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Understanding Anterior (front) Hip Pain

The hips are one of the most used and troubling joints in the body, bringing tightness and stiffness with age.

The top of the femur is shaped like a ball and the concave cavity of the pelvis is shaped like a socket. Appropriately named, a ball and socket joint. The round head of the femur spins and moves inside the deep socket of the pelvis. In an ideal world, all the muscles, ligaments and other soft tissue provide symmetric support on all sides of the hip joint so that the ball stays centered in the socket with motion.

The most common musculoskeletal causes of pain in the front of the hip

Hip flexor pain is usually felt in the upper groin area, where the thigh meets the pelvis.

Pain radiating down the front of the leg, pain in front of the hip joint and pain along the underwear line on the front of the hip joint, and in some cases pain radiates down the front of the leg

When the hip sits slightly forward, it irritates the front edge of the hip joint and can cause pain in the front of the hip especially with walking, flexing the hip and getting up from a seated position.

When you are seated, your knees are bent and your hip muscles are flexed and often tighten up or become shortened. To avoid hip flexor pain, you should pay more attention to these muscles. If sitting for long periods of time, occasionally stand and a walk for a few minutes.

Weak Glutes are another common reason for hip pain. People with pain at the front of the hip often have very strong quadricep muscles and very weak glutes. This imbalance causes a more forward position of the head of the leg bone (femur) in the socket resulting in an altered walking and movement pattern.

Poor Posture can lead to to front hip pain as well. And, front hip pain can cause poor posture.

Sitting in a slumped position with rounded backs, as well as a tendency to lean forward when standing and walking, puts unnecessary strain on the musculature tissue that support the hips. This posture often results in weak gluteal muscles and tight hip flexors

Keep in mind that sometimes these symptoms are caused by osteoarthritis, bursitis, pelvic organs or other health issues masquerading as hip pain. If you believe this is the case, see your primary care doctor to get imaging,


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