The hips are highly active joints. Hip sprains are rare but do occur. A hip sprain is caused by tearing or stretching the ligaments that surround the hip and join the bones to each other. This is different from a hip strain, which is an injury to the muscles and is generally caused by over-use of the hip flexor muscles and tendons, causing them to tear. Hip sprains usually happen after a fall or a sudden twisting motion, which can occur during sports or an accident.

Individuals involved in sports that require quick stops, body shifting, and sudden direction changes, like soccer, football, basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc., have an increased risk. Most hip sprains can be effectively treated with conservative treatments like self-massage, rest, ice, and nonsteroid anti-inflammatory medications. For more severe cases, physical therapy and chiropractic can treat the condition.

Hip Sprain Symptoms

  • Tenderness in the hip increases when lifting the thigh.
  • Cramping sensation/s in the muscles of the upper leg.
  • Swelling in the hip or thigh
  • Bruising in the hip or thigh.
  • Sudden pain in the hip or pelvis.
  • Sharp pain in the hip or pelvis.
  • Pain that worsens when walking, running, or stretching the hip muscles.
  • Loss of strength in the front of the groin.
  • Tugging or pulling sensation.
  • Limping.


The doctor or chiropractor will:

  • Look into medical history.
  • Inquire about symptoms.
  • Inquire about activities that could cause symptoms.
  • Perform a physical examination.
  • Ask the individual to perform a variety of movements to determine what type of injury has been sustained.
  • Other conditions could cause radiating pain.
  • Pain in one or both hips might not have anything to do with the hips but a pinched nerve root in the lower back.
  • Sciatica can develop when certain nerve roots in the lower back are irritated or compressed, causing symptoms to travel down the sciatic nerve and radiate around the pelvis and leg.
  • X-rays can help rule out hip stress fractures, which can have similar symptoms.
  • MRI or CT scans are used to see if any soft tissue damage has occurred.

Hip Sprain Treatment

  • Treatment usually begins with over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Resting the hip will help prevent further damage.
  • Applying ice will help prevent tissue damage and reduce swelling.
  • It is recommended to use an ice pack several times a day for the first 48 hours after an injury.
  • Once the swelling goes down, a chiropractor and physical therapy team will create a personalized treatment plan that includes:
  • Adjustments.
  • Exercise therapy.
  • Posture training.
  • Stretching.
  • Massage.

Treatment/Rehabilitation Objectives

  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Relax muscle spasms.
  • Strengthen weakened muscles.
  • Improve joint mobility.

Individuals will be shown how to prevent the risk of sprains in the future. This includes:

  • Avoiding exercising when the body is tired
  • Wearing proper footwear and protective equipment
  • Warming up properly before exercise/physical activities.

Depending on the severity of the sprain, surgery could be the last resort to repair the ruptured or torn ligaments.

Body Composition

Realistic Goals

Not seeing results after putting in the work through exercise and diet can be frustrating. Setting realistic goals can help when results are not showing.

Realistic Fat Loss

  • Do not expect actual fat loss without being in a caloric deficit.
  • The body needs to use more energy than the amount of food/energy taken in; otherwise, excess energy/food gets stored, primarily as adipose tissue.
  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE is necessary to set a realistic caloric deficit to achieve measurable fat loss.
  • There are caloric deficit variations, but most doctors, dieticians, trainers, and fitness experts agree that a caloric deficit of around 500 calories a day that equals to about 3,500 calories a week will result in a pound of fat loss per week.
  • One pound of fat a week lost might seem slow, but the one pound of fat is a real pound removed.
  • The long-term goal is not to fall back into unhealthy habits and develop and maintain new healthy ones.

Brantingham JW, Globe GA, Cassa TK, et al. A single-group pretest posttest design using full kinetic chain manipulative therapy with rehabilitation in the treatment of 18 patients with hip osteoarthritis. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy 2012; 33(6): 445-57.

Kamali, Fahimeh and Esmaeil Shokri. The effect of two manipulative therapy techniques and their outcome in patients with the sacroiliac joint syndrome. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2012; 16: 29-35.

McMorland G, Suter E, Casha S, du Plessis SJ, Hurlbert RJ. Manipulation or microdiscectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010; 33(8): 576-584.

Tibor, Lisa M, and Jon K Sekiya. β€œDifferential diagnosis of pain around the hip joint.” Arthroscopy: the journal of arthroscopic & related surgery: official publication of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the International Arthroscopy Association vol. 24,12 (2008): 1407-21. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2008.06.019

Wedro, Benjamin. β€œHip Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Information and Diagnosis-eMedicineHealth.”

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The information herein on "Hip Sprain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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