Do You Get Pain On The Outside Of The Hip Standing Or Walking?
Watch the video to learn an easy exercise to relieve pain on the outside of the hip.
Causes Of Pain On The Outside Of The Hip
Pain on the outside of the hip is a common complaint, particularly in women.
Women have a wider pelvis that do men. This means their hip bones are farther out to the side than are those of men.
This can rub on the structures that run over the outside of the hip bone (or greater trochanter), causing those structures to get inflamed or irritated.
Some of the common causes of pain on the outside of the hip include:
- Hip bursitis
- Hip muscle trigger points (particularly the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fascial latae muscles)
- Your Iliotibial Band (IT Band)
- Lower back referred pain
(usually from the L5 level)
If you have pain on the outside of your hip and you're not sure what's causing it, it's a good idea to get it checked out.
More important than what structure is causing your hip pain is:
"What caused that structure to hurt in the first place?"
All of the causes of pain on the outside of the hip listed above can be caused by one similar movement pattern.
Namely, when you put your weight on one leg, such as when standing or walking, the hip moves out to the side.
This is referred to as hip adduction. Excessive hip adduction can irritate the hip muscles, IT band, or sciatic nerve.
This can be caused by weakness in the hip muscles (particularly the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus).
The gluteal muscles help hold your pelvis level when standing on one leg.
You can do all different kinds of exercises to help strengthen these muscles, but as with most things, often the simplest solution to the problem is the best solution.
In fact, my favorite exercise to strengthen the muscles on the outside of the hip really isn't an "exercise" at all.
Plus, you don't have to take extra time out of your day to do it.
Use This Simple Exercise To Relieve Pain On The Outside Of The Hip When Standing Or Walking
- Stand on one leg
- Try to keep your pelvis level, with your beltline parallel to the floor
- If you need help to balance, put one finger on the wall or a chair to help.
That's pretty much it! EASY... right?
Now there a few other small details, for example keeping the arch of your foot lifted and not allowing your foot to flatten out.
See the video at the top of this page for more details.
How long should I hold it?
It doesn't really matter! Practice doing this consistently.
Each person is going to have a different starting point, but if you practice doing this exercise regularly, it will get easier to balance over time.
A good rule of thumb to shoot for is to be able to maintain your balance for at least 10 seconds though. The ability to do so lowers your fall risk as well as your risk of mortality.
As you get stronger and your balance improves, the pain on the outside of your hip should start to improve as well.
Are balance boards or BOSU® balls good for pain on the outside of the hip?
For the general person who has hip pain with standing or walking, there's probably no need to use any type of balance device to make the exercise harder.
Think about it... if you have trouble just standing or walking on flat ground, why would you want to make the exercise harder until you master the basics?
It's like trying to run before you walk.
However, you do need to make the exercise harder because you're able to balance easily and it's no longer a challenge, standing on a pillow or a foam balance pad is probably the next step.
Take home point: master the basics first.
It may not be fancy or exciting, but learning to balance on one leg better is one of the best ways to relieve pain on the outside of the hip.