Your hips are not only a couple of the larger joints in your body, they’re among the hardest working. Thankfully, they’ve got good support teams to help them carry you through the day, which include connective tissue like tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
When these tissues function well, it’s smooth sailing. When they don’t and a condition like tendonitis crops up, you’re often left with hip pain and mobility issues.
To help you figure out whether your hip problem might be related to a tendon issue, the resident hip specialist here at Western Orthopaedics — Dr. Brian White — outlines a few basics about hip tendonitis here.
The hip tendons and muscles in question
Tendons anywhere in your body are connective tissues that attach bone to muscles. When It comes to your hips, there are two main groups of muscles, plus tendons, that help support your hips and allow movement.
Hip flexor muscles
Let’s start at the front of your hips with your hip flexor muscles. This muscle group includes the iliacus, psoas major, and psoas minor, which we collectively refer to as the iliopsoas muscle. This muscle starts in your pelvis and lower spine and connects to your femur (thighbone).
Glute muscles and tendons
Going around to the back and side of your hip are your gluteal muscles, which include your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. These muscles run from your pelvis to the greater trochanter at the top of your femur.
Signs of hip tendonitis
As you can imagine, given the different locations of the major muscle and tendon groups surrounding your hips, where you’re feeling symptoms is the first clue. Tendonitis is a condition in which overuse leads to tiny tears in the tissue. These tears, in turn, lead to pain and inflammation.
Interestingly, 1 in 3 people who have lower back pain also develop hip tendonitis, namely gluteal tendinopathy, thanks to favoring their backs, which often places added pressure on the tendons in the hips.
With gluteal tendonitis, you might experience a deep pain in your hip that worsens when you:
- Sleep on one side
- Sit cross-legged
- Stand on one leg
If the tendonitis involves your hip flexors, the pain will likely be toward the front of your hip and you might experience:
- A snapping in your hip
- Tightness in your hip flexors
- Back pain
- Shorter steps
As with tendonitis most anywhere in your body, the discomfort can worsen after long periods in one position.
We caution that hips are complex joints and trying to make a diagnosis in a blog post is an impossible endeavor. To figure out whether tendonitis might be to blame for your hip problems, the best solution is to contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to set up an appointment with Dr. White.