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Hip Pain In Athletes: Causes and Treatment

If you're an athlete experiencing hip discomfort, it’s important to understand what causes hip pain as well as your options to ensure your performance isn't hindered. Dr. Chronister's vast sports medicine expertise and experience in treating athletic injuries will help you gain an understanding of both your body and your treatment options!

Understanding Hip Pain in Athletes

Hip pain is a common issue athletes face, affecting their training, performance, and everyday life. The hip joint is one of the most integral parts of your body, enabling a wide range of movements. It's also one of the most used and strained joints in the body, making it prone to wear and tear.


As an athlete, you might experience different symptoms based on the underlying cause of hip pain. Some may feel a dull ache or stiffness in the hip, while others might experience sharp, shooting pain that limits their mobility. Swelling, tenderness, or difficulty in performing certain activities like standing up from a seated position or climbing stairs could also occur.

Such discomfort can significantly impact your daily routine, training regimen, and performance. Simple tasks may become challenging and painful, and your sleep and physical activities might be affected.

Common Causes

Sports-related hip pain can be attributed to various factors. Here are three common causes:

Osteoarthritis: This degenerative joint disease often affects the hip joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. While more prevalent in older adults, it can develop in athletes due to joint injuries or overuse.

Hip Fractures: Hip fractures, usually resulting from a fall or direct trauma to the hip, are a leading cause of hip pain in athletes. The associated pain is often severe and may result in difficulty walking or bearing weight on the affected leg. Immediate medical attention is crucial to prevent further complications.

Bursitis: Bursitis refers to the inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. Activities that stress the hip joint, such as running or prolonged sitting on hard surfaces, can cause hip bursitis. Pain from hip bursitis is typically felt on the outside of the hip and may worsen with movement.

Healthy Hip

Diseased Hip

When to Seek Medical Attention

It is crucial to listen to your body and seek professional help when:

  • You experience intense hip pain that does not resolve with time

  • You're unable to bear weight on the affected hip

  • Rest or over-the-counter pain medications do not relieve intense pain

  • You notice signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, or swelling around the hip joint

  • You have an unexplained fever accompanied by hip pain

  • You've recently experienced trauma or injury to the hip


Ignoring or delaying medical attention can lead to further complications and prolonged discomfort. Only a qualified healthcare professional, like Dr. Chronister, can provide the right diagnosis and treatment options tailored to your specific condition. Don't hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider if you are experiencing persistent or worsening hip pain.

Treating and Managing Hip Pain

Managing hip pain involves various treatment options, ranging from non-surgical to surgical methods, based on the pain's severity and the underlying cause.

Non-surgical approaches, such as physical therapy exercises, are often the first line of treatment for mild to moderate hip pain. A skilled physical therapist can design a tailored exercise program that targets specific muscles and joints surrounding the hip. These exercises can strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility, and improve overall hip function.

In severe cases or when non-surgical methods prove ineffective, surgery may be necessary. These are typically reserved for more serious conditions such as advanced osteoarthritis, hip fractures, or structural abnormalities. Common surgical procedures for hip pain include hip arthroscopy, hip resurfacing, or hip replacement surgery utilizing Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery.

Dr. Chronister offers personalized solutions to alleviate pain and improve the quality of life. He understands the unique needs and challenges faced by athletes and provides treatments that cater to their specific requirements. If you are experiencing severe or worsening hip pain, contact our office for a consultation.

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