Ask the Expert: Jaime Edelstein, Physical Therapist, Answers Your Questions on Non-Operative Treatment for Hip Pain

Hip Exercise

Q1. My doctor diagnosed me with hip tendonitis. What steps should I take so I can return to running?

Depending on what kind of tendonitis (hip flexor versus gluteal) you were diagnosed with, your treatment may vary.  Tendonitis around the hip often occurs due to an imbalance of muscle strength and stability and it is often related to a need to increase core and lumbo-pelvic stability. Performing exercises which focus on core stability and gluteal strength is helpful. Treatment under the guidance of a physical therapist would facilitate a quick return. Consult with your physician for the best course of treatment.

Q2. I have bursitis of the hip caused by running. Are there things I can do to reduce the pain?

Bursitis of the hip often occurs due to a lack of strength and stability of the lumbo-pelvic complex, such that when you put weight on the affected leg, there is a lack of strength to support this activity. Ultimately, determining the cause of the weakness is imperative. Treatment includes rest from the activity, ice and exercises that focus on strength and stability of the pelvis and core stabilizers and of the gluteals and hip abductors. Consult with your physician about treatment.

Q3. When I do squats, I have pain in my hips. What should I do to treat the pain?

If the pain is in the front of the hip or groin area, the squat should be modified so that you do not squat so low that it elicits pain. An effective squat may still be performed without moving deep into the range. If the pain is on the outside of the hips, this may be due to more of a motor control or strength issue. A physical therapy examination would then be prescribed. Talk with a physician before starting an exercise regimen.

Q4. I was told I have tightness in the iliotibial band (ITB). What should I do to ease the pain?

It is effective to address the muscles which feed into the ITB (gluteals, hamstrings and quadriceps). Therefore, lengthening these muscles through either stretching or soft tissue mobilization (massage) may help. Likewise, developing dynamic stability around the hip and pelvis will be effective. Consult with your physician for the best course of treatment.

Q5. I have groin pain when I run a few miles. Is this related to my hips? What can I do to treat this?

Groin pain may be the result of a few different diagnoses. It may be related to the hips or it could be related to a low back issue, hernia or other pelvic floor pathology. It would be best to have such pain examined by a physician to make a proper diagnosis.

Jaime Edelstein is a physical therapist at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Topics: Orthopedics
The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.


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  1. Hello I had Osteotomy of the hips bilateral (Coxa Vara) age 5. At age 20 joined the Military, from all the physical demands my R/L Hips joints would hurt. Few years after discharge from Army, my knee and lower back started hurting. I’ve been diagnosed with some interesting things. mild hypertrophic facet arthropathy L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1, levoscoliosis cobb angle 15*,mild multilevel thoracolumbar spondylosis,straightening of the normal lumbar lordosis,loss of height l5-s1,small annular tear with lateral recess stenosis l5-s1. superior patella spur, medial narrowing of knee, nondisplaced tear of the lateral meniscus. Osteoarthritis knees, hips, back.
    A few more things I can’t remember all. My question could the back and knee issues be from my hips being out of line?

    1. Hi Mike – Sorry to hear of your current situation. Our body’s are extremely smart and function as a kinematic chain. Therefore, in order to complete a task, all joints work together to make that happen in the most efficient manner. The lifestyle of military personnel (thank you for your service!) is extremely rigorous and taxing on the body. Could one argue that your movement habits changed as you developed following the hip surgery as a child? Could one say that you attained wear and tear on your body as a result of your service in the army? All possible. However, at this point it may be challenging to identify one single cause. Your best course of action would be to find yourself in the hands of a good health care team (physician, physical therapist) who will take the time to look at your body as a whole and address the current imbalances and movement dysfunctions which are resulting in low back and knee pain. Hope this helps.

  2. Physical therapists help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries.

  3. Thanks for sharing such a valuable insights on different problems people have and what we can do as a Physical Therapist.

  4. i would like to speak with jaime edelstein regarding physical therapy that was prescribed by dr. samotas of hss. feel free to call at 973-432-1019

  5. Hello, My 13 year old son, was diagnosed with coxa vara on his right hip, having 30 degrees down. What exercises are great for recovering his right leg muscles ( cuadriceps and gluteous) ?

    1. Hi Tere,

      Jaime Edelstein, Physical Therapist, says: “Structural variations to the bone, such as a diagnosis of coxa vara, would best be treated under the care and guidance of a physical therapist. Small modifications to exercises will be required in your son’s situation, which will make the difference between a helpful exercise and a harmful one. The program would likely include core and gluteal stabilizing exercises.”