How to Treat a Hip Pointer Injury

Learn to prevent and treat hip pointer pain and injury

Portrait of a football player holding a football helmet
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What Is A Hip Pointer Injury?

A hip pointer injury is an extremely painful, acute injury to the iliac crest of the pelvis. The injury causes bleeding into the abdominal muscles, which attach to the iliac crest. The bone and overlying muscle are often bruised, and the pain can be intense. Pain may be felt when walking, laughing, coughing, or even breathing deeply.

What Causes A Hip Pointer Injury?

Hip pointers are the result of a direct blow to the iliac crest, whether from a direct hit from a helmet, shoulder or a hard fall on the ground.

Hip pointers are common in contact sports such as football and soccer, but also occur in hockey, skiing, rugby, cycling, lacrosse and even basketball. 

What Is The Treatment For A Hip Pointer Injury?

Most hip pointers will heal with conservative treatment. If you suspect a serious injury, you should see a physician to have a full physical exam. While uncommon, a severe blow to the hip may result in a bone fracture.

For immediate pain relief, follow the R.I.C.E. treatment plan. Rest from any aggravating activities for the first 1 to 2 weeks is necessary for a hip pointer to heal properly. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful to reduce pain and inflammation for the first 7 to 10 days after the injury.

If a hip pointer doesn't begin healing with conservative treatment, your physician may refer you to physical therapy for additional treatments and rehab exercises.

It's important that the athlete not return to quickly to activity.

Athletes who play sports or start exercising with continued pain and tenderness often compensate by altering their gait and technique. The result if this may be another injury to different body part. As with an injury, try to avoid returning too quickly to sports or an acute injury can easily turn into a chronic injury that is much harder to recover from.

How Can I Prevent A Hip Pointer Injury?

Wearing properly fitted protective equipment, including hip pads, is the best protection from a hip pointer injury. Additionally, developing appropriate skills and techniques and following the rules of the game can reduce an athlete's risk of a fall or collision, which may help avoid a hip pointer injury. Like many acute injuries, it's often impossible to predict and avoid an impact that will result in a collision with another player or the ground, so being well-protected is the best way to avoid a serious injury. Even with the right gear, sometimes hip pointers are unavoidable. 

Hip Pads Help Prevent Hip Pointers

To get the best protection from your protective gear, make sure they fit correctly. Athletes who wear hip pads need to make sure the pads are large enough to come up over the crest of the hip bone (the iliac crest). Football hip pads are most common, and can used by athletes for other sports as well. Hockey hip protection is another popular choice for prevent hip pointers.

Shop for a Hip Pad

Protective hip pads come in a variety of styles and materials and are designed for a variety of sports. Here are some of the best choices in hip pads for sports with a high risk of hip pointer injuries.

Buy from Amazon - Hip and Tail Pads 

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