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

If you have knee and hip pain and are aged over 45, find out how you can grow in confidence, feel, move and manage pain better, with improvements to both your physical and mental health. See our  Escape-pain participant stories, Escape-pain infographic  and TIMS Escape-Pain Flyer for how Escape-pain can help you.

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:

  • YouTube Exercise Videos developed by TIMS:

    These videos have been developed by the clinical teams in Tyneside Integrated Musculoskeletal Service (TIMS) to support the management of patients in our service. If you have not been referred to this resource by TIMS you follow the advice at your own risk.

    • Gluteal tendinopathy
      Suggested exercises and advice for patients presenting with pain on the outside of the hip associated with gluteal tendinopathy.
    • Post Total Hip Replacement advice and exercise progression
      Post-op advise for patient following Total Hip Replacement, including precautions, progressive mobility, progressive exercises and common questions and answers.
    • Lower Limb strengthening exercises
      Exercise programme including hip, knee and ankle strengthening exercises with a progression of exercises for each area.  Ideal for post trauma, post op or for patients suffering from general deconditioning. 
    • Lower limb stretches
      An exercise programme incorporating generic stretches of the lower limb.
    • Proprioception/balance exercises
      Specific balance exercises for patients who have problems with balance, particularly for patients who have suffered an ankle injury.
    • Safe and Steady
      Suggestions of exercises and activities for those patients who feel unsteady when walking to help improve their confidence and balance when mobilising.
  • Escape Pain

    • Escape Pain is an education and exercise programme for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis.
    • If you have knee and hip pain and are aged over 45, find out how you can grow in confidence, feel, move and manage pain better, with improvements to both your physical and mental health. The following resources explain more about how Escape-pain can help you.
      • We are now able provide escape pain delivered virtually via microsoft teams or via face to face groups located across Newcastle and Gateshead. These groups will provide you with the support required to exercise appropriately and provide advise and education for management of your joint. Please complete referral form for TIMS stating you would like to be considered for an escape pain class.