Hip Sprain: Care Instructions

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Bones of the pelvis and hip joints


A hip sprain occurs when you stretch or tear ligaments around your hip. Ligaments are tough tissues that connect one bone to another. You can injure your hip in a fall, when you run, or during sports that involve twisting or sudden direction changes, such as basketball or soccer.

Most minor hip sprains get better with treatment at home.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor gave you crutches or a walker, use them as directed.
  • Rest and protect your hip. Try to stop or reduce any action that causes pain.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on your hip for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when you are awake) or until the swelling goes down. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • For the first day or two after an injury, avoid things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, or hot packs.
  • After 2 to 3 days, put a heating pad (set on low) or warm moist cloth on your hip before you do light stretches.
  • Do exercises to make your hip stronger, as directed by your doctor or physical therapist.
  • Return to your usual level of activity as your hip gets better.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your pain is worse.
  • You cannot walk or stand without help.
  • You have signs of infection, such as a fever or increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth in your hip.
  • You have signs of a blood clot, such as:
    • Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
    • Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.
  • You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your leg, foot, or toes.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your pain does not get better in 2 or 3 days.
  • You still have pain after 2 weeks.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.