Sports and Hip Pain

The hip joint is able to withstand more than It's share of abuse. Our hips are strong and stable. Sports-related injuries however can cause considerable damage.

Athletes, running, falling, taking heavy hits and overuse can lead to hip strains, hip pointers, and hip bursitis. The hip is controlled by the muscles of the thighs and lower back. The muscles in the groin, buttocks and abdomen are also involved in the functioning and stability of the hips.


Conditions That Cause Hip Pain in Athletes:

  • A Broken Bone (Bone Fractures)

  • Muscle strains and tendinitis

  • Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome (overuse injury of the thigh and knee.)

  • Contusion (bruing, hip “pointer”) Painful injury to the iliac crest of the hip.

  • Labral tears of cartilage

  • Osteoarthrtis (Joint disorder, which is due to aging and wear and tear on a joint.)


Hip fracture: Pain, stiffness, and weakness and range of motion. Involves a bone break just below the femur head. These injuries are caused by falls, car accidents and sports injuries. Muscle strains and tendinitis: Aches, stiffness, and pain in the front or back of the hip when you try to flex your hip while running or kicking. Muscles and tendons of the hip and groin region are subject to overuse injuries.

Iliotibial band syndrome: The belt of fibrous tissue that runs along the outside of the hip to the knee becomes too tight and rigid. When the knee is flexed, the IT band grates against the edge of the hip bone, causing irritation. The pain is usually felt outside the hip and along the knee, especially with walking and running.

Bursitis: Pain is often experienced when lying on the affected side of the body. The bursa sacs and other soft tissue around the hip become inflamed and painful, especially with walking and running.

Hip “pointer”: Pain and soreness are experienced on the side of the hip and may make walking or skating difficult. The injury can be visible – swollen and bruised. This injury often occurs during football or hockey, when an impact to the rim of the pelvis results in internal bleeding.

Labral tear: Pain in the hip and may be accompanied by a clicking sound (with movement). Athletes may be unable to run or jump as they normally can. Similar to the meniscus in the knee, the hip labrum is cartilage that helps stabilize the femur head and the acetabulum.

Osteoarthritis: Hip pain that persists may signal arthritis, especially in older athletes. Limping while walking is also a common hip complaint and may be related to stiffness and pain in the hip joint. With aging, the articular cartilage that covers the hip’s ball and socket starts to roughen and deteriorate. This is osteoarthritis. Eventually, there may be nothing left to prevent direct bone-on-bone friction within the joint, which causes pain with movement and weight-bearing activities.


Sports-related hip pain is usually the result of a traumatic event, such as when someone falls or sustains a hard impact. Hip injuries may also happen with a single event of too much strain or stress to the joint.


A qualified sports medicine physician will run diagnostic tests that will include X-ray, MRI or MRI-arthrogram (MRI with contrast).


Hip injuries is nerve damage and/or pulled tendons that affect an athletes ability to move the affected joint. Seeking immediate treatment of a sports-related hip injury can ravoid lon-term pain and recurring injury.

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