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Find out the reasons for hip and groin pain, and how it can be treated
However, it is just one of the many different conditions that can cause of hip and groin pain. These are the most common hip pain causes:
Other common causes of hip pain include:
These commonly occur in the hamstring in the buttock or are the result of injuries to the hip flexor muscles in the groin and front of the thigh. Symptoms of hip flexor pain can be a sudden and sharp pain in the hip or pelvis.
These are usually sudden in onset and related to an obvious cause, such as kicking a football or overstretching. If there is a tear, bruising may also be apparent. You may experience hip pain when walking or doing normal activities.
A minor injury may take two weeks to heal. If the strain is moderate then expect a four to six-week recovery period, while a severe strain can last for two to three months.
In the case of a severe strain or pain that doesn’t settle then it may be worth seeking advice from a physiotherapist. Strains usually respond well to rest, painkillers and cold packs.
Gradual strengthening exercises will help your rehabilitation and return to normal activity levels.
Sportman’s Hernia (Gilmore's Groin)
Footballer fans may have heard of this condition, which has affected many premier league players. It causes groin pain when walking, stretching or kicking. There is often discomfort when coughing.
Diagnosis is by examination of the groin area by a clinician. The condition may settle with relative rest including a lot of walking.
Occasionally, surgery is required. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ website provides more detailed information.
Stress fracture around the hip
If you exercise regularly, especially if you are a runner, then a hip fracture may be the cause of pain in the groin. Typically it is associated with gradual onset of pain as duration of weight-bearing activity increases.
Often it will come on while you are running. It can affect the hip, femur or pelvis. Pain disappears with rest only to recur on subsequent activity.
It is an important diagnosis because if the stress fracture develops into a fully blown fracture there can be significant long-term effects. If you have hip pain when running and you think it may be a stress fracture then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Hernias and other causes of hip and groin pain
A hernia is caused by a weakness in the anterior abdominal wall. You may notice a swelling, which is worse on coughing or straining.
If the hernia becomes continuously painful you should see a clinician. However, in most instances it will be ‘niggly’ and you can see someone at your leisure.
If your groin/hip pain is associated with other features involving waterworks, bowels or you are unwell or have a temperature, you should seek medical advice.