WHAT IS IT? HIP & THIGH PAIN

Pain occurring on the outside of the hip and upper thigh or outer buttock may be strained muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the hip area. Shooting pains that radiate into your legs can be a sign of lower back strain or a hernia.

Consult your Doctor

If you suspect any of the following, then please contact your doctor or GP immediately:

  • A fracture : an inability to weight-bear or walk 4 steps/ severe tenderness along the inside or

  • A ruptured tendon/ muscle- severe weakness and pain, with moderate swelling.

  • Wound penetrating the joint.

  • Known bleeding disorder.

  • Signs of septic arthritis or haemarthrosis - if the joint is moderately swollen or hot and tender/painful to touch.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of hip and leg pain can differ depending on the cause of the pain. The type of symptoms can help in determining the condition that is causing your discomfort.

  • Sharp, shooting pains in the buttocks and lower back may be related to sciatica or other nerve issues.

  • Burning or tingling sensation in the legs, especially in the lower legs and feet, can indicate neuropathy or nerve damage.

  • Pain in the lower back or down to the legs that is focused on one side could be a symptom of sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

  • Pain on the inside of your hip or groin could be an indication that there’s a problem with your hip joint.

  • Pain occurring on the outside of the hip and upper thigh or outer buttock may be strained muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the hip area.

  • Shooting pains that radiate into your legs can be a sign of lower back strain or a hernia.

What Causes It?

Hip and leg pain can arise from a variety of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis. Inflammation of the joints that can cause pain and swelling.

  • Injuries. Fractures, tears, or dislocations can cause pain in the hip, knee, or back.

  • Tendonitis or bursitis  Inflammation of the sacs of fluid in the hip joint or tendons in the hip or leg can cause hip and leg pain.

  • Sciatica. Pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve can be a source of radiating leg or hip pain.

  • Bone cancer or leukemia . Some forms of cancer like bone cancer can cause pain in the limbs and hips.

  • Neuropathy. Damage to the nervous system can cause tingling or burning sensations in the legs, buttocks, and other areas.

  • Osteoporosis. Bone loss can be a source of pain the legs and hips.

  • Sacroiliitis. Inflammation of the joints where the spine connects to the pelvis can cause hip and leg pain.

  • Hernia. Pain in the groin can also radiate into the leg and hip.

  • Pregnancy. The hormones during pregnancy cause widening of the pelvis and may result in joint pain felt in the hips, legs, or pelvis.

Hip and leg pain may worsen with activity and prevent a full range of motion. In some cases, long-term pain can cause a limp or difficulty walking.

How to Self Manage

  • Taking anti-inflammatories if it is safe for you to take (take anti-inflammatories only if it is a chronic long-term issue, or there is a severe amount of swelling- do not use if there is an acute rupture, strain or sprain.

  • Painkiller as long as these are safe for you to take.

  • P R I C E: Protect. Rest. Ice. Compress. Elevate.
    Heat packs or hot water bottles may relieve pain and muscle spasm (do not use if red, hot and swollen already).
    Icing for any pain and swelling- no direct ice to skin.
    Compression by self adhesive bandages- follow guidelines- making sure the taping/strapping is breathable and your toes are not loosing circulation by going purple- check regularly.
    Elevation- keep feet elevated above the level of the heart for 30 minutes if moderately swollen.

  • Modify or temporarily stop your activities or running.

  • Have a gradual return back to exercise.

  • Use appropriate footwear- speak to specialists regarding this.

Prognosis

Depending on the nature and severity of the injury. See specific conditions listed.

How Physio Helps

  • Usually consists 6-12 weeks of a personal management plan discussed with your

  • physiotherapist.

  • Exercise programmes: aerobic activity, stability and movement advice, muscle strengthening, and proprioception

  • Assessments and screening to determine which structures have been affected and what symptoms can be addressed.

  • Foot biomechanics/ footwear review

  • Soft tissue massage and trigger point release.

  • Acupuncture and dry needling.

  • Injury prevention exercises

  • Mobilisations and manipulation (manual therapy)

  • Referral to an orthopaedic specialist for advice on management with more severe or chronic

  • injuries

References

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Disclaimer: Information made available by AskPhysio (Sammy Margo Physiotherapy) is provided for guidance only and should not be considered as medical recommendations or advice.  AskPhysio is not responsible for errors or omissions in the information. Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your condition. Please consult a GP or Healthcare Specialist to discuss any specific concerns that exist prior to using the information provided.