Hip pain help

All about hip problems

Hip problems

Hip problems are common and can occur throughout adult life. Many respond to simple treatments / self management.

  • pain
  • stiffness
  • swelling

New onset or flare-up of a longstanding hip problem should settle within 6 weeks without need to see a health care professional .

What causes hip problems?

Hip problems are common and can be 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.

Can this cause problems anywhere else?

You may feel some pain in your buttock, groin, thigh, back or knee. or the muscles around your thigh or lower leg. Men can feel some pain in their testicles. This should improve as your hip problem gets better.


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
  • Keep a healthy body weight

It’s recommended you stay at or return to work as quickly as possible during your recovery. You don’t need to be pain and symptom-free to return to work.

Pain treatments

  • Pain medication can help to reduce the pain and help you move more comfortably, which can help your recovery. Speak to your community pharmacist about medication or other methods of pain relief​. It’s important to take medication regularly.​

Resting or moving?

Within the first 24 to 48 hours after a hip problem has started 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:

  • Slowly return to normal activity
  • Do whatever you normally would and stay at, or return to work – this is important and is the best way to get better
  • Avoid sports or heavy lifting until you have less discomfort and good movement. Remember to warm up fully before you start sporting activities.

When to speak to a healthcare professional

  • There has been significant trauma such as a fall from a height or a direct blow to the hip
  • Your pain is preventing any movement at all

Help and support

  • If, after following the above advice, your hip problem hasn’t improved within 6 weeks a self-referral to TIMS may be of benefit.
  • To refer yourself to TIMS you will need to have your NHS number to hand.
  • For information on where to find your NHS number see NHS England – How can I find out my NHS number?

Useful links for hip pain and relief

  • Information leaflets developed by TIMS giving advice on:
  • Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK) information booklet on Hip  Pain Hip pain is a very common problem but it’s not usually a sign of arthritis or any other underlying medical condition. This booklet will explain the causes of hip pain, such as osteoarthritis and soft tissue disorders, and what you can do to manage the problem.
  • Escape Pain. An education and exercise programme for people with chronic join pain or osteoarthritis.
    • We are unable to offer Escape Pain Group sessions during the current social isolation measures
    • The programme is available online using the Escape Pain Website, Apple iOS and Google/Android apps. Both tools take you through a six week programme, with two session per week, containing:
      • Exercise videos with simple, easy to follow exercise with clear instructions that were developed so you can do the exercises safely in their homes;
      • Educational videos with engaging animations giving simple advice and information to help you understand how to better manage your condition;
      • Individual progress chart to track your improvement over time.