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Hip Discomfort when Climbing Stairs & Lying in Certain Positions


Pain in the hip region can contribute to difficulty lying in certain positions, walking, climbing stairs, and standing up from a seated position.  Hip problems make daily activities like simply walking difficult and painful. It’s important to be able to describe exactly where your pain is located. This helps confirm that your hip is actually the problem. It’s not uncommon for someone to say ‘my hip hurts’ and then find they are actually having a back-related problem. Symptoms located in the upper buttocks or upper thigh may be due to a lower back issue. Hip pain and discomfort is often felt in the groin or on the outside of the hip directly where the joint is located.

If left untreated the pain could continue to worsen and further impact these activities along with other day to day activities such as bending your leg in towards your chest (as when dressing, cutting your toe nails, or washing/drying your feet), running, or enjoying your weekly pick-up basketball game.  Furthermore, compensations due to hip pain and discomfort can lead to secondary pains of the lower back, knee or ankle/foot.

Physical therapy can help all these conditions and any other problems in your hips. Physical Therapy will  teach you proper movement patterns to ensure proper alignment and resolve or prevent hip problems that are negatively affecting your life. A physical therapist will be able to perform special tests to help rule in or rule out any issues and then can assess your strength, flexibility, joint mobility, muscle quality, balance/stability and gait to determine factors that may be contributing to your pain.

Physical therapy can improve the following:

  • Hip flexibility
  • Hip joint mobility
  • Hip range of motion
  • Hip strength

Three common causes of hip pain are:

  1. Arthritis: Chronic hip pain is often due to arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. This is the ‘wear and tear’ kind of pain that affects many people as they age. The ball and socket joint in the hip starts to wear out. Arthritis pain is often felt in the front of your thigh or in the groin, because of stiffness or swelling in the joint. As the joint continues to degenerate or ‘wear away’ many individuals are faced with the option of undergoing total hip replacements.
  2. Hip fractures: Hip fractures are most commonly the result of a traumatic event such as a fall. In many cases, hip fractures require surgery. Fractures can also be common among older women because they often have decreased bone density (osteoporosis). Symptoms of a hip fracture include the inability to lift or pull weight on the injured side.
  3. Wear & Tear/Overuse. Most of the common causes of hip pain are due to wear and tear and overuse. This means that most hip problems are the result of repetitive movements we do on a daily basis.

****Because this joint is necessary for weight bearing activities like standing, walking and running, it can be a source of pain among all ages.****

Sometimes surgery is needed for certain conditions of the hip depending on the severity of the issue, but in many cases the pain can improve with just physical therapy. Even if surgery may be required, doing physical therapy beforehand can help improve your strength, muscle control, balance and flexibility to help make recovery from surgery quicker and easier.


CALL Loudoun Sports Therapy Center at 703-450-4300 TODAY.  Our Physical Therapists will develop an individualized plan specific to your needs and get you back to getting a good nights sleep again!

CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help you. 


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