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2 Exercises for Hip Pain You Can Do at Home

June 14, 2024

If hip pain is keeping you on the sidelines, a little bit of rehab can help. And some exercises can be done right from the comfort of your home.

We asked Austin Jones, DPT, a physical therapist at Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network, for guidance on hip pain and treatment.

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Hip pain has many possible causes.

Hip pain may result from many common causes, including:

  • Trauma
  • Repeated movements
  • Sustained postures
  • Age-related tissue changes

> Related: Why Are My Hip Flexors Tight?

A doctor can help identify the issue.

Self-diagnosis can be tempting, but a doctor is your best resource when your hip pain becomes disruptive.

“If you’re experiencing hip pain, see your doctor,” says Jones. “A proper medical diagnosis is important in deciding what tissues are affected.”

Common diagnoses include:

  • Muscle strains
  • Tendinopathies
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
  • Osteoarthritis (OA)

“Once we have this diagnosis, your doctor and physical therapist can find the right program to help improve your movement and reduce your pain symptoms,” adds Jones.

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2 exercises for hip pain you can do at home.

While your PT will give you a specific tailored plan, Jones gives us two exercises you can try at home.

1. Clamshell

  1. First, lay on your side with the affected hip up.
  2. Keep your ankles, knees and hips stacked, with hips at ~60-75 degrees.
  3. Draw in your navel to engage your deep core muscles.
  4. Raise your top knee toward the ceiling. Put one hand on the back of your pelvis to prevent the lower back from rotating.
  5. Only rotate your hip bone. You should feel a muscle burn within your outer buttock.

2.  Supine Figure 4 Stretch

  1. Begin with your knees bent.
  2. Draw in your navel to engage your lower core.
  3. Cross the leg you want to stretch over the opposite leg so that your outer shin contacts the thigh just above the kneecap.
  4. Apply gentle pressure to the furthest portion of the crossed thigh.
  5. You should feel a stretch in your buttocks.

Take note: is exercise helping or hurting?

It’s important to listen to your body when treating your hip pain at home.

“If you’re able to do more repetitions without increasing symptoms, or these activities are becoming easier, you’re on the right path,” answers Jones.

But what if the exercises seem to make your pain worse?

“Try first reducing your range of motion or the number of repetitions,” says Jones. “Think about what you’re trying to feel during the exercise, too. Are other triggers contributing to your increased pain? These are good questions to ask before abandoning the exercises.”

While it’s normal to have an initial increase in pain when trying new exercises, see a doctor if the pain persists or feels too intense.

A physical therapist can provide a custom treatment plan.

“Working with a therapist can be very helpful in identifying the contributing factors to your pain, providing feedback on correct form and exercise dosage and giving you hands-on treatment to reduce pain and increase mobility,” says Jones.

This plan will look different for everyone.

“Healing takes time and depends on your diagnosis,” says Jones. “Collaborating with a therapist is a great way to design the ideal routine for your body.”