Rx3: Hip Pain FAQs

What is hip pain?

Hip pain is characterized by pain in any part of the hip: the front, back, inside, or outside. The pain can travel to the buttocks, low back, or leg. Hip pain can also be accompanied by swelling, weakness, and a decrease in the range of motion. Some people may experience a clicking or popping sensation in or around the hip. The exact cause of hip pain can be from multiple factors, including tight or weak muscles, overuse of the joint, and abnormal movement or biomechanics. The pain usually gets worse with activities such as running, climbing stairs, or sitting for long periods of time.

Is there a test for hip pain?

Your healthcare provider will ask you about your symptoms and will perform a physical exam. Imaging tests (X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound) also may be needed to help with the diagnosis.

How is hip pain treated?

The way to treat hip pain is through rehabilitation: performing exercises and stretches to increase the strength, endurance, and flexibility of the muscles of hip.

The Rx3 hip pain rehabilitation program organizes exercises by phases based on how far along you are in the recovery process. Unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise, start with Phase 1. Advance to the next phase no sooner than 3 weeks and only when you feel you have mastered the exercises and can perform them with minimal effort and discomfort. If you have pain during or after the Phase 1 exercises, or if you have questions about when to go on to the next phase, check with your healthcare provider.

Each phase includes leg exercises, core exercises, a cardio component, and stretches. Make sure you always do all the parts of each phase.

How long is this hip pain rehabilitation program?

Complete the program at least 3 days a week, increasing to 5 days a week as it becomes easier. Each exercise session should take about 20 minutes, plus the cardio component, and less than 15 minutes for stretching. You will need very little equipment for this program. Each phase takes at least 3 weeks, so the program will take you at least 9 weeks total, but the actual time you need to recover will depend on your specific injury condition.

How can I contact HPRC if I have questions?

HPRC has an Ask the Expert feature where you can submit your questions. Patients and healthcare professionals are both welcome. Our experts will reply with detailed information.