What You Should Know about Hip Pain After Sitting

Hip pain after sitting is something a lot of people deal with daily. To make things worse, most people would also experience hip pain when sitting, and given our sedentary lifestyle, this pain can really interfere with our daily lives. First, let us look at a few common symptoms of hip pain while sitting. 

For the majority of people the pain often starts in one of the areas below:

  • Inside hip joints
  • Outside hip joints
  • Groin pain
  • Lower back pain

Hip pain does not always mean your hips are damaged. Only a trained professional will be able to properly diagnose you, but below we will explore a few common causes, so that you can have an idea.

Common causes of hip pain while sitting

  • Muscle Strain

The most common cause of hip pain while sitting is a temporary strain that can occur after prolonged periods of sitting or extra stress on your hip joint - maybe you recently had a rough workout or needed to help move that couch to your friend's new place? Chronic hip pain, however, could be caused by an injury during your workout. So if the pain lingers, you should visit the doctor and rule out an injury.

  • Arthritis

Arthritis most commonly occurs in older adults, but it can occur in younger adults as well. Arthritis causes the cartilage in your hip joints to deteriorate, leading to inflammation and hip pain when sitting. The pain grows worse as the cartilage continues to break down.

  • Bursitis

Your bones, muscles, and tendons have sacs of liquid that rest between the bone and the tissues. They can get inflamed through repetitive activities that irritate and overwork your hips.

  • Tendinitis

Tendinitis is an irritation of your tendons. These thick ropy bands of tissue attach muscles to your bones. They can become inflamed and irritated through overuse and repetitive stress. Overuse of the tendons causes pain and prevents the hip from functioning as normal.

  • Hip Labral tear

A tear in the cartilage of your hip can cause a great deal of pain. The sockets of your hips joints are ringed in cartilage, which cushions the hip as it moves. The cartilage also holds the ball of your thighbone when it is not moving. Athletes frequently develop this problem as their repetitive movements and twists irritate the hip, and tears result from overuse.

  • Cancer

Hip cancer starts in the form of tumors in your cartilage that can cause hip pain while sitting. A trained doctor can check your hip pain and determine what course of treatment is appropriate.

How can hip pain when sitting be treated?

If you feel like the pain may be due to a torn muscle or a tendon strain from overwork - an anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen will blunt the edge of the pan until it heals in a couple of days. However, if the pain lingers and you suspect there might be a more serious problem, a doctor might prescribe one of the following treatments.

  • Physical Therapy

Low impact exercises and resistance training can help you manage the hip pain after sitting and increase your range of motion. Physical therapy will also prevent the hips from being re-injured. Surgery might be required for some types of injuries.

  • Chiropractic Care

A chiropractor can help a big deal if you pain is due to a spine misalignment, especially if you feel lower back pain in addition to hip pain after sitting. 

  • Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation sends electronic pulses into your hips to disrupt the pain. The procedure is not invasive, and with a consistent routine of treatment, your hips can improve to the point where you'll be able to enroll in physical therapy classes. The classes, in turn, will help complete the transition to a full recovery.

  • Hip Injections

Hip injections, while not comfortable, are a non-invasive way to control pain. A local anesthetic is injected, followed by a steroid, directly into your spine. The pain relief is almost immediate, and if further diagnosis is needed, the doctors can do so.

How to prevent hip pain after sitting?

You can prevent hip pain by taking control of your activities first and foremost. Be aware of your body when exercising, see if specific types of activity increase the pain, and warm up before your workouts. 

Hip exercises are a good way to strengthen your hips and help manage hip pain while sitting. We are suggesting a few below, consult your physician to see if your condition allows you to perform any of these.

1. Hip Flexor Stretch

A hip flexor stretch puts one of your legs flat to the ground while the other is at 90 degrees. Your foot should be flat on the floor in the 90-degree position, which allows you to move your body forward and backward carefully, keeping your pelvis and torso over your hips but not over your bent knee.

Shifting your hips forward puts your hip flexor in a light stretch, which can be increased as your flexibility grows. Carefully pause and feel the tension in your hip. You can let it stretch for a bit before releasing and repeating.

2. Butterfly pose

The butterfly pose has you sitting upright on the floor with your back straight, and your heals together. Make sure your weight is over your pelvis and let your body gradually lean forward. With your hips open like this, you can stretch down towards the ground opening up the hips gradually.

3. Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose puts one leg folded on the ground in front of you with the other extended behind you. You lean forward over your folded leg letting your hips and hip muscles relax and open. Make sure to breathe as you do this to encourage the circulation of oxygen to tight muscles.

4. Figure for stretch

A figure for stretch puts your back on the ground with your legs folded upwards. One leg is folded across the other with the ankle resting just above your knee cap. As you carefully fold your leg towards your torso, make sure your hands are linked behind your thigh, not your knee cap.

5. Leg Swing

Leg swings are a good choice for standing exercises that's simple. You hold onto a stable surface with one hand while letting your leg swing forward and back, letting your hip open. Do this carefully to prevent further injury to your hips. You can also let it swing closed and open to the side for an additional controlled stretch.

6. Lateral Squat

A lateral squat is done from the standing position. You allow one leg to slide to the side, letting your weight fall on it gradually before you push yourself back into a standing position. Make sure the leg you are extending is kept straight as you fall. This will stretch your hip out and exercise it.

7. Fire Hydrant

The fire hydrant pose sets you on all fours. You gradually lift your leg from this pose and bring it to parallel at the side of your body before you return it to the ground. Make sure your neck and back remain straight during these exercises and use the middle of your body, your core, to control the movement.

8. Donkey Kick

A donkey kick is done on all fours, as well. You extend your leg back straight, keeping your hips isolated. You then bring the leg back into your body using your core muscles to keep the movement controlled. The goal is to control the extension of your leg and stretch your hip at the same time.

Control is a huge fact with all of these exercises. Without control, you can hurt yourself. If you are unfamiliar with the exercises, do them slowly until your body becomes familiar with them. These are all good exercises to keep your hips lubricated while gradually strengthening the muscles around them.

Another thing you can do is get a deep tissue ball, its called a peanut sometimes, and get into you hips with this simple exercise. Lay down on your back, bend your knees at 90 degrees, feet on the floor. Then slowly lower one knee towards the floor with your leg still bent. Feel the "cavity" that opens up in your hip as you do that - you can use your hand to find it. Once you find the spot at which the hip seems to cave in as you lower the knee to the floor - that's the sweet spot where you place your peanut. Place the peanut right up that spot and roll over so that your body is putting pressure on the side the ball is on. Like in this picture (courtesy of https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/)

hip-pain-after-sitting

Lay there until the pain becomes tolerable or subsides - that will hurt, trust us 🙂

You can adjust the position of the ball until you find that sweet spot if you didn't nail it on the first try, which is common. Once you find it, you'll know. No doubt about that. This exercise gets right into your hips, so consult a physician before attempting it to make sure it is a good fit for you.

Remedies: what are the best seat cushions for hip pain?

When it comes to orthopedic seat cushions for hip pain, you have different options - there are cushions for cars, office chairs or everyday use. However, all of them are perfectly versatile and will take the pressure off of your tailbone, hamstrings and hips, easing the pain, while helping you maintain a proper posture as well. 

The Best Seat Cushion for Hip Pain - CYLEN Bamboo Charcoal Infused Ventilated Orthopedic Seat Cushion

best seat cushion for hip pain

The Cylen home memory foam cushion is made with state-of-the-art memory foam that is bamboo and charcoal-infused, which helps keep you cool and supported.

Its U-shape design provides pain relief for your hips, tailbone and lower back. Cylen offers a washable cover, and a 5 year warranty - which is pretty impressive for an orthopedic cushion in this price range. It also features a strap for easy carry, which makes it very versatile.

Pros

  • Bamboo-infused ventilated memory foam
  • Non-slip cover
  • Carry on strap
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • The cushion may be too firm for some people
  • The cushion is not machine washable


The Best Car Seat Cushion for Hip Pain - Aylio Socket Seat Memory Foam Cushion

Most of us spend a good portion of the week motionless in the car driving to and from work. Sitting in a car puts your weight directly over your hip flexors and causes undue pressure on your spine. Our pick for the best car seat cushion for hip pain is the new cushion from Aylio, which is an already well-established brand with a range of really high quality products. You can check out our in-depth review of the Alyio seat cushions as well.

best car seat cushion for hip pain

The Socket memory foam cushion has a unique design to help relieve tailbone, buttocks and hip pressure, and the high-density memory foam will keep you supported during those exhausting drives. 

It is made with vegan leather and a 3D spacer mesh to help it remain firm and breathe. The washable cover and a carry on handle of course are there, given that Aylio is one of the brands that take customer comfort seriously.

They are also currently offering an 100 Day no pressure trial, where you can test the cushion, make sure it is a good fit, and if for any reason you don't love it - they'll give you the money back. Sounds like a good deal!

Pros

  • Ergonomically designed to relieve tailbone and hip pressure
  • High-density memory foam for maximum comfort
  • Zipper machine washable cover 
  • 100 day trial with 100% refund

Cons

  • The generous dimensions of the cushion 14.5" L x 18.5" W might be too wide for some users 
  • Some people didn't find the cushion thick enough

Best Office Chair Seat Cushion for Hip Pain - 5 Start United Seat Cushion Pillow for Office Chair

When it comes to seat cushions for hip pain, a memory foam pillow is the probably the top choice for long-term support and comfort. Memory foam is supportive, ensures proper spine alignment, doesn't rupture or leak (unlike some gel cushions), so wont cause any mess at your workplace. 

best seat cushion for hip pain

The 5 Stars United seat cushion supports the natural curve of your spine while reducing the pressure on your spinal discs. It is made to increase blood flow to the lower back and pelvis area, while gently supporting your weights, all of which will help to alleviate hip pain after sitting.

The cushion is made of a breathable mesh, which means you wont feel hot and sweaty. It comes with a carry handle and a non-slip bottom to ensure your cushion stays in place for the whole work day. Also comes with a 100% money back guarantee.

Pros

  • Ergonomic design to promote blood flow to pelvic area
  • Breathable mesh material to prevent heat build-up
  • Measures 17.7 x 13.8 x 2.8 - suitable for most 
  • Non-slip rubber base

Cons

  • Fits only average-sized office chairs
  • May be too firm for some people

Dealing with hip pain after sitting is never pleasant. Fortunately, there are many types of seat cushions for hip pain that will keep you comfortable at work, at home or while traveling. If you would like to learn more about other options, check out our reviews of the best orthopedic seat cushions.

Final Thoughts

Hip pain is manageable with the right tools and knowledge. We hope we gave you a useful overview of the different options you have for keeping your hips injury-free, as well as for managing the pain when it does occur. With the help of modern orthopedic seat cushions for hip pain, you can take charge of the discomfort and not let it limit your ability to enjoy life to the fullest. 

Dr. Svetlana Parshenkova
Dr. Parshenkova, MD, received her medical degree in 1998 from KSMU University. Svetlana has worked for Servier Laboratories for over 11 years, managing a number of blockbuster drugs. She enjoys blogging and reading in her free time.
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