Does Your Favorite Sport Increase Your Risk of Developing Hip Problems?

Does Your Favorite Sport Increase Your Risk of Developing Hip Problems?

Being physically active is important for your health. But if you play any type of sport, you know there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Overexertion, failure to warm up, and other issues can result in plenty of discomfort in your hips, even after minimal play. In fact, depending on your health, age, and other factors, some activities may actually make your aches and pains worse.

Any type of physical activity has the potential to cause injuries and discomfort. But for athletes, the risk is especially great. In fact, about 30%-40% of athletes suffer from chronic hip pain, caused or made worse by their sport.

At his practice in Houston, Texas, Joshua D. Harris, MD, relies on his experience as a sports medicine specialist to routinely counsel athletes of all ages and all levels, helping them make smart decisions to prevent chronic hip pain. In this post, learn which sports are more likely to cause hip problems and how Dr. Harris can help.

Sports and your hips

Hip injuries can occur in any sport where you use your legs, but they tend to be most common in sports involving high speeds, pivoting, kicking, or high impacts. That includes sports like soccer, football, running, basketball, and ice hockey. Gymnastics, dance, softball, volleyball, and wrestling are also associated with a high risk of hip injuries.

Each of these sports puts added strain on the joint surfaces, as well as the tendons and ligaments that support your hips. ……………………..

The type of sport is just one factor that can influence your risk of injury. Other factors, like your age, prior injuries, your overall fitness level, and even your age can all play a role. Underlying issues, like arthritis, knee pain, and problems with your feet or lower back could increase your risk, too, along with nerve or muscle problems and congenital issues.

Preventing hip problems

While there’s nothing you can do to completely eliminate the risk of hip problems, there are steps you can take to protect your hips and make injury less likely. 

Practice technique

Whether you’re new to a sport or you’re an experienced “pro,” revisiting your form and technique is essential. Practicing proper form during play helps reduce excess strain on your hips and other joints, too.

Get the right gear

It might seem like your hips are a long way from your feet, but your shoes have a direct impact on your hip function and health. Choose the right shoes for your sport, making sure they offer plenty of cushioning and arch support, too.

Warm up

If you think warming up is a waste of time, you’re setting yourself up for injuries. Spending 5-10 minutes warming up prior to any type of activity gives your muscles the oxygen-rich blood they need to perform at their best, while reducing the risk of strains.


Engaging in more than one sport and following a well-rounded fitness routine helps develop strength and flexibility in your hips, knees, lower back, and ankles — all areas that help prevent hip pain and other injuries. Plus, cross-training can help you enjoy your sport more and even play better.

Focus on flexibility

Building strength is important, but you also need to think about keeping your hips — and the tendons and muscles that support them — flexible and supple. Regular gentle stretching and activities like Pilates and yoga can help.

Listen to your body

If you have hip pain or stiffness or if you’re starting to feel fatigued, those are all signs that it’s time for some rest. “Playing through the pain” or while you’re tired out increases your risk of injuries. 

Schedule a visit

If you feel pain or stiffness on a regular or recurrent basis, or if significant pain, snapping sensations, or weakness develops swiftly, you should schedule an office visit so we can determine why. Delaying an evaluation lets underlying issues get worse, and this means you could be left with long-term or even permanent disability.

Help for sore hips

Knowing which sports can exacerbate or even cause hip pain helps you make informed decisions about your choice of activities and level of play. It can also help you know when it’s time to alter your techniques, improve your skill set, and maybe even engage in physical therapy to strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.

Don’t let hip pain keep you on the sidelines. Call 713-441-8393 or book an appointment online with Dr. Joshua Harris today.

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