Your hip joint is a ball and socket joint which involves the head of the femur as well as the acetabulum. An individual can have hip pain due to many different reasons, however the exact location of the pain will tell your physical therapist more about the underlying cause. Pain that is caused by the hip joint could present itself within the groin region. Referred pain from the hip muscles, tendons, ligaments can present itself along the front/side of thigh and buttocks. At times, individuals who have lower back pain could present with symptoms in the hip. It is important to consult with your physician or physical therapist to figure out whether your pain is in your hip or lower back pain.

Some causes of hip pain are:


  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (formerly known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Osteoarthritis (wear and tear of the joints)
  • Psoriatric arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis


  • Bursitis
  • Dislocation
  • Hip Fracture
  • Hip Labral Tear
  • Inguinal Hernia
  • Sprains
  • Tendonitis

Nerve symptoms

  • Meralgia Paresthetica – involves altered sensation including tingling at the Lateral aspect of the thigh.

Other Problems

  • Avascular necrosis – Death of bone tissue due to limited blood flow
  • Legg-Calve Perthes Disease – Disruption of blood flow to the head of the femur

How can Physical Therapy help?

A Physical therapist will perform a detailed assessment to determine whether the pain is reproduced from the hip joint itself or from the surrounding structures. Depending on the results from the assessment he/she will perform, treatments may include stretches, manual therapy, strengthening exercises, gait training, laser therapy, electrical stimulation, etc.