Hip Pain

Patient Information: Hip Pain (Proximal Hamstring Strain, Greater Trochanteric Pain)

What are common sources of hip pain?

  • Proximal hamstring strains (injury to the muscle on the back of the leg) and greater trochanteric pain syndrome (irritation of the structures on the outside of the hip)
  • Other causes include osteoarthritis, labral tears, and hip flexor strains/tendinitis

What are the symptoms of common hip problems?

  • Proximal hamstring strain
    • Buttock pain that worsens with activity, sitting, climbing stairs
    • Tightness or pulling in the back of the thigh
  • Greater trochanteric pain syndrome
  • Pain on the outside of the hip that can worsen with pressure (such as laying on that side), or repetitive motion (running)

How are hip problems diagnosed?

  • Your physician will evaluate your hip and pelvic strength and stability, and check for palpable areas of pain
  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound can be used to evaluate soft tissue swelling and inflammation
  • X-rays may be taken to evaluate your hip bones o An MRI may be obtained to further evaluate your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage

How are hip problems treated?

  • Treatment for proximal hamstring strains and greater trochanteric pain syndrome is generally non-surgical
  • Acute care involves avoiding activities that cause pain, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Treatment may also involve anti-inflammatory injections to the irritated areas
  • Physical therapy (PT) is important to resolve hip issues and prevent recurrence - PT focuses on strengthening the hip, pelvic, and core muscles to take stress off of inflamed tendons and bursa (structures that cushion the joint)
  • Your physical therapist can also perform a biomechanical assessment and gait retraining to prevent return of symptoms

How can I prevent hip problems?

  • Maintain good hip, pelvic, and core strength with exercises such as planks, squats, and glute bridges
  • Warm up and stretch prior to exercise, and do a cool down stretch at the end

Where can I learn more about hip problems?

Hamstring strain - OrthoInfo: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/hamstring-muscle-injuries/

Hip bursitis (greater trochanteric pain) - OrthoInfo: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/hip-bursitis/

Hip rehabilitation exercises - OrthoInfo: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/recovery/hip-conditioning-program/hip-pdf/

Yoga for hip pain- Yoga with Adriene: http://yogawithadriene.com/6-minute-yoga-for-hips/


To schedule an appointment, visit the Steward St. Elizabeth’s Sports Medicine website at: semc.org/services-directory/orthopedics/sportsmedicine



736 Cambridge St, CCP9, Brighton, MA 02135

Phone 617-779-6500 Fax 617-779-6555


Adapted from: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (www.aaos.org), Hospital for Special Surgery (www.hss.edu), Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org) This information is for patient reference only. It is not intended to diagnose or guide treatment without evaluation by a physician.