Hip and Groin Pain


Our hips are designed to work hard, every day. They keep us upright, bear our weight, allow us to kick, run, jump. walk and bend over. It is hard to keep mobile if you feel stiff and sore and even more difficult if you have severe pain. Pain can occur above the hip in the low back near the spine, in the back of the hip, deep in the joint, down the side of the leg, in the upper leg or in the groin. Pain is often worse leaning back and rotating.

It is a ball and socket joint like the shoulder so we have a great range of movement. However it is more stable than the shoulder and has some of the strongest muscles in the body to operate it.

There are many structures in the hip and groin area that can cause discomfort, such as ligaments, muscles, joints, nerves and blood vessels. Imbalances in the pelvis can contribute to hip and groin pain. Knee problems can also refer into the hip so a proper assessment is essential.

Back pain can also include hip pain and this may cause pain down the front of the leg due to lesion in the upper lumbar spine affecting the passage of the femoral nerve. 

Sacroiliac lesions can cause hip pain that radiates into the buttock and then down the leg giving us sciatica as well.

Osteoarthritis of the hip often causes pain that responds well to massage. You may also feel heat and pain coming from the inflammation so you really need to get a massage to help the waste products move on and thus let the oxygenated blood in, along with healing chemicals. Pain often comes on when you have been standing for long periods and can go into your bum and thigh. There is usually a loss of the slippery joint surface - the bits that rub on each other. This is made worse by muscles being too tight which can happen over time.

Massage can help slow the stiffening process by reducing muscle spasm. If you feel less pain, you are more likely to move and that is what all joints like! It is also important to reduce the amount of inflammatory foods you eat.

Activities which involve twisting or quick changes in direction are a frequent cause of groin pain. The pain may be coming from the hip joint itself but often, it is the muscles and tendons.

In some cases, the cushion that protects the outer bit of leg bone can become inflamed. Trochanteric bursitis also responds well to treatment which may include ultrasound.

The hip joint is required to support a level of impact many times the weight of your body when running and jumping. The muscles and ligaments are specifically designed to reduce and cope with this force. The muscles around the hip and pelvis are mainly endurance muscles, they are designed to last all day, every day. However, if they are misused or not used enough they can become tired and inflamed resulting in pain in and around the hip joint.

Overuse can cause problems - it may be just a case of muscle spasm that will improve with Swedish or Remedial and Sports Massage. Dancers, footballers and athletes of all sports can find that hips are getting stiff and sore, from irritation and inflammation. Our treatments aim to reduce inflammation and so pain reduces. 

General wear and tear or weakness from lack of use, can cause muscle imbalances so having a regular Remedial and Sports Massage to keep hips healthy and mobile is the way to go. Then, maintenance with walking and stretching is advised.

Mobilising exercises for back and hips on hands and knees are demonstrated on our short video:


There are other videos on the Back Pain article on this website. A whole body check up with an osteopath is also ideal - a bit like keeping an eye on your car....Prevention is always better.

Pregnant ladies really benefit from bodywork in this area. See our article on pregnancy related discomfort.  Symphysis Pubis Syndrome is a very painful condition that is dealt with elsewhere on this website, causing mums-to-be severe crippling groin pain.

If you are waiting for a hip replacement, massage can help ease pain and reduce muscle spasm. This should help your recovery from the op but also is a far better for you than loads of painkilling drugs.

If you have had a hip replacement, massage can help you get mobile more easily. Therapists are well aware of what moves to avoid and which ones will help your recovery.

Groin pain may be due to strain or tearing of the muscles that attach to the front of your pelvis (pubic bone). The pain may come on when you twist or get out of bed. Pain may be due to misalignments  in the pelvis affecting the muscles that you use to sit on a horse. They attach to this bone and can be strained or ruptured. This also affects the muscles of the pelvic floor and the abdominal muscles. It is not uncommon to feel numbness also.


  • reduces muscle spasm so encourages balance in joints above and below as well as the hip muscles.
  • relieves pain
  • eases painful muscle spasm in the piriformis muscle which can give hip pain
  • with less pain, joints can be used more
  • increases movement ensuring that synovial fluid is secreted, which is essential for a healthy joint as the articular cartilage does not have a blood supply.
  • keeps joints mobile which helps to prevent arthritis.
  • increases blood flow to the structures of the joint
  • increases drainage.
  • also helps via the special sensory receptors around the joint telling the brain where the joint is, in terms of space and the movement it is capable of producing.
  • allows the muscles to be used more comfortably so that you can walk or play sport


  • evaluation of your back, hips, knees ankles and feetand assessment may suggest narrowing of the spaces between the vertebra or arthritis in the wee joints at the side of the spine that stop you from going round and round. These joints can refer pain into the hip. Mobilising and restoring movement to these joints should help hip pain
  • manipulations/adjustments can help relieve sacroiliac problems which can cause hip pain
  • restoring a balanced pelvis will help muscles work as they should e.g. piriformis spasm which often gives rise to hip,groin and leg pain
  • checking the pubic bone at the front and ensuring that is in proper alignment is important
  • adjusting the lower back/lumbar spine usually helps in hip pain
  • treatments aim at restoring biomechanical function and correction of lesioned joints - to include the joints that have compensated for the ones that aren't moving as they should


  • to balance, relax and re-energise the whole body,
  • to work the hip and spine reflexes to reduce muscle spasm,
  • to reduce tension in the pelvic girdle,
  • to improve circulation to all joints especially arthritic ones,
  • to improve nutrition bringing the body’s healing agents to damaged areas,
  • to improved elimination in inflamed areas and generally,to reduce pain – certain points on the feet are specific to hips.


  • Similar to acupuncture, Shiatsu works to regulate the flow of energy or ‘qi’ thus maintaining health in all ages. Qi is the vital energy in the body that underlies all functions.
  • Qi flows in specific pathways known as meridians
  • Shiatsu practitioners can detect which meridians are too energised and those which are lacking in energy. Either imbalance can lead to blocks to healing and also to what we call disease.
  • Specific points relative to the presenting pain are pressed on the major meridians of the body to cause energy to flow more easily. This combined with acupressure, trigger points and Thai style stretching makes this a is very effective treatment.
  • This explains why so many are delighted with the improvement in constipation, painful arthritic joints, headaches, overwhelm, anxiety, obsessing about work, memory problems, period pain, nausea, asthma and so on.