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Mystery Hip Pain

        Mystery hip pain is linked to modern furniture design. These simple solutions will help prevent hip pain. Chairs, office chairs, toilet seats, car seats have been steadily favoring the “contoured” design since the 1970s. Prior to this period the design favored more non-contoured, flat shapes. It is precisely this contour that triggers phantom hip joint pain. When the contour is removed, the stimulation for the recurring hip pain is eliminated. Billions of dollars are being spent on medical solutions for hip pain. Of course frequently there is an underlying medical condition that warrants medical treatment for hip pain, including hip surgery and hip replacement surgery. However, there are millions of people who have sporadic hip pain that is non-medical. This would include non-surgical treatments for hip pain, alternative treatments for hip pain and natural treatments for hip pain. This chronic pelvic pain comes and goes and comes and goes, but can never be traced. If this sounds like you, then read further!

Contour Shape Supposed to be More Comfortable.

        hip pain contour seating

        no hip pain with flat seat

        Most contoured seats are intended to be “form-fitting” to one’s bottom. In most cases, however, it seems that the rate of curvature of the seat EXCEEDS the natural rate of curvature in the human body. This means that with the weight of sitting on the seat, the pressure of your own body causes an impingement of bone, skin, cartilage, tendons, nerves in a very, very unnatural manner. Over time, this constant compression will cause a distortion of the body’s natural alignment which will lead to pain from sitting. This type of seat also causes a forced inward torquing (rotation) of the upper legs. As you can see, the contour shape is supposed to be more comfortable but it is NOT!

Change the Seat, Remove the Hip Pain. It’s that simple.

        Remember the design of the 60s? Flat bench seats in the car? Flat “La-Z-Boy” recliners? Flat couches? Flat toilet seats? Flat office chairs? Flat, flat, flat! Flat is good! The body adjusts to a flat surface naturally. Today, it’s contour, contour, contour. Go through your life and observe all the contoured seating you have to deal with and change it to flat seating. Period. Your butt will be happy and your hips will be ecstatic.

Contoured Toilet Seat Causes Hip Pain.

        Contour Toilet SeatHere is an example of a typical “modern” style contoured toilet seat made of plastic. This is supposed to be more comfortable than the older “molded wood” flat style. But it is NOT! Notice that because of the “form-fitting” contour that the outer rim is higher than the inner rim. This causes the outer edge of the seat to press with great pressure exactly on your hip joint when you are sitting on the toilet, over time, causing mystery hip pain.

Contoured Chair Seat Causes Hip Pain.

        Contoured Office ChairIt’s very hard to find an office chair that doesn’t have the contoured seat design as shown in the adjacent picture. The amazingly ironic thing is that this type of chair is often touted as being “ergonomic,” as in “ergonomic chairs.” Whether you spend $49 or $490, if there is a contour to the seat, you may be causing great damage to your hips. Keep reading below for a wonderful office chair I found that has the older stylings from the 60s (flat seat) with a modern look. I’ve been so happy with it that I bought two of them.


Disclaimer and Personal Story.

        I am not a doctor. I am not giving you medical advice. Of course, you should always seek a medical doctor for medical advice. I am giving you my OPINION based on my own personal experience and I’m sharing with you the solutions that I have enacted in order to solve my own problem. I was having recurring mystery hip pain for several years until I changed my contoured seating to flat seating in every aspect of my life. This really did solve my problem, but I confess that I did NOT have a medical condition. It MAY NOT solve your problem, but it is certainly worth considering!  ― Howard Richman

Other Things to Prevent Hip Pain

        Use Two Wallets
        If you’re a man, and you keep your wallet in your back pocket, not only is this bad for your hips, but it also creates a lopsided effect over time, which really aggravates the situation. Try getting TWO thin wallets and distributing the contents even between each!

Products We Recommend. These Are Products Helpful For Preventing Hip Pain.

        Your car seat is giving you pain because it is contoured! All you have to do is even out the contour with a special cushion. The solution is to puchase a roll of dense durafoam and cut out a section that fills in the gully on your car seat, so the left and right sides of the “bucket” seat are at the SAME LEVEL as the middle part. Ahhhhh!

        HarbingerMat58Ribbed Rolled Durafoam Mat
        5/8" Thick





        bevco 22005ECImagine sitting all day without the sides of the chair pressing into your hips. Ahhh, relief! It’s very hard to find such a chair, but I’ve found one and I highly recommend it to you. It comes in different fabrics and colors and it is very well-made. You will be very happy with this chair. It’s Made in the U.S.A. Heavy duty construction. Meets ANSI/BIFMA Standards. 12 year intensive use guarantee. Easy manual seat height adjustment with threaded stem and handwheel, 360 degree swivel, a fully adjustable backrest for improved lumbar back support, and comfortable 3 3/4" thick upholstered seat with high density foam.
        sk for BEVCO Adjustable-Height Stools . (Bevco Model #s “2000 Series” models 2205 and 2605 correspond to CH Product IDs 4221227 and 4221327 respectively.) These chairs are hard to find. Click on the link for a reliable supplier. Bevco makes other styles, but they don’t all have the flat seat. Look carefully at the pictures on the website!

        Toilet Seat Wood StandardMolded Wood Standard Toilet Seat. This fits the standard toilets. The seat is the old-fashioned, non-contoured style, to help prevent hip pain. “Wood” means a composite material made from wood. The color of the seat is white. Other colors are available.




        ToiletSeatWoodElongatedMolded Wood Elongated Toilet Seat. This fits the elongated toilets. The seat is the old-fashioned, non-contoured style, to help prevent hip pain. “Wood” means a composite material made from wood. The color of the seat is white. Other colors are available.





“I just wanted to say Thank You for your article on hip pain. I went to numerous doctors, had x-rays, took pain killers everything. Every day was filled with pain and the nights were even worse. I felt like someone had pounded on the sides of my hips with a hammer. Visits to the chiropractor would give me some relief, but then in a couple of days, the pain was back.

And then, I read your article about contoured furniture causing hip pain. Could it be that simple? Well, I was willing to try anything. I immediately swapped my modern “ergonomically” correct office chair for an old, neglected flat adjustable typist chair like the one pictured in your article. (I work at a computer — sitting about seven hours a day, five days a week). I could tell a difference almost immediately. Within a week, my pain was gone. I couldn’t believe it. No more pain killers, no more daily and nightly pain. I changed the toilet seats, “evened” out the contour seat in my car with a cushion, and thank God I came across your article. It’s like a miracle to me. Thank you for this article from the bottom of my heart.

I lived with the pain for over three years. I was told I’d have to get heel inserts to correct my pelvis alignment.” I was told that there wasn’t anything wrong. I was told that I was “just overweight, and needed to lose weight.” I was told that at 46, that I “wasn’t a spring chicken” and probably had some arthritis. My boss bought two different, very expensive ergonomic chairs to help alleviate the pain. And yes, they were contoured. And no, they did not help at all. In fact, after reading your article, I tried to find a chair in our office catalog that wasn’t contoured, and there wasn’t a single one. Your article, out there free for anyone that wants to read it, was a miracle for me. Thank you I’m sure you’ve probably helped a lot more people than you know.”

—Tammy Brewer

“The gift of your article and information about hip pain and contour chairs is probably the most valuable thing I’ve been given in a long time. I just wanted to write and thank you for your article on ‘mystery hip pain.’ I have been suffering from horrible hip pain for the past three years. I have been searching for answers for a long time about hip pain. I would use Google every other month, looking for answers and this is the first thing that has worked, including advice from doctors, expensive prescriptions, chairs of all kinds. I thank you for this. Keep up your work — it is making a difference! I have spent hundreds of dollars on doctor visits. I’ve been put on medication for swelling and pain. The next steps were as drastic as cortisone shots or hip replacement. I’ve tried everything to stop the pain over the past three years. I thought maybe one leg was larger then the other so I bought shoe lifts. I’ve been through many many different chairs, lots of doctors and tons of pain! However, five minutes after reading your article and doing some testing of my own, the hip pain was gone! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the time and energy you put into making this article. It put an end to my pain!

—Eric M., Maryland

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Last updated Tuesday, October 26, 2021