Understanding Hip and Groin Pain: Symptoms, and Effective Treatment Options

Understanding Hip and Groin Pain: Symptoms, and Effective Treatment Options

Hip and groin pain can be a nagging and debilitating condition, affecting people of all ages and activity levels. Whether it’s a result of a sports injury, age-related wear, and tear, or an underlying health condition, understanding the pain’s origin is key to finding the right treatment. This discomfort can hinder daily activities and lead to a decreased quality of life if not properly addressed. In this blog post, we will explore the various causes of hip and groin pain, delve into the symptoms, and outline the latest treatment options to help you get back on your feet.

What Does It Mean When Your Hip And Groin Hurts?

What Does It Mean When Your Hip And Groin Hurts?Hip and groin pain can be indicative of various underlying issues, ranging from minor strains to more serious medical conditions. The pain may arise from overuse injuries, particularly in athletes or physically active individuals, where repetitive motions cause strain to the muscles and tendons. Age-related wear and tear can also lead to discomfort in the hip and groin area.

Diagnosing the exact cause of hip and groin pain requires a detailed examination by a healthcare provider. The pain’s nature, location, and accompanying symptoms can provide clues. Still, a thorough medical history and physical examination are often necessary to pinpoint the underlying issue. Treatment can vary widely depending on the diagnosis. Understanding the specific cause is essential for effective treatment and recovery.

How To Identify If Is It Hip Or Groin Pain?

Identifying whether the pain is originating from the hip or the groin can be complex. Because these areas are anatomically close and share several nerve pathways. Here’s a guide that may help you differentiate between the two:

Location of Pain

  • Hip Pain: Typically felt on the inside of the hip or the thigh area. And it can also radiate to the lower back or down the leg.
  • Groin Pain: This is often localized to the area where the abdomen ends and the legs begin. It may be felt when moving the leg or during certain activities like running or lifting.

Nature of Pain

  • Hip Pain: It may be a constant dull ache or sharp with certain movements. Osteoarthritis or hip fractures often present hip pain.
  • Groin Pain: Usually sharper and may increase with certain leg movements. Injuries to muscles, ligaments, or a hernia might lead to groin pain.

Associated Symptoms

  • Hip Pain: Stiffness, reduced range of motion in the hip, limping.
  • Groin Pain: Swelling, tenderness, possible visible bulge if a hernia is present.

Professional Diagnosis

A healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and may ask you to perform specific movements to assess the pain. They may also utilize imaging studies like X-rays, MRI, or ultrasound to view the internal structures and make an accurate diagnosis.

Understanding whether it’s hip or groin pain is a vital step in finding the right treatment plan. But it’s often challenging to determine without a professional medical evaluation. The symptoms can be similar and interconnected. So it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider who specializes in musculoskeletal issues.

What Are The Causes of Hip And Groin Pain?

What Are The Causes of Hip And Groin Pain?Hip and groin pain can stem from a variety of causes, encompassing both acute injuries and chronic conditions. Here are some of the common causes:

Causes of Hip Pain

  • Osteoarthritis: Wear and tear of the hip joint can lead to arthritis, causing pain and stiffness.
  • Fractures: A break in the hip bone, often resulting from a fall or direct blow.
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint.
  • Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendons around the hip.
  • Hip Impingement: Abnormal contact between the ball and socket of the hip joint.

Causes of Groin Pain

  • Groin Strain: Overstretching or tearing of the muscles in the groin area.
  • Inguinal Hernia: A portion of the intestine bulging through the abdominal wall, leading to pain in the groin.
  • Hip Labral Tear: Damage to the cartilage around the hip joint can cause pain in the groin.
  • Kidney Stones: Although not directly related to the groin, pain from kidney stones can radiate to the groin area.
  • Infection: Infections in the urinary tract or reproductive organs may lead to groin pain.

Overlapping Causes

Some conditions can cause both hip and groin pain, making them interconnected. For example:

  • Sports Injuries: Activities involving repetitive motions or sudden changes in direction can strain or injure muscles, tendons, or ligaments in both the hip and groin area.
  • Nerve Entrapment: Pinched or irritated nerves can lead to pain in both regions.
  • Referred Pain: Sometimes, an issue in one part of the body may cause pain to be felt in another area. For instance, lower spine problems can lead to hip pain. And hip joint issues can lead to groin pain.

Understanding the specific cause of hip and groin pain is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment. A healthcare provider can conduct a thorough examination to identify the underlying issue.

How Do I Get Rid Of Groin And Hip Pain?

Alleviating groin and hip pain through exercises and stretches can be effective. As these activities help to strengthen the surrounding muscles, improve flexibility, and promote blood flow. Always start exercises and stretches slowly to avoid exacerbating any injury. And if any movement causes sharp pain, stop immediately.

Here are some exercises and stretches to consider:


1. Butterfly Stretch:

  • Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together.
  • Hold onto your ankles and gently press your knees towards the floor using your elbows.
  • Keep your back straight and hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.

2. Hip Flexor Stretch:

  • Kneel on your right knee with your left foot in front, forming a 90-degree angle with your left knee.
  • Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your right hip.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides.

3. Lying Leg Crossover:

  • Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right foot on your left knee.
  • Gently pull your right knee towards the left side of your body using your left hand. You should feel a stretch in your right hip and outer thigh.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch sides.


Exercises1. Clamshell Exercise:

  • Lie on your side with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet together.
  • Keeping your feet touching, lift your top knee as high as possible without moving your pelvis.
  • Lower the knee back down. Repeat for 10-15 reps and then switch sides.

2. Hip Bridges:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  • Lower back down and repeat for 10-15 reps.

3. Standing Hip Abduction:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lift your right leg out to the side, keeping your toes pointing forward.
  • Lower the leg and repeat for 10-15 reps, then switch sides.

4. Pelvic Tilts:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor, then release.
  • Repeat the tilt 10-15 times.

5. Inner Thigh Leg Lifts:

  • Lie on your side with the bottom leg extended and the top leg bent with the foot behind the bottom leg.
  • Lift the bottom leg a few inches off the ground, then lower.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps and then switch sides.

Important Tips:

  • Warm up your muscles with a 5-10 minute light aerobic exercise like walking before starting the stretches and exercises.
  • Perform these exercises and stretches consistently, ideally several times a week.
  • Listen to your body. If a movement causes pain beyond a gentle stretch, adjust your position or stop.

Always consult with a healthcare provider or physical therapist if you’re unsure about performing a particular stretch or exercise, or if you’re experiencing persistent pain. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific condition and needs.

Do I Need Medical Treatment For Hip And Groin Pain?

Do I Need Medical Treatment For Hip And Groin Pain?While mild hip and groin pain might respond well to home remedies like rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers, there are situations where medical treatment becomes necessary. Here’s a general guide to help you understand when to seek professional medical care:

Seek Medical Treatment if You Experience:

  1. Severe Pain: Intense or sharp pain, especially if it comes on suddenly, should be evaluated by a professional.
  2. Limited Mobility: Difficulty moving the hip or leg, or a reduced range of motion, can signal a more serious underlying issue.
  3. Swelling or Bruising: These might indicate an injury like a fracture or sprain that needs professional attention.
  4. Numbness or Tingling: These symptoms could be a sign of nerve involvement and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
  5. Failure to Improve with Home Care: If you’ve tried rest, ice, heat, over-the-counter medications, and gentle exercises and stretches without improvement. Then, it may be time to consult a professional.

Types of Medical Treatment:

  1. Primary Care Physician: Can provide an initial evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment plan.
  2. Physical Therapist: Offers specialized exercises and therapies to improve mobility and reduce pain.
  3. Orthopedic Specialist: Focuses on musculoskeletal issues and may provide advanced treatments, including surgery if necessary.
  4. Pain Management Specialist: If chronic pain is a concern, this specialist can provide targeted treatments to manage and reduce pain.


Dealing with hip and groin pain can be a complex process, requiring careful attention to symptoms, and dedicated efforts in exercises and stretches. And sometimes professional medical intervention. Whether it’s a minor strain from overuse or a more serious underlying condition, understanding the nature of the pain and taking appropriate actions is vital.

By taking a proactive approach and seeking professional guidance when needed, individuals can effectively manage and often alleviate hip and groin pain. They are actually allowing for a return to normal activities and an improved quality of life. If you’re experiencing Hip pain, physical therapy for hip pain at PhysioMantra can help: Book an online physical therapy session.