figure with hands on hips

Hip pain is a common complaint. If you feel the pain within your joint, it’s probably related to the hip joint itself. But if you feel the pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock, the pain is probably coming from the muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that support your joint.

What causes hip pain?

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint supported by muscles and tendons. It is a very stable and strong joint that can withstand a lot of stress. If you feel hip pain, most of the time there’s probably a very simple explanation for it. Think back…maybe you overdid it while exercising. If you strained your tendons, the pain will probably clear up in a few days. Read these tips to treat hip pain yourself. Remember that if you have arthritis or a hip fracture, you will need to see a doctor as these tips won’t help.

Lose weight to relieve hip pain

If you carry extra body weight, you put more pressure on your hips and knees. This can cause pain. The first thing you should consider is losing the extra weight. Less weight means you’ll find it easier to move around.

Carry loads smartly

When you carry a weight, like groceries or a laptop, your hips absorb the extra weight. Be smart and use a handcart for groceries, a roll-along with wheels, and a small backpack instead of purse.

Toss the high heels

Between 26 and 50% of older people wear shoes that are too narrow or too short. A second problem is high heels. These put your foot at an unnatural angle and can throw off your body’s alignment. This can cause hip pain. Flat shoes will ease the pain.

Exercise to strengthen your muscles

Regular exercise will help to strengthen your muscles. This means that your joints are less likely to feel stiff. Aim for low-impact activities like walking, yoga, or stationary biking. Swimming is a great option as the water supports your body and takes some of the stress off your joints. In addition, the water provides good resistance and this makes your muscles stronger. A physical therapist can give you specific exercises to help with hip pain. These exercises are designed to work the parts of your body that support your hips.

Stop the pain

A cold compress will help stop the pain. Wrap a bag of frozen food in a thin towel and press it against your hips. Take a hot shower to loosen up your muscles right before you stretch. Use ibuprofen and naproxen to take away.

If your pain is extremely bad or hasn’t improved after two weeks of regularly taking painkillers, you should see your doctor.