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Pain Through the Hip Joint when Standing on One Foot

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get Relief,
and more…

Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

People complain that it hurts through the hip when they stand on that foot. Some people describe it as feeling like the SI joint is unhinged. Others will complain that it makes it difficult to get out of the car or stand up from a chair. So instead, they tend to turn and stand on both legs. This approach is more manageable than stepping out of the car by using only one leg while holding the door for support.

Standing on One Foot

These people have trouble standing on one foot for long periods. As well, they have pain in activities that support one leg. For example, they may go up or down the stairs by only using the other leg. At other times, a sudden shift onto one foot can produce wincing pain when taking a missed step off a curb.

This problem almost always comes with low back pain that is sharp and makes the person feel fragile. This sensation comes from another set of trigger points in the multifidi in the low back that are a part of the same problem. Look at this post for help with that.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Sudden, Unstable Movements

This is aggravated by sudden movements where the hip has to be stabilized from side to side. These include sports activities like jumping, skiing, or skateboarding.

Once this is activated, activities with steady side-to-side movements, like cycling, aggravate this. Also, walks on the slant of the beach or in the shifting sand of the dunes can really aggravate this trigger point.


One client came to me with this pain about 10 days after going back to a routine of leisurely cycling on a regular basis. Cycling often aggravates trigger points in the lateral glutes.

Research shows that certain foot structures are more prone to this problem. Specifically, the Morton Foot structure, where the base of the second toe is longer than the base of the first toe. This creates a rocking motion in the foot and the hip muscle work to stabilize your stride. I also find that working on feet helps this hip problem.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This muscle is a fan-shaped muscle with three sections. The front section often pulls at a 90-degree angle from the posterior section. You can learn more in this post about gluteus medius.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, and other strategies that relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.