Navigating Anterior Hip Pain: Understanding and Addressing the Discomfort

Navigating Anterior Hip Pain: Understanding and Addressing the Discomfort

Experiencing pain in the groin, quad, or hip joint can be perplexing, given the intricate network of structures around the hip and pelvis. Pinpointing a specific diagnosis is challenging due to the interconnection of these structures, which work collaboratively for hip movement and stability. The complexity underscores the importance of a comprehensive examination, as highlighted by current best evidence, especially for athletes presenting with groin pain (Thorborg et al., 2018).

Causes of Anterior Hip Pain:

A myriad of structures can contribute to anterior hip pain. Noteworthy culprits include:

  • Muscle Injuries: Strains or overload of muscles around the front of the hip, including hip flexors, quads, groin, and abs, often occur during activities like kicking, sprinting, jumping, running, and side-stepping.
  • Hip Joint Impingement: Reduced space in the ball-and-socket joint restricts hip movement, leading to discomfort, particularly during normal or end-range movements like deep squatting.
  • Hip Labrum Injury: The hip labrum, a cartilaginous structure surrounding the socket part of the pelvis, provides stability to the hip joint. Tears in the labrum can limit hip movement, manifesting as painful clicking or catching, especially during hip bending.

Management Strategies for Relief:

Regardless of whether the pain stems from muscles, the joint, or the labrum, effective management revolves around addressing impairments such as weak muscles and reduced flexibility. Consider the following strategies:

  • Load Reduction: Adjust the intensity or load of physical activities or exercises to a more manageable level, allowing continued engagement without exacerbating discomfort.
  • Stretching: Target muscles surrounding the hip joint—hip flexors, adductors, glutes, quads, and hamstrings—with stretching exercises to alleviate tension and release pressure on the joint.
  • Strength Training: Systematically strengthen muscles above the hip, ensuring appropriate resistance levels to enhance overall stability and support.

In navigating anterior hip pain, a holistic approach that addresses individual impairments is key. By understanding the diverse contributing factors, you can tailor your management strategies for a more effective and personalized recovery.

Andrew Huynh

Hi everyone, I’m Andrew and I head ESPR Therapy & Training. I’m passionate about helping people discover their potential and achieving their goals. For me, that means building resilience and strength (both physical and mental) in you to overcome whatever obstacles you’re facing. I completed my Bachelors in physiotherapy at the University of Sydney in 2017 which has taken me to both public and private sectors. A key highlight of my career is working within an elite NPL 1 soccer team which involved modifying training loads and integrating rehab programs to help athletes recover and return to the field ASAP. Over the years, I developed an interest in the area of strength and conditioning which led me to complete an internship at one of Sydney’s most renowned S&C gyms - Ethos Performance. From this, I learnt how to program training blocks so that athletes can gain the specific movement qualities that will enhance their sporting performance. I have also completed further study & training in pain science and dry needling which allowed me to understand and minimise patients symptoms. Outside of work, I train regularly in MMA and spoil my 2 beautiful pupperinos - Nala and Kira - to bush walks and hikes. If you have an injury or training goals, I’ve got your back!