Symptoms and tips for hip/ groin/ buttock pain

Muscle Strain

These can occur in a number of places around the hip. Most commonly affected muscles are:
  • Hamstring muscles
  • Groin muscles
  • Hip flexors
These injuries are usually an acute injury – ie changed direction and felt sharp pain in the groin. They can also be an overuse injury where the pain comes on gradually but this usually affects the tendon rather than the muscle itself.
You may suffer from:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Restricted stretch
  • Reduced ability to walk, sit, twist comfortably depending on the muscle injured.

Tips for muscle strain

As with any muscle strain the first 48-72 hours is an important time to rest – RICE applies here:
R = relative rest
I = ice – in the first 48 hours – ice 20 mins every hour you are awake (where possible, and then for the following 24 hours 3 – 4 x over the day)
C = compression
E = elevation (remember if this is for the lower limb the foot must be higher than the groin)
Avoid stretching with any acute groin injury. Stretching of groin injuries tends to aggravate the issue rather than benefit.
Avoid HARM over this 72 hour period also:
H = heat
A = alcohol
R = running
M = massage
Then seek physiotherapy advice for a full assessment of the severity and cause of your injury. The muscles around the hip once injured are prone to high levels of re-injury and it is therefore important that these injuries are rehabilitated completely so as to not limit you and your daily life or sporting performance in the future.

Hip Labrum

Recent research suggests that the majority of labrum injuries are gradual process degenerative issues. This doesn’t necessarily require you to have had pain over a long period of time but simply that the process of low grade damage to this cartilage has been occurring over time. The final “injury” is often a twisting injury which is common in a number of sports.
It can result in:
  • Pain – groin, anterior hip, buttock
  • clicking
  • locking
  • restricted movement of the hip joint

Tips for Hip Labrum 

Only select labrum injuries are appropriate for surgical intervention. These are primarily the larger acute tears that otherwise have a “good” hip joint. Therefore a large number of labrum injuries need to be treated conservatively. Contact your physiotherapist for an assessment and advice on treatment options.
You can also try:
  • avoid aggravating activies – sitting in low chairs, twisting with foot stuck to the ground, kicking activities.
  • self trigger point release – with a tennis or golf ball (in the buttocks, hip flexors and groin)
  • deep tissue roller
  • basic strengthening exercises of the hip flexors and glut muscles (as these help stabilize the hip joint)

Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis particularly tronchanteric bursitis is a common diagnosed condition. What we know from recent research is that this diagnosis is largely void and that in the majority of cases it is the gluteal tendon that is causing the pain rather than the bursa itself (even though on imaging the bursa often looks to be irritated).
See tendonopathy information below

Gluteal and hamstring tendinopathies

These commonly occur in two main populations – runners and pre- menopausal women. They typically present with

Gluteal Tendinopathy

  • gradual onset lateral hip
  • pain aggravated with running, side lying, walking upstairs and hills, rising from sitting, cross legged postures, standing for long periods

Hamstring Tendinopathy

  • inferior buttock pain with or without posterior thigh pain and/or pins and needles
  • pain aggravated by sitting on hard surfaces
  • running

Tips for tendinopathy 

  • self trigger point release of involved and surrounding muscles – buttocks, hamstrings, hip flexors
  • deep tissue roller of above muscles
  • don’t stretch specific muscle group unless advised by your physiotherapist as can add to compression further aggravating the condition
  • stand with good upright posture (no hip drop)
  • don’t sit with your legs or ankles crossed
Seek a thorough assessment from your physiotherapist in order to identify all the causative factors and receive the appropriate rehabilitation programme to correct these.