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Roaring Fork Valley | Glenwood Springs | Chiropractor

​Hip Pain


​​​Common Causes Of Hip Pain

IT Band Syndrome:
The Iliotibial Band is a ligament/connective tissue that connects the outside of the hip to the shin bone (lower leg).  It causes pain when it becomes tight and inflamed from excessive sitting or running.  It can cause pain anywhere between the hip and knee which worsens with activity.  Although typical, the IT Band is rarely the actual cause of the problem. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis to affect the hip joint.   As cartilage degenerates, the hip joint no longer has a smooth surface to glide.  Excess friction without cushioning (cartilage) causes the bones to rub and grow.  Symptoms are pain during or after movement, stiffness, grating sensation, and limited mobility.  

Also known as Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI), this is a structural problem.  There’s excessive bone growth in either the hip socket (acetabulum) or on the leg bone (femur).  This increase causes the bones to rub against each other resulting in pain, stiffness, reduced mobility, and accelerated degeneration.  FAI symptoms gradually get worse as the joint wears down from use.  

Piriformis Syndrome:
Over-diagnosed and rarely the actual condition of a tight or spastic hip muscle.  Believed to be the cause of many sciatica symptoms due to compression of the sciatic nerve as it travels underneath the piriformis muscle.  Pain is felt in the buttocks and can radiate down to the foot, causing burning, tingling, weakness, and numbness.  Sciatic nerve entrapment is the accurate diagnosis of this condition. 

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs which reduce friction between soft tissues as they move.  When bursae become irritated and inflamed, they cause local pain, tenderness, and swelling.  Most commonly caused by overuse and tight/weak muscles altering the motion of the hip.  Tissue inflammation is a classic sign of overuse and modified mechanics of a joint. 

Adhesion, Mobility, & Hip Pain

The hip is a ball and socket joint allowing for an extensive range of motion in multiple directions.  A healthy hip can easily flex and extend pain-free with full mobility.  Limited hip mobility creates high-stress points and altered mechanics, increasing risk of pain, joint damage, and degeneration.  Mobile joints are prone to overuse and adhesion development. 

Adhesion is connective tissue that acts like glue in the body limiting flexibility and strength.  Limited hip mobility is primarily caused by adhesion development and secondarily by joint structure (FAI).  Fixing adhesion restores movement and healthy mechanics reducing injury risk.  If you experience hip pain, start with testing the most functional ranges of motion.

Below are two videos demonstrating how to test yourself for limited hip mobility.  
If these tests are limited, difficult, or painful, we can help.

Is limited mobility causing your hip pain?
Test Yourself

Hip Flexion

Hip Extension

  • Pull leg to chest with knee bent
  • Opposite leg stays straight 
  • Full mobility: thigh touching ribs/chest
  • Should be pain-free & easy

  • Use a ruler in front of knee to measure
  • Kneel on one leg, front leg >90 degrees
  • Keep shoulders over hips & lean forward
  • Full mobility is 12" pain-free & easy

These are only general tests of hip mobility.  They do not establish a diagnosis.

Patient Testimonial

If you have any sort of pain, you need to go see Dr. Holen! He fixed my lower back and hip pain (which stemmed from riding horses for 20+ years). Dr. Holen determined that I have limited mobility and flexibility in those areas, which was causing my pain. He treated the scar tissue (which I didn't know I had), got rid of my pain, and improved my flexibility. I have not had pain since!!

Danielle L.

Hip Pain Relief