Hip injuries

Hip problems are normally caused by injury or normal wear and tear. 

As you get older normal wear and tear can cause your hip problem to flare-up now and again, often for no reason.

Hip problems usually settle within 6 weeks

Keeping active

Keeping active is an essential part of your treatment and recovery and is the single best thing you can do for your health.

Being physically active throughout your recovery can:

  • prevent a recurrence of the problem
  • maintain your current levels of fitness – even if you have to modify what you normally do, any activity is better than none
  • keep your other muscles and joints strong and flexible
  • prevent weight gain

More about keeping active

Resting or moving?

Within the first 24 to 48 hours after a hip injury you should try to:

  • rest your hip but avoid long spells of not moving at all
  • move your hip gently for 10 to 20 seconds every hour when you are awake

After 48 hours:

  • Try to use your leg more - exercise really helps your hip and can relieve pain
  • Do whatever you normally would and stay at, or return to work - this is important and is the best way to get better
  • When going upstairs, reduce the strain on your hip by leading with your good leg. If there's a handrail, use it
  • When going downstairs, reduce the strain on your hip by leading with your problem leg - if there's a handrail, use it

Avoid sports or heavy lifting until you have less discomfort and good movement.

What about sports?

You should take your time before taking part in any sports after a hip problem. If you take part in sports too soon this may flare up your symptoms again and they may take longer to settle.

You should:

  • have no swelling
  • be able to move your hip properly
  • have full or close to full strength
  • be able to take your weight through your leg without limping

Remember to stretch and warm up fully before sports.

Can my hip problem cause trouble anywhere else?

You may feel some pain in the muscles around your hip, thigh or knee. Men may feel some pain in their testicles.

You should discuss this with your doctor.

Do I need to see my doctor?

You don't normally need to see your GP if you follow the right advice and take the right medication.

Your hip problem should improve over the next 6 weeks.

If you experience any of the following, you should speak to your GP as soon as possible:

  • Unable to put any weight through your leg
  • If you're male - pain or swelling around your testicles
  • A lump in your groin region - this may be a hernia
  • Pain that worsens
  • Your hip problem hasn't improved within 6 weeks

Find your nearest GP Practice

Musculoskeletal (MSK) Helpline

If you have a hip problem, the Musculoskeletal Advice and Triage Service (MATS) can provide information and advice to help with your problem, and refer you to a healthcare professional if you need it.
How to contact