Hip pointers are a contusion injury in the pelvis on the iliac crest because of a direct blow on the area. The injury causes contusion in the abdominal musculature on the oblique muscles and transverse muscles. The injury results from the crushing of the soft tissues between the injuring object and the hard iliac crest. Hip pointers also cause bleeding on the soft tissues with or without bruising of the bone. Hip pointers cause extreme pain, which affects the physical functioning of the client. The pain is often aggravated by laughing, walking, breathing deeply and coughing. Pain is also the main complaint of people with hip pointers injury. The pain associated in hip pointers is associated with the compression and injury to the cluneal nerve that is located on the hips.

Causes of Hip Pointers

Hip pointers are caused by a direct blow on the iliac crest as a result of the following:

Hard fall
Motor vehicular injury affecting the hips
Contact sports such as soccer, hockey and football

Contact sports has been the most common reason for hip pointers because absence or improper use of protective equipment

Associated symptoms of Hip Pointers

Aside from the presence of debilitating pain that provides discomfort to clients, other symptoms may also be present such as:

Bruising in the hip area

Bruising in the hips is a result of severing the blood vessels in the area leading to closed bleeding.

Muscle spasms

The injured muscles also become spastic and may contribute to the pain experienced by people with hip pointer injury.

Swelling of the hips and upper thighs

Bleeding in the hip abductor muscles, which is responsible for the movement of the legs sideways, causes swelling in the areas that are supplied by the blood vessels in the area.

Limited range of motion of the legs

The bruising on the hip abductor muscles also leads to difficulty in moving the legs.

More severe forms of hip pointer may also cause fracture to the iliac crest that leads ro further loss of function. Hip pointer injury is usually diagnosed using X-rays to detect the extent of injury to the iliac crest.

Treatment for Hip Pointers and Pain

The main treatment for the condition is minimizing pain and allowing the client to return to normal functioning. Treatments usually involve conservative treatments such as:


RICE stands for Rest, ICE, Compression and Elevation. Rest is essential during the acute stage of injury to prevent further trauma in moving the hips. High impact and contact sports and activities should be avoided one to two weeks after the injury. Ice is also applied immediately after the injury to prevent extensive swelling and bruising in the hips and abdominal muscles. Compression and elevation is also essential to enhance venous flow and prevent further swelling.

Anti-inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen are also given to relieve the inflammation and the pain sensation.

Physical Therapy

The person may also start physical therapy to regain optimum range of motion of the legs and hips.


Exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles and the tendons on the hips are also employed following the acute stage of injury.

Chiropractic care

Chiropractic care may also be employed to relieve other musculoskeletal problems using manipulation of the bones and the spine. Chiropractic care may also involve massage and exercise that will further help clients recover from hip pointer injury. Dr. Mohr, your Tampa chiropractor, has experience dealing with hip pointers, so schedule an appointment or come by for a consultation if you’re anywhere near Wesley Chapel, Tampa Palms, New Tampa, or the surrounding areas.

Prevention is very essential especially for athletes who are very prone to hip pointers. Wearing hip pads may help to reduce the blow on the hips in case a direct blow is sustained.