Hip pain when sitting: causes, treatment and stretches

Hip pain when sitting can range from mild to severe discomfort. The hip joint can also feel stiff or burst while sitting. Illnesses, injuries and incorrect posture can cause hip pain when sitting.

A person may feel pain in one or both hips while sitting.

This article discusses the importance of hip pain, possible causes, treatment options, and diagnosis.

It also examines home remedies and stretches, as well as prospects and when to see a doctor.

A person may have hip pain in the joint or in the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and tendons that surround it.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the hip is one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the body. This is where the femur meets the pelvis to form a ball-and-socket socket.

The hip joint consists of two main parts – the femoral head and the acetabulum.

The femoral head is a spherical bone at the top of the thigh bone. It sits in the hip socket, a pan in the pelvis.

The following muscles surround the hip:

  • Glutes, these are the gluteal muscles
  • Adductor muscles, which are the muscles of the inner thigh
  • iliopsoas muscle that starts in the lower back
  • Quadriceps, which are four muscles in the front of the thigh
  • Hamstrings, which are the muscles on the back of the thigh

Important nerves such as the sciatic nerve and blood vessels also surround the hip.

Hip pain that occurs on the outside of the hips, buttocks, and thighs can be caused by damage or injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Learn more about outer hip pain here.

The following can cause hip pain when sitting:

  • Incorrect posture: Regularly crouched sitting can cause hip pain. Sitting without proper back or hip support increases pressure on your hips and the strain can cause pain over time.
  • Sitting positions: Sitting cross-legged or leaning to one side can put more pressure on their hips, causing pain.
  • Sitting on uneven ground: Sitting on an uneven surface, such as a pillow or chair that is too soft, can cause their body to tilt to one side and put more pressure on one hip. Extra weight on one hip while sitting can result in poor posture and hip pain.

Find out more about sitting positions for good posture here.

Sitting for long periods of time can lead to a pinched nerve. The medical term for a pinched nerve is radiculopathy.

This happens due to stretching, compression, or constriction of a nerve or a range of nerves.

If this occurs in the hip, it can cause pain in the thighs, buttocks, groin area, and hips. A person can also experience:

  • Loss of movement
  • deafness
  • tingle
  • burning sensations

Find out more about a pinched nerve in the hip here.


Treatments for radiculopathy include:

  • stretch
  • anti-inflammatory drugs
  • hot and cold treatments
  • rest

Sitting for long periods of time can lead to sciatica. This refers to pain that occurs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body and runs from the lower back to just below the knees. Sciatica can cause a person to experience pain in the buttocks, feet, toes, and the back of the leg.

People may develop stabbing, stabbing, or burning pain that can range from mild to severe. Weakness and numbness can also occur.


Treatments for sciatica include exercise, stretching, and pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Learn more about treating sciatica here.

Bursitis develops in and around the joint due to the inflammation of the bursa. Bursae are small sacs that cushion the areas between bones and muscles and reduce friction on the tendons.

Bursae become infected when they fill with fluid from excessive friction to protect the tendon.

There are two large bursae in the hip that can become inflamed – the trochanteric bursa and the iliopsoas bursa.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the main symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain that begins in the hip and extends to the outside of the thigh area. At first the pain is sharp.

The pain may worsen if you get up from a chair after sitting for a long time. Some people report that they cannot sleep on this side because the pain wakes them up at night.


Treatments for bursitis include:

  • Pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • physical therapy
  • Rails and brackets
  • hot and cold treatments
  • exercise
  • rest
  • surgery

Find out more about the treatment options for bursitis here.

Tendons are fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. If they become infected, they can become irritated, swollen, or painful. If it affects the hip, healthcare professionals may call it iliopsoas tendinitis.

Symptoms include pain in the groin or in front of the hip. People can also notice a snap or click.


Treatments for tendonitis include:

Learn more about tendonitis here.

The Arthritis Foundation notes that osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis. It is a chronic condition caused by the breakdown of cartilage, which can cause the bones to rub against each other.

This can lead to pain, stiffness, and loss of movement. People with osteoarthritis of the hip may also experience pain in the groin, buttocks, and knee or thigh.


Treatments for OA include:

  • exercise
  • Weight loss
  • surgery

Learn more about treating OA of the hip here.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease. It occurs when the immune system is not working properly and attacks the joints.

RA in the hip includes symptoms such as stiffness and swelling of the hip, thigh, or groin and pain. Usually both hips are affected.


Treatments for RA include:

  • Pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • hot and cold treatments
  • topical products such as gels, creams, and patches
  • a balance of rest and movement

Learn how to treat RA relapses here.

A doctor, orthopedic surgeon, or physical therapist can perform tests or scans, including:

  • Movement control tests such as the gait test or Patrick’s Faber test
  • Blood tests to check for infections and autoimmune diseases
  • an x-ray
  • an MRI scan

Find out more about orthopedics here.

There are several things a person can do to relieve hip pain while sitting. These include:

  • Use of a seat with a back support
  • stretch regularly
  • wear flat, comfortable shoes
  • Adjusting the seat height
  • Applying heat or ice to sore spots
  • Message therapy

A person can do the following hip extensions to relieve pain and stiff hips:

Double hip rotation

A person should do the following:

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Bend your knees and bring them towards your body until your feet are flat on the floor.
  3. Turn your knees to the right, lower them towards the floor, then turn your head to the left while keeping your shoulders against the floor.
  4. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Slowly bring your head and knees back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Hip extension

A person should do the following:

  1. Stand up straight with your legs straight and your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Extend both arms forward and hold on to something for support.
  3. Keeping your left leg straight, lift your right leg back without bending your knee.
  4. Raise the leg as much as possible without causing discomfort, then squeeze your buttocks and hold the position for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat this stretch 5-10 times on each leg.

Stretching the hips and lower back

A person should do the following:

  1. Lie flat on your back and straighten your legs.
  2. Look down at your chest while keeping your neck on the floor.
  3. Bend both knees, clasp your hands around them, and bring your knees to your shoulders.
  4. Inhale deeply, bringing your knees closer as you exhale.
  5. Breathe normally and hold the position for 20-30 seconds.

The outlook varies depending on the cause of the hip pain. If a person is healing from an injury or damage to the hip area, the pain may go away once the injury has healed.

If the pain is due to a chronic illness, it can last weeks, months, or years and a person will have to deal with it over the long term.

In many cases, a person can relieve hip pain while sitting by improving their posture, changing seat and position, and stretching and exercising at home.

Relapses caused by chronic illness may not respond to these measures. This type of hip pain may require medical intervention, such as prescription medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

A person should see a doctor if the hip pain while sitting is severe, does not go away, or worsens.

You should also see a doctor if you have other symptoms of autoimmune diseases, such as: B. Pain in other joints.

When home remedies and correcting posture and seating arrangements don’t help relieve pain, a person may need medical attention.

If a person has fallen, injured their hip, or has difficulty doing everyday activities such as climbing stairs, they should also see a doctor.

Many people experience hip pain when they sit. A variety of factors, including poor posture, improper sitting, sitting for a long time, or sitting that puts pressure on the hips, can cause hip pain. Possible medical causes include autoimmune diseases and pinched nerves.

Home remedies and stretching can often relieve hip pain while sitting, but hip pain from a chronic illness may require physical therapy or surgery.

A person should see a doctor if their pain is severe, does not go away, or does not respond to home remedies.