Why do my hips hurt at 50 years old?

So often we meet women over the age of 50 complaining of hip pain. Why do my hips hurt at 50 years old?? There are some common conditions we see causing this hip pain. So why do women over 50 get hip pain?

Hip pain in women over 50 is often related to changes in hormones around the perimenopausal period, as well as changes in muscle strength and tendon health. Here’s the most common conditions we see causing hip pain in women over 50 years old

Why do my hips hurt at 50 years old?

Common causes of hip pain over the age of 50 years are:

Gluteal tendinopathy

What is Gluteal Tendinopathy?

This is a type of tendon disorder in your hip and buttock area that causes the tendon tissue to break down or deteriorate. It often causes pain over the outside of your hip, and can refer pain into the groin or hamstring areas. It can be painful to sleep on your side, as the tendons can be very sensitive to pressure over the lateral hip area.


What is bursitis?

Bursitis is the swelling or inflammation of the bursae (fluid filled sacs) that are found in many parts of the body, including hips and shoulders. The function of a bursa is to cushion/reduce friction between moving parts of your joints, and in the hip, this can lead to significant pain. The pain pattern of hip bursitis is similar to Gluteal Tendinopathy, with pain over the outside of the hip area, making it hard to sleep lying on your side. Often Gluteal Tendinopathy and Bursitis can occur at the same time, as the mechanics around the hip can affect the health of both tendons and bursae.


What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that most commonly affects hips, knees and hands. Osteoarthritis can affect the whole hip joint. It can be influenced by many joint and person specific factors.

3 Ways to Ease Hip Pain After 50 years of age

Here’s 3 ways to ease hip pain after 50 years of age


1/ Change Postures during the day
  • Do not lie on the affected side. This will reduce the pressure/forces on the bursa and hip joint and prevent an increase in pain.
  • Do place a pillow between your knees.  This will keep your knee in line with the hip joint which will prevent the bursa being squashed by the overlying taut structures.
  • Do not cross your legs when sitting. Crossing the legs will cause the overlying connective tissue and muscles to become taut which will squash the painful area.
  • Do leave a fist size space between your knees with sitting. This will help with alignment as above.
  • Do 2-3 short walks through out the day instead of one big walk. Pacing your activities throughout out the day and having regular rests can help reduce pain as the hip joint will not become over loaded.
2/ Pilates
  • Pilates is a great way to strengthen and stabilise the low back and buttock muscles that act on the hip joint. 
  • This will intern assist any tendinopathy that is evident and also alleviate pressures going through the hip joint.
  • Pilates can also increase flexibility of the hip joint and low back through a strategic set of safe hip stretches.
  • Clinical pilates is a safe and controlled way to achieve this. 
  • It is low impact which will help maintain mobility without placing too much stress and strain through the hip joint.
3/ Physiotherapy
  • Contacting your local Physiotherapist and arranging an appointment with them can certainly help with your hip pain in many different ways.
  • Through hands on Physiotherapy we can loosen tight muscles around the hip joint and low back. This is usually achieved through soft and deep tissue massage. 
  • Physiotherapists can loosen stiff joints in your back and increase flexibility of the hip joint utilising different mobilisation techniques.
  • Physiotherapists can also teach you specific strengthening and stabilising exercises to help ease the hip pain. These can be performed at home, at the gym or in one of a Rehab Classes here at the clinic. 
  • These exercises will strengthen the core, buttocks and lower limbs to ensure less forces travel through the hip joint, improve the mobility of the hipjoint and offload certain structures to reduce inflammation.

If you have hip pain and it’s interrupting your sleep, or making it hard to do things in day to day life, book a Physiotherapy Initial Consult to find out exactly what’s going on with your hip, and start the journey to feeling better today