How to overcome hip pain (part 2): build back muscle strength

Written by: Mr Dan Williams
Edited by: Emma McLeod

Surprisingly to many, building back muscle strength can be essential in overcoming hip pain. Mr Daniel Williams continues to share his medical expertise with you and highlights how muscle strength is important, alongside optimising body weight, for reducing hip pain and inflammation.


Don’t forget to read part 1: optimise body weight if you haven’t already.

A man in his athletic clothing holding two small dumbbells while looking into the camera

For stronger muscles, low impact activity like cycling, swimming, jogging or simply walking more is the best place to start. Again, it can be difficult to get started… so start slowly. You might be thinking ‘My hip hurts, so I can’t cycle or walk..’ but it’s often the other way around. Weak muscles lead to increased inflammation. So thinking ‘ My hip hurts ‘cos I’m not active enough’ is often a better way to think about it. I explain this in my video ‘Reduce pain in your hip and knee joints by cycling’.


When you begin to get more active, your hip might be a bit sore the day after, but that’s ok - start slowly. Do little and often, some gentle activity every day, scaling up slowly over weeks and months.


A good beginning is to cycle on a static exercise bike. Buy or borrow a static exercise bike and turn the pedals for one minute a day. Click here for my video explanation.


Do one minute a day the first week, two minutes a day in week two, three minutes a day in week three, slowly building until you’re doing 10 to 15 minutes most days. Remember to scale up slowly. Dive straight into a 15-minute spin class and your hip will scream at you! Scale-up slowly and the muscles around your hip will get stronger, helping to reduce inflammation in your hip over maybe a 6-18 month period. Then hopefully you will begin to notice fewer flare-ups and fewer painful episodes.


Making small changes to help optimise your body weight and build back muscle strength will keep the force in your hip well controlled and can help settle down hip inflammation. That’s whether you’ve got a niggly hip that gives you trouble every now and again, whether you’re thinking about hip replacement, or, for that matter if you’ve had a hip replacement and want to keep looking after it. Optimising your body weight and building back muscle strength will help you look after your hip so that your hip lasts you a lifetime.


Mr Williams’ excellent patient care is available via video and face-to-face consultations. Learn how he can help you look after your hip health.

By Mr Dan Williams
Orthopaedic surgery

Mr Dan Williams is a highly-experienced consultant in trauma and orthopaedic surgery at the Royal Cornwall Hospital and Duchy Hospital in Truro with an interest in primary and revision hip and knee replacement.

Mr Williams qualified from the University of Wales College of Medicine in 1998. He trained in Wales, Australia and South Africa before becoming a registrar in the South West of England. Mr Williams completed advanced training in emergency operations and complex joint replacements in Seattle, Oxford and Vancouver.

He has performed over 2000 joint replacements, including 480 revision procedures with total hip replacement pain and function outcomes that go above and beyond national data (27 v 21-point gain). Mr Williams’ total knee replacement patients also achieve pain and function outcomes that go above and beyond national data (22 v 15-point gain).

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