One of the worst things about hip pain is that it can interfere with your golf game– or even worse, keep you off the course. Fortunately, treatment for hip pain can get you swinging your club again in no time.

When it comes to golfing, your hips play an important role in your swing. They lead your upper body, then pull your arms and shoulders into action. Rotating your hips helps you achieve full upper body potential, and engaging your hips on the downswing can maximize your swing speed – allowing you an extra 15 to 20 yards!

Because of the integral role your hips play in your swing, it’s no surprise that hip pain is common in golfers. In a recent medical survey published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, 19.3 percent of the surveyed male professional golfers reported hip pain. In that study, the incidence of pain increased with the golfers’ age.

Why the Hips are Vulnerable to Injury

The hip is the joint where your thigh bone meets your pelvis to form a ball-and-socket joint. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the hip is very mobile and can withstand the large loading stresses of moving your body around. Surrounding your hip joints are muscles, which move your pelvis and thigh bone in a variety of ways.

Your hips work hard to keep you flexible. Your muscle motions include flexion, where the muscles move your knee closer to your chest, and extension movements where you straighten your leg to put your foot on the floor again. Your hip muscles are also responsible for abduction, when you move your leg to the side and away from the midline of your body, and adduction, when you bring your leg back to your body’s midline. These muscles include hip adductors such as your hamstrings and gluteus maximus, which move your legs side to side. Hip adductors and hip extensors are powerful muscles, so the actions of adduction and extension are also quite forceful.

Your hip is one of your largest weight-bearing joints; however, just moving your body causes loading stress on your bones and muscles. While your hip joints are usually sturdy during normal activities of daily living, they’re especially vulnerable to injury during golf because swinging a club requires your hips to do more pivoting and twisting than they’re used to.

The motion of swinging a club also requires a great deal of control in your gluteal and adductor muscles to overcome the forces of repeated adduction, flexion and extension. Repetitively inflicting these forces during golf can cause injuries that make playing uncomfortable or even impossible.

While muscle strains are a common cause of hip pain, there can be several other explanations as well. Other hip pain protagonists include tears in cartilage, which is the tough tissue that covers the ends of bones at the joint, as well as arthritis of the hip. Arthritis is a condition that causes painful inflammation of the joints, which can eventually cause breakdown of the bones in your hip and put a big pause on your golf game.

Preventing and Treating Hip Pain

One of the best ways to prevent hip injuries is to warm up your muscles before picking up your clubs. Using correct form can also help you avoid hip injuries, as can improving the flexibility and strength of the muscles supporting your hip joint and socket.

You can reduce your risk of hip pain by using proper swing form and exercise to strengthen your muscles, especially your core muscles. Consult with a golf professional to make sure you use proper form when you swing.

You can often manage your hip pain through conservative treatment at home, such as rest and ice. Other non-surgical treatments for hip pain include anti-inflammatory drugs, hydrotherapy, physical therapy and massage. Your doctor may recommend cortisone injections to reduce inflammation and pain in your hip.

If nothing else works, hip replacement may be necessary. Hip replacement can help you overcome arthritis and other debilitating hip problems.

Some of the world’s best golfers have undergone hip replacement, including Jack Nicklaus, Peter Jacobsen, Davis Love III, Hal Sutton and many more. (Most go on to play some of the best stick in their lives!)

Part of these golfers’ success, though, is proper care before, during and after surgery. The recovery and healing phase of hip replacement surgery can affect how you move and how you play.

Muve Health offers a differentiated option for golfers who want an extraordinary hip replacement experience. Muve’s unique program focuses on recovery support and education specifically designed to help you get back to your specific, personalized golf and fitness goals as safely, quickly, and enjoyably as possible. With proper pre-operative, surgical and aftercare, you can be back to putting in 4 to 6 weeks, light chipping after 6 to 10 weeks, and driving after 12 weeks.

In our experience with patients we’ve treated who have undergone the anterior approach to hip replacement, we usually see even shorter return times: putting and chipping in 2 weeks, irons at 4 weeks, and driving as early as 6 weeks in some cases!* Patients who undergo a total hip replacement can generally look forward to playing a full round of golf, with the help of a cart, in a matter of a few months.

For more information about managing your hip pain, it’s always best to consult with your physician to learn more about your unique situation and treatment needs.

If you’re already considering total hip replacement and want to learn more about Muve Health’s innovative approach to total joint replacement care and recovery support, visit

*Results are not guaranteed; individual results and recovery timelines vary based on each unique patient’s medical situation and recovery needs.

**Surgical services are provided by independent professional corporations and not by Muve Health. This blog post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.