Hip Pain When Sitting

Have Hip Pain When Sitting?

Everything is fine, no pain or problem, but when you sit down you have pain in one or both hips?

This can be from a temporary one or two day glitch where things hurt then the body adjusts back to normal (it doesn't really, it just gets back close to an old normal and creates a new normal), or things have progressed where there is a lasting (and progressive) structural issue that causes pain when you sit.

Usually, sooner or later, it goes from hurting only when you sit to more pain more often in more situations.

Do You Have Muscle Pain Or
Joint Bone Pain When Sitting?
Actively Or Passively Sitting?

Do you have muscle pain or joint pain when sitting?

Meaning, do you have soft tissue ache/pain?  Or do you have a deeper 'bone' pain that tells you the joint is hurting?

And do you have pain symptoms when actively sitting down, or only when passively sitting, or both?

Do You Have Muscle Pain Or Joint Bone Pain?

Sometimes it's muscle, or bone , and you can't tell which.

Sometimes it's both and you can't tell which.

The 'bone' pain here is from the two bones making up a joint compressing and sending a pain signal.

The 'muscle' pain is from muscles that are too tight, unhappily so.

Does It Hurt As You Sit?  Or While You Are Sitting?  Or Both?

Sometimes it hurt as we ACTIVELY sit down.  Meaning, the motion of sitting down, long story short, is triggering pain signal.

Sometimes the scenario looks like actively sitting down causes no problems, but when 'resting' in a sitting position, there is discomfort and pain.

Sometimes it's both.

Everything is a clue, so it's good to be aware of the details of who/what/how/when pain happens.

What Causes Hip Pain When Sitting?

Regardless of whether it's short term (lasts just a couple days) or long term (weeks/months/years) if hip pain only shows up when you are sitting then the explanation is pretty cut and dry, though there is a broad amount of variety.

What Causes Hip Pain When Sitting?

Exactly as is the case with hip pain while sleeping, there are primary and secondary factors that are always involved in the common occurrence of hip pain when sitting.

There can of course be other causes like infection or disease, but chances are, if you're here you're not in that category (because you're at the hospital, or soon will be at the hospital).

Primary factors:

  • Too tight muscle
  • Too tight connective tissue

Secondary factors:

  • Inflammation (definite)
  • Lack of specific nutrition (definite)
  • Joint irritation/damage (possible)
  • Osteoparthritis (possible)

Unlikely but possible factors:

  • bone cancer (in the hip joint or local bone structure
  • early bone infection
  • abcess
  • cyst

Primary and Secondary Factors When Sitting

Every instance of hip pain when sitting is going to include too tight muscle and connective tissue.

Maybe you got shot by a nail gun or have an abcess or cyst causing the pain, but that pain will also cause too tight muscle and connective tissue.

But if you have an bone cancer or abscess, you have bigger issues (and other symptoms) to worry about and while this page applies to you, again you have more pressing issues to worry about than these primary and secondary factors.

When you actively sit down (the motion of sitting down):

  • too tight muscle contracts, making things even tighter, making things pull on their connections ever more
  • pain enhancing chemical from the inflammation process makes things hurt even more, so that can feel like hip pain as you sit
  • bones (can) get pulled in directions they shouldn't be going, and that causes a signal for other structures to get tighter, which causes things to get tighter, which causes things to get tighter...as you are moving down towards the seat
  • too tight structures compress the hip and other joints, which tells the brain there's a problem that it needs to tighten up to protect against

Hip Pain When Sitting
Primary Factors

Too tight muscle.  

Too tight connective tissue.

That is the Pain Causing Dynamic, and that's what causes Tendonitis.

See:  What Is Tendonitis?

The following are caused by/results of too tight muscle/connective tissue:

What is the problem with too tight muscle/connective tissue?

  • uses up extra nutrition (lack of which causes more tightness)
  • pulls too much on tendons
  • adds constant tension (in all directions to whatever is connected to it
  • pulls too much/adds tension in the wrong directions
  • triggers pain signal
  • triggers and perpetuates a Process of Inflammation (which makes things hurt more)
  • joint compression causes joint ache/pain and eventual damage

Hip Pain When Sitting
Secondary Factors

Primary factors, being primary, are always involved in a scenario where hip pain when sitting occurs.

But the secondary factors are also involved to some degree.  If the primary factors weren't involved, there would either be no secondary factors, or the existence of ONLY the secondary factors would cause little or no pain.

Realistically though, the primary and secondary are always present to some degree. Less is better.


The Process of Inflammation is everpresent in our body.  Less is better.

But with the high stress lifestyle and Standard American Diet (SAD) the US and western world follows, systemic inflammation is higher than it should be in your body.

And any specific physical ailment (step on a nail, tendon pain, sprain a wrist, stub a toe) can trigger local inflammation (same inflammation, and adds to overall systemic inflammation levels)

Inflammation traps fluid in an area (visible or non-visible swelling) and releases chemicals that enhances one's sensitivity to pain (sets the neuro-receptors on edge).

If you have inflammation in the hip area, that is going to make small things that shouldn't hurt, hurt, and big things that do hurt, hurt more.

Lack Of Specific Nutrition

Muscle fibers require calcium to fire and magnesium to stop firing. Too much tightness eats up magnesium and not enough magnesium results in too tight muscles being stuck too tight (and fatigued).

See:  Magnesium For Tendonitis

Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency, so if you have pain, you have inflammation, and that inflammation is eating up B6...and lack of B6 can cause pain symptoms...

Guess what one of the symptoms of VItamin D insufficiency/deficiency is...?  Yep.  Muscle pain and tendonitis symptoms that can show up anywhere (and insufficiency also causes osteoporosis, which can cause joint pain/muscle pain).

Joint Irritation

Tight muscles and connective tissue (primary factors) compress joints (while actively sitting and while passively sitting).

It doesn't take too much of that to irritate the inner joint linings (secondary factor), causes inflammation (secondary factor)...so then irritated and inflammed joint linings are getting compressed.

And then when you sit down, and while you are sitting, that compressed and irritated joint lining gets compressed even more, and get even more irritated and inflammed.

You can see how that scenario could get worse over time....and lead to Hip Osteoarthritis.


Osteoporosis is (mostly) a later in life occurrence, after decades of too tight muscle and connective tissue, decades of nutritional lack, and decades of inflammatory process.

Calcium gets leeched from bones, and they become weak, get tiny microfractures or even bigger breaks often at the hip.

If your first experience of hip bone pain is from a complete break and fall, then hip pain sitting is a whole different ball game.

But breaks aren't the only possible first symptom.  Weakened hip bones can cause problem with the compressed hip joint which can cause pain when you sit (or any other time).

If you are 40 or older and have hip pain when sitting or any other time, it would be wise to read this  Article on Osteoporosis and take measures to make sure your bones stay strong, or they return to full strength.

All The Above Factors Involved In Hip Pain When Sitting

All the above factors are also (can also be) involved in a Hip Pain From Running scenario.

It's not the action or the position involved that causes the pain/problem, it's the body's form and function that causes the pain/problem.

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