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Hip pain

The hip is a very stable ball-joint that connects the pelvis to the leg. Most of the time pain on the outside of the hip and at the front of the hip comes from soft tissue structures around the joint, such as muscles and tendons.

If you have recently started getting hip pain any have been unable to help your symptoms yourself please self-refer to be assessed by a physiotherapist. 

What can I do to help?

Pain relief: Simple painkillers (like paracetamol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDS, (like ibuprofen) are available over the counter and can be very effective but don’t use them for more than 2 weeks without seeking medical advice. You should carefully read the Patient Information Leaflet that is provided with this medication. 

It is advisable to consult your GP or pharmacist before taking additional pain relief if you are currently:

·         taking any form of medication

·         have any other pre-existing medical conditions

·         pregnant

Ice: Applying an ice pack to the outside of the hip may be helpful for reducing pain and swelling. A packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel works well as an ice pack. Leave the peas in place for no more than 20 minutes at a time. This can be repeated several times throughout the day.

Reducing the strain on your hip: It is usually best to carry out your normal activities, but try not to overdo it. You need to pace yourself to start with and try to do a bit more each day.

It is usually best to try to carry out your normal activities in small amounts; however you mustn’t overdo it. You need to take things slowly, pace your activities and avoid movements that make your pain worse.

Exercise: Exercise is often a helpful treatment for hip pain and will give the joint strength and flexibility. Below are a few exercises to try of your hip. They should not aggravate your pain whilst you perform them, if they do, do not push through the pain.

A little post exercise discomfort is not uncommon and not a sign of damage. If you experience pain that regularly lasts for more than 30 minutes after exercise and feel that overall your pain is worsening please stop all exercises and seek advice from the physiotherapy department.

Exercises to try:


Hip exercises


Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the bed

Keeping hands by your side, squeeze your bottom cheeks together before lifting your bottom up as high as you can

Hold for 10 seconds before gently lowering your bottom and relaxing and repeat as able


Standing Abduction


Standing Abduction

Stand holding on to a support

Lift your leg out to the side whilst keeping your body upright (do not lean your body over)


Hip Extension


Standing Extension

Stand holding onto a support

Lift your leg behind you while keeping your body upright (do not lean your body forwards)


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