Got hip pain? An unfortunate reality: research shows that women experience more hip-related injuries and conditions than men. Keep tabs on these warning signs and how to fix them.
The symptom: groin pain
You notice an intense but tolerable strain in your groin area throughout any workout.
The diagnosis: Tight hip flexors, likely due to too much sitting or perhaps too much repetitive activity without cross-training (looking at you, runners).
The fix: Twice-daily simple hip-flexor stretches (as opposed to more complicated ones, like pigeon pose) limit your risk of overextending and potentially pulling the muscle, says physiologist and certified strength and conditioning specialist Mike Reinold. Try his “true hip flexor stretch”: in a lunge, kneel on one knee, hands on hips, and brace your abs and glutes to tuck your tailbone. Hold for a minute, intensifying the stretch by shifting your hips slightly forwards. Switch sides; repeat up to three times.
The symptom: hip popping
You hear a pop in your hip when you lower into a lunge, do mountain climbers or stand up.
The diagnosis: It’s usually less scary than it sounds. If you don’t feel pain, you’re probably underusing your core and overworking your hip flexors. Pain might be a sign of torn tissue locking up, creating the noise.
The fix: Focus on engaging your core in every activity, especially ab work (imagine blowing out candles during each rep – that’s how tense your stomach should feel). Take a two- to three-week break from any exercise that causes discomfort. If it continues when you return to it, see a doctor or physio to make sure it’s not a side effect of a deeper problem.
The symptom: hip pinching
You feel a sharp pinch in your hip crease when you squat.
The diagnosis: You could have a hip impingement – a fancy term for two bones coming too close together and pinching the tissue between them. It’s generally a condition traced back to your anatomy (specifically, how the highest part of your thigh bone sits inside the hip socket).
The fix: See a doc ASAP. Recurring hip impingement can cause a tear or major inflammation in the joint, which will limit your ability to work out (and even move) well. The doc may suggest physiotherapy to rehab the area and teach you alternative moves that won’t cause pain. Severe cases could require surgery.