Hip Pain From Walking

If you’re feeling a sudden twinge of hip pain while walking, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why hip pain can develop during walking and how it can be managed. So grab your walking shoes and let’s get started on this hip-soothing journey!


Anatomy of the Hip

The hip joint appears in the form of a ball-in-socket joint. It is made up of two bones, the femur (thigh bone) and the pelvis. The rounded head of the femur fits into a socket known as the acetabulum in the pelvis. Delicate joint surfaces line both components and are cushioned by a protective liner, known as articular cartilage, which creates a smooth and frictionless pivot point for movement. There is also muscle tissue surrounding this very complicated joint to add additional support, creating a suction seal that helps the hip to stay in place while moving.

To have healthy hips, it’s important to have all of these parts of your hip anatomy working together in harmony. The socket joint must securely and safely snuggly fit around the femoral head so that it doesn’t slip out or suddenly move on its own; articular cartilage must be intact enough to cushion, lubricate and protect; muscular tissue must be strong enough to provide stability (not too much or too little); finally, ligaments and tendons should not be overly tight or weak allowing you to move without pain or limitation.

When any aspect of this intricate anatomy breaks down leading to minor injuries such as muscle strains or major injuries such as labral tears — the pain will certainly follow from an improper working hip joint structure landing you with limited mobility, stiffness, soreness, or burning sensations deep within your hips following long walks for instance— sometimes all three! So regular exercising can help prevent hip injuries due to walking by keeping our muscles flexible enabling them to do their job properly: keeping our hips stable by providing us with range motion when we walk!

Possible Causes of Hip Pain

While hip pain can come on suddenly, it usually indicates a problem that has been developing over time. It is often the result of suddenly intense activity, such as running when the hips have not been sufficiently prepared. However, there are so many other activities and situations that can cause stomach or hip pain.

The most common cause of hip pain is direct brunt forces applied to the hip joint; this includes activities such as running, jumping, or direct hits to the area. Wear and tear to the joints caused by aging or repetitive strain injuries may also gradually worsen and lead to pain in this area.

People who are prone to excessive weight gain are especially at risk for developing these conditions faster than others due to bearing more load on their weakened joints from their body weight.

Other possible causes of hip joint pain include sudden shifts in temperature, pregnancy-related postural changes, bone spurs, or irritation caused by medical devices such as pins used during surgeries or devices that press against tissue while sleeping. As with any other symptom-based condition, proper diagnosis is essential for effectively addressing and treating any potential underlying issues with specific therapies tailored toward you directly.

Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a serious hip disorder characterized by the death of bone tissue due to an interruption in the blood supply and oxygen to the hip joint. This condition can lead to severe pain, especially when walking and often requires medical treatment. It is often seen as a result of steroid use, excessive alcohol consumption, or other medical conditions that can impact blood circulation.

This condition can occur in several areas of the body but is more commonly found in the hips. When a person experiences hip pain while walking it could be a sign that they have AVN. It’s important to determine what type of underlying issue may be causing this hip issue so that proper treatment can be implemented.

Pain associated with AVN usually becomes worse over time if not properly addressed and managed, so it is best to see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and explore potential treatment options.

Other conditions such as labral tears or some types of arthritis may cause similar symptoms but should be ruled out before confirming AVN as the cause of your hip pain from walking. Depending on individual circumstances, treatments for AVN could involve using medicine or physical therapy for symptom relief or even surgery in more extreme cases. It’s always best to consult with your doctor first before starting any treatments for hip pain from walking related to AVN or other possibilities.

Muscle or Tendon Strain

Muscle or tendon strain can result from activities such as walking which involve repetitive motion. Strains occur when muscles and tendons are stretched beyond their natural limits, usually during strenuous exercise or sudden movement. This most often affects the hip region and can be painful and debilitating.

A strain of the hips may be caused by incorrect posture, weak muscles, improper body alignment, a misstep in walking, running, or jogging, lifting an object that is too heavy for you to handle alone, twisting, or applying too much pressure during a bending motion. It may also be due to an underlying medical condition that causes wear and tear on the muscles and tendons of the hip area.

The pain associated with muscle strain can range from mild discomfort to intense pain which is aggravated by movement. Swelling of the affected muscle may also occur; this may lead to restricted motion in the hips or difficulty in weight-bearing activities such as walking. In severe cases, it may even limit your ability to engage in regular daily activities.

At-home treatment such as rest and lifestyle modifications will help alleviate the symptoms while avoiding activities such as running until you have completely healed is important for full recovery from hip pain caused by muscle strain. Applying ice packs directly onto affected areas can also aid in reducing swelling and discomfort; however, it should not be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time unless recommended by a healthcare professional Specialized exercises guided by physical therapists should be conducted regularly during recovery to strengthen weakened muscles around your hip joint; this will reduce chances of re-injury down the line


Bursitis is a common type of hip pain often associated with repetitive movement or the improper use of joint and leg muscles. It develops when inflammation occurs in a small sac, or bursa, that provides cushioning between bones and other structures in the hip joint. Bursa helps reduce friction and absorb shock as the body moves. When a bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause discomfort and hip pain when walking.

There are several factors that can contribute to hip bursitis including the anatomical structure of your hips, prolonged sitting for long periods of time, frequent squatting or kneeling, repeated jumping or running on hard surfaces, and strenuous activities such as prolonged hiking or running without proper conditioning beforehand.

Treating hip bursitis requires an examination from a physician to properly determine the source of your pain and understand what’s causing it. To reduce swelling, you may be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

If your pain persists over time, physical therapy combined with targeted exercises can help improve joint stability to relieve some of the pressure on the injured area. Injections may also be used to alleviate acute symptoms that don’t respond to other treatments. Surgery is only recommended if all non-surgical treatments have failed to provide relief.


Tendonitis, by definition, is an acute or chronic inflammation of a tendon, which are thick bands of tissue that attach muscle to bone. People with tendonitis often experience pain when they use the affected muscle or tendon and usually find it difficult to walk. The condition can affect any tendon in the body but is most commonly seen in those located in the lower limb.

Tendonitis of the hip is often caused by overuse, specifically from activities such as running, jumping, or climbing stairs. It can also be caused by direct trauma or injury to the hip area for example after a fall. In some cases it may be due to arthritis developing around the joint, however, this type of arthritis will not cause pain until after prolonged walking.

Common symptoms of hip tendonitis include pain in the hip when walking and moving around, and tenderness when pressing down on certain muscles near your hip joint. Swelling and stiffness may also occur as a result of too much pressure being put on these muscles during exercise. If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to see a doctor who will determine what type of treatment you require.

Labral Tear

A labral tear is a tearing of the tissue that lines the outside of the hip joint, known as the labrum. The labrum is a ring of cartilage that helps keep the ball-shaped top of your thighbone (femur) firmly in place within your hip socket. It also helps provide stability to your hip joint so you can move freely.

Hip pain caused by a labral tear is usually felt near where your leg joins your body, but can also radiate down into your buttock or thigh. Pain may worsen when turning or twisting your hip or during certain activities such as running and squatting. You might also feel catching and locking in your hip joint when it moves beyond a certain point.

Labral tears are most commonly caused by repetitive motion and overuse injuries such as running, high-impact sports, and overnight shifts involving frequent twisting or rotation movements at the hips. While these types of activities place increased stress on an already weakened labrum, even normal everyday activities can cause pain if you have a weak labrum due to age or injury.

In some cases, arthritis may also contribute to the weakening of the hip joint and its surrounding muscles, causing further tears in the labrum over time. Treatment for these types of tears varies depending on their severity but usually includes rest, physical therapy exercises, medications, and in some cases arthroscopic surgery to sew up any tears in the tissue surrounding your hips


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects many people. The hip joint is particularly susceptible due to a large amount of weight and stress it carries in the body. Osteoarthritis of the hip commonly causes persistent hip pain while standing, walking, or participating in activities that involve repetitive motions. Symptoms of this condition include decreased range of motion and difficulty with everyday activities such as dressing, bathing, driving a car, and getting out of a chair.

Osteoarthritis of the hip is characterized by progressive deterioration and loss of cartilage within the joint space due to wear-and-tear over time or an injury. As the cartilage wears down on its own unique shape, it can cause hip pain due to misalignment and decreased support for other structures in your hips which leads to increased rubbing or grinding between bones inside your joints resulting in stiffness, swelling and pain.

The most effective way to reduce symptoms associated with osteoarthritis is to focus on lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and stretching daily. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce inflammation from arthritis while providing relief from pain.

Physical therapy is often a beneficial treatment for those suffering from osteoarthritis as well; skilled physical therapists are adept at targeting areas affected and teaching specific exercises for mobilizing stiff joints or regaining strength. In more severe cases, doctors may recommend surgical interventions such as hip resurfacing or replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hips can hurt after long walks due to a variety of factors. The most common cause is overuse of the muscles and joints in the hips, which can lead to soreness and tightness. Other possible causes include poor posture, improper footwear, weak muscles, and underlying medical conditions such as arthritis or bursitis. It is best to consult with a doctor if you experience persistent and/or worsening hip pain.

It is not advisable to keep walking if your hips hurt. If your hips are in pain, it is best to rest and seek medical advice.

  1. Stretch the hip muscles: Exercises such as hip flexor stretches, hip abductor stretches, and hip rotator stretches can help relieve pain by relaxing tight hip muscles.
  2. Apply ice: Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  3. Take anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  4. Wear supportive footwear: Wearing shoes that provide adequate support can help reduce stress on the hips while walking.
  5. Avoid high-impact activities: High-impact activities such as running and jumping can put additional stress on the hips, so its best to avoid them while dealing with hip pain.
  6. Consider physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist can help identify the cause of the hip pain and develop an individualized treatment plan.

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In conclusion, when walking or power walking, it is important to maintain good form in order to avoid hip pain. This could involve keeping your chin level and shoulders back, avoiding harder surfaces and uneven terrain, bending your arms, and using slip-on shoes with soft soles.

Additionally, it is important to consider other walking-related issues such as arch problems and the possibility of other problems developing if posture is ignored.

To ensure a healthy experience while walking, focus on your movement while imagining yourself in total darkness. This will help you detect any incorrect movements you may be made without the distractions that ambient light can bring.

Put one heel down first every time you take a step, then roll through your foot onto the ball of your foot so you achieve proper stability for your pelvis as you progress. With regular practice of this kind of awareness along with patience and consistency – hip pains from walking can be prevented and even cured entirely over time if dealt with quickly and correctly.

Spine Institute NY