Cause Of Hip Pain After Walking

Cause Of Hip Pain After Walking

Walking is a great form of exercise that is low-impact and beneficial for overall health. However, if you experience hip pain after walking, it can be concerning and debilitating. Hip pain can have various causes, ranging from minor issues to more serious conditions. In this article, we will explore some of the common causes of hip pain after walking and provide insights on how to manage and prevent it.

Common Causes of Hip Pain After Walking

1. Muscle Strain

One of the most common causes of hip pain after walking is muscle strain. This occurs when the muscles around the hip joint are stretched or torn due to overuse, improper form, or sudden movements. Muscle strain can result in pain, tenderness, and difficulty in walking.

2. Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, which are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. When the bursae in the hip become inflamed, it can cause pain and discomfort, especially after walking or repetitive movements. Bursitis is common among athletes and individuals who participate in activities that require repetitive hip motions.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition characterized by the inflammation and stiffness of the joints. There are various types of arthritis that can affect the hip, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis can cause pain, swelling, and limited range of motion, which can worsen after walking or prolonged periods of activity.

4. Hip Labral Tear

A hip labral tear occurs when the labrum, which is a rim of cartilage that lines the hip socket, is damaged or torn. This injury can lead to hip pain, clicking or locking sensations, and instability. Walking, particularly on uneven surfaces, can aggravate a hip labral tear and cause increased pain.

5. Hip Impingement

Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), is a condition where there is abnormal contact between the hip joint’s ball and socket. This can cause pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Walking can exacerbate the symptoms of hip impingement, leading to hip pain after the activity.

6. Stress Fracture

A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone that occurs due to repetitive stress or overuse. While stress fractures are more commonly associated with the foot or leg, they can also occur in the hip. Walking, particularly on hard surfaces or for extended periods, can contribute to the development of a stress fracture in the hip.

7. Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon, which is the tissue that connects muscles to bones. In the hip, tendonitis can occur in the iliopsoas tendon or the gluteal tendons. Walking can aggravate the inflamed tendons, causing pain and discomfort in the hip area.

8. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint is improperly formed or positioned. This can lead to instability, pain, and a higher risk of developing hip problems later in life. Walking, especially for extended periods or on uneven terrain, can further stress the hip joint and result in pain.

9. Nerve Compression

Compression of the nerves in the hip area, such as the sciatic nerve, can cause radiating pain in the hip and down the leg. Walking can exacerbate nerve compression and result in hip pain. Conditions like sciatica or piriformis syndrome are common causes of nerve compression in the hip region.

10. Inflammatory Conditions

Inflammatory conditions such as tendinitis or hip synovitis can cause hip pain after walking. These conditions involve inflammation of the tendons or synovial lining of the hip joint. Inflammation can worsen with activity, leading to pain and discomfort.

Managing and Preventing Hip Pain After Walking

1. Rest and Ice

If you experience hip pain after walking, it is important to rest and apply ice to the affected area. Resting allows the muscles and tissues to heal, while ice helps reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Ice can be applied for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

2. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Performing targeted stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve hip flexibility and stability, reducing the risk of pain and injury. Consult a physical therapist or fitness professional for guidance on appropriate exercises for your specific condition.

3. Use Proper Footwear

Wearing supportive and cushioned footwear can help absorb shock and reduce pressure on the hip joints when walking. Choose shoes that provide adequate arch support and cushioning to minimize the risk of hip pain.

4. Maintain Proper Form

When walking, it is important to maintain proper form and posture. Ensure that your back is straight, shoulders are relaxed, and hips are aligned. Avoid leaning forward or favoring one leg, as this can contribute to hip pain and imbalance.

5. Gradually Increase Walking Intensity

If you are new to walking or have been inactive for a while, it is crucial to gradually increase your walking intensity and distance. Start with shorter walks and slowly increase the duration and intensity to avoid overexertion and prevent hip pain.

6. Modify Walking Surfaces

Walking on hard or uneven surfaces can increase stress on the hip joints, leading to pain and discomfort. Whenever possible, choose softer surfaces like grass or walking trails, and avoid uneven terrain that may exacerbate hip pain.

7. Use Assistive Devices

If you have chronic hip pain after walking, consider using assistive devices such as trekking poles or walking sticks. These aids can help distribute weight off the hip joints and provide stability, reducing the strain on the hips.

8. Seek Professional Help

If your hip pain persists or worsens despite self-care measures, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. They can diagnose the underlying cause of your hip pain and recommend appropriate treatment options, such as physical therapy, medications, or in severe cases, surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why does my hip hurt after walking?

Hip pain after walking can be caused by various factors, including muscle strain, bursitis, arthritis, hip labral tears, hip impingement, stress fractures, tendonitis, hip dysplasia, nerve compression, or inflammatory conditions.

2. How can I relieve hip pain after walking?

To relieve hip pain after walking, you can try resting, applying ice to the affected area, performing stretching and strengthening exercises, wearing supportive footwear, maintaining proper form, gradually increasing walking intensity, modifying walking surfaces, using assistive devices, and seeking professional help if necessary.

3. When should I see a doctor for hip pain after walking?

If your hip pain persists or worsens despite self-care measures, it is advisable to see a healthcare professional. Additionally, if you experience severe pain, sudden swelling, inability to bear weight, or difficulty with mobility, seek immediate medical attention.

4. Can walking worsen hip arthritis?

Walking can worsen hip arthritis if the joints are already inflamed and damaged. However, regular low-impact walking can also provide benefits for individuals with arthritis, as it helps maintain flexibility, strengthen muscles, and improve overall joint health. It is important to find a balance and listen to your body’s signals.

5. How can I prevent hip pain after walking?

To prevent hip pain after walking, it is essential to warm up properly before exercise, use proper form and posture, wear appropriate footwear, gradually increase intensity and duration of walks, incorporate strength and flexibility exercises, and listen to your body’s limits. If you have a pre-existing hip condition or are at risk of developing one, consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

6. Can weight loss help with hip pain after walking?

Weight loss can help reduce the strain on the hip joints and alleviate hip pain, especially if excess weight is a contributing factor. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help manage hip pain and improve overall joint health.

7. Are there specific exercises to strengthen the hips?

Yes, there are specific exercises that can help strengthen the hip muscles, such as hip bridges, clamshells, side-lying leg lifts, squats, lunges, and hip abduction exercises. It is advisable to consult a physical therapist or fitness professional for personalized exercise recommendations based on your specific needs and conditions.

8. Can physical therapy help with hip pain after walking?

Yes, physical therapy can be beneficial in managing and relieving hip pain after walking. A physical therapist can assess your condition, provide targeted exercises and stretches, recommend modifications in activity, and guide you on proper form and movement patterns to reduce pain and improve mobility.

9. Can hip pain after walking be a sign of a more serious condition?

While hip pain after walking is often caused by minor issues such as muscle strain or bursitis, it can also be a symptom of a more serious condition such as hip labral tear, arthritis, or stress fracture. If your hip pain is persistent, severe, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

10. Can hip pain after walking be prevented entirely?

While it may not be possible to prevent hip pain after walking entirely, there are measures you can take to reduce the risk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, following proper walking techniques, using appropriate footwear, gradually increasing intensity and duration of walks, and incorporating strength and flexibility exercises into your routine. Listening to your body and allowing for proper rest and recovery is also essential.


Hip pain after walking can significantly impact your mobility and quality of life. It is important to identify the underlying cause of the pain and take appropriate measures to manage and prevent it. By incorporating proper form, exercises, footwear, and rest, you can minimize the risk of hip pain after walking, allowing you to actively engage in this beneficial activity without discomfort or limitations.

Rate article
( No ratings yet )