Updated February 2024

The hip is an important weight-bearing joint in the human body. Over time, repetitive stress to the femur (thigh bone) can lead to the formation of cracks in the hip joint.

For most individuals, simple cracks can heal over time without the need for surgical intervention. For others, they may escalate into a fracture. And a fracture can be a debilitating problem.

Hip and thigh pain can be indicators that something is seriously wrong.
Hip and thigh pain can be indicators that something is seriously wrong.

Hip and Thigh Pain May Mean Fracture

A fracture can occur in one of three locations – at the top near where the femur joins the pelvis, the middle of the thigh bone, or at the bottom near the knee joint. This creates a weakness in the bone that can lead to a break. The femur can break even with the most common activities: a fall (a particular risk for seniors), a vehicle accident, or during competitive sports.

A fracture means that an individual will experience extreme pain and movement restriction. Tingling or numbness in the area may accompany the pain, swelling, and inability to walk, stand, or tolerate pressure on the leg. If left untreated, complications may include uncontrolled bleeding, blot clots, infection, and pneumonia.

The femur is a major weight-bearing bone, and the rate it heals depends on factors such as age and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. Full recovery can take approximately 12 weeks to several months and may require surgical intervention.

Get Treatment Now… Time is of the Essence

Runner experience back problems because of a hip fracture.
Hip and thigh pain can manifest as back, shoulder, and neck pain.

We live in a very busy world. It’s easy to “ignore the pain” and carry on. But as your physical therapists, we can tell you that it’s important to make time for a physical therapy evaluation if you have any pain or discomfort.

If you have hip and thigh pain, it’s important to rule out a fracture in the hip joint and seek physical therapy right away. This will protect your balance and ability to walk unhindered, eliminating pain and improving bone strength.

Depending upon the severity of the injury and the stage of recovery, physical therapy may involve a combination of exercise, stretching, balance training, and pain relief modalities.

Recovery begins when the correct movement pattern is reinforced in the muscles and joints. This is called ‘neuromuscular re-education’ and includes a variety of advanced techniques to speed up recovery.

Hip, Hip, Hurray for Hip Pain!

Let’s face it – no one wants to be on crutches or struggle to walk. Hip pain can impact every aspect of life, from getting out of bed in the morning to driving and walking. The good news is that physical therapy has two significant benefits for anyone with hip pain:

  • Improve healing so you have less pain and can get back to doing what you enjoy.
  • Prevent further damage to the hip joint and reduce your risk of falls.

Hip, Hip, Hurray to that!

Contact STARS Physical Therapy

If you or someone you know is experiencing hip discomfort, please have them contact our office. You can also call our office and request that we call them on your behalf, and we will reach out to them. Physical therapy’s benefits extend beyond improving strength in the hip joint and pelvic muscles. It can also help reduce or treat low back pain, improve posture, and boost the quality of life.

We are committed to serving your needs and improving the health and well-being of everyone in our community. We’re here to help.


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