Do you experience pain in your hip, groin or thigh?
The hip is a ball and socket joint where the head of the femur/thigh bone (ball) meets the pelvis/acetabulum (socket). Disorders related to the hip are more age-related than any other joint, and this is probably due to the hip joint playing a major role in weight bearing.
The groin refers to the region either side of the pubic bone which joins the pelvis, and the thigh and is composed of the adductor muscles of the hip (adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, adductor minimus, pectineus and gracillis)
Hip, groin and thigh pain is commonly caused by overuse, arthritis, anatomical differences or trauma/injury.
Here is Dr Abbey Davidson demonstrating her favourite groin stretches:
What are the common causes of Hip, Groin & Thigh pain?
The common conditions which can cause pain and aggravation in the hip, groin and thigh region include:
- Hip Fracture
- Congenital Hip dysplasia/dislocation
- Traumatic Hip Dislocation
- Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE)
- Avascular Necrosis
- Hip Impingement Syndrome – Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI)
- Acetabular Labrum Tears
- Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
- Snapping Hip Syndrome
- Paget’s Disease
- Osteitis Pubis
- Muscle Strain
- Meralgia Paresthetica
What are the common structures which contribute to Hip, Groin & Thigh pain?
What can I do to help myself with hip, groin and thigh pain?
There are multiple bones, muscles, tendons, etc. which make up this region, and therefore, many different conditions can be the cause of your hip, groin or thigh symptoms. Self-help can vary greatly depending on which structures are effected
In overuse type injuries, resting may be an integral part of recovery. In other conditions such as degenerative/arthritic changes resting may be detrimental and have great impacts on your hip range of motion. You should ask your health professional whether rest is appropriate for your specific injury.
In conditions where a recent injury is responsible for your symptoms, icing may be helpful. Applying an ice-pack wrapped in a towel to the region will aim to decrease inflammation and decrease pain symptoms, and may also be useful in over-use type conditions immediately after a period of use or aggravation. Heat pack application 48 hours after injury or aggravation will aim to decrease muscle spasm and promote blood flow and repair at the region.
Maintaining a healthy weight by avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, participating in regular exercise and implementing a balanced diet is important in more degenerative conditions in the hip region. Not only can this reduce the strain on the hip joint, but it can also assist in the maintenance of range of motion and muscle and bone strength.
Supplements which may be aid the management of your symptoms may include magnesium and calcium (for muscle health) or glucosamine and chondroitin (for joint health). Always check with your health professional, GP or pharmacist before self-prescribing.
When should I seek professional help for my hip, groin and thigh pain?
You should consider booking an appointment with a health professional, such as an Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist, if you experience one or more of the following:
- Pain getting progressively more intense/frequent
- Reduced range of motion
- Inability to perform normal daily tasks
- Inability to perform you normal walking/running distances or sporting activities
What will a health practitioner do to help with hip, groin and thigh pain?
Gaining an accurate diagnosis will play a huge role in how your condition will be treated, and therefore your health professional will spend time collecting information about your symptoms, assessing the related regions and using available imaging or blood test results to provide a working diagnosis. This will include an accurate assessment of the mechanics of the entire lower limb (hip, knee, ankle, foot) and your spine, so that your treatment can be tailored specifically for you.
Hands on treatment will focus on maintaining and improving range of motion, decreasing muscular tension, decompressing the region and correcting mechanical issues. During your session, lifestyle advice and exercises specific to your condition and body will also be prescribed to assist your recovery and prevent potential re-injury.