscle or tendon related pain involving the muscles that lift the hip or bring it across the body.  
  • These are common in sports such as soccer but can occur at any age and with many different types of activity  
  • Usually an acute onset of pain for muscle strains but can be more gradual if the tendon is involved 
  • Your physiotherapist will examine to see if there are any relevant factors such as weakness in surrounding muscles of the low back, abdominals and other hip muscles 

Snapping hip syndrome 

  • A clicking or clunking sensation, usually at the front of the hip 
  • Sometimes it is non-painful but can become so with frequent and repeated ‘snapping’ 
  • Sometimes requires retraining to build stability and control around the abdominals and hip movements.  

If you find your movement at the hip is limited or painful. Visit your physiotherapist today for a full assessment and guidance to help you move and feel better.  

Please note – this information is general in nature and does not replace personalised assessment and diagnosis from a trained health professional. We always recommend you seek personal advice from your treating healthcare team for education specific to your situation.  

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