Severe cases of hip dislocation are treated with surgery followed by hip physical therapy.
Hip physical therapy is used to rehabilitate the hip after a reduction procedure or hip replacement surgery.
The hip physical therapy program may include manual therapy to realign joints and the spine, gait training to improve the way you move and walk, stability training to help you stay stable while moving stretches to ease pain and stiffness, and strengthening exercises to repair the muscles that support the hip.
Symptoms of Hip Dislocation
- Sudden, sharp pain in the hip that may include tingling and numbness
- Immediate swelling
- The hip is visibly out of place
- Lack of sensation in the foot/ankle area
- Inability to stand/bear weight on the hip
- Instability and muscle weakness around the hip
4) Hip Impingement
This is a condition where the femoral head (ball of the hip) is misaligned with the acetabulum (cup of the hip). The misalignment results from a misshapen femoral head or a misshapen acetabulum and prevents the ball of the hip from gliding smoothly within the socket.
Most people who have this condition are born with a misshapen femoral head or acetabulum. Others, particularly young athletes who frequently squat and twist at the hip, develop hip impingement as their bodies mature.
Hip impingement usually worsens with repetitive movements of the hip required by certain sports such as soccer, golf, or tennis.
If left untreated, hip impingement can cause cartilage/labral damage.
A hip physical therapy program for hip impingement may include mobility exercises to reduce stiffness, manual therapy to ease pain and improve your range of motion, and exercises that increase your hip flexion.
Symptoms of Hip Impingement
- Stiffness in the thigh, hip, or groin
- Pain in your groin area, particularly after your hip has been flexed (such as by running, jumping, or sitting for a long period of time)
- Pain in the hip, groin, or lower back that occurs with both rest and activity
- The inability to stretch your leg out in front of you beyond 90 degrees when lying down. Bringing your leg in front of you and therefore decreasing the gap between your hips is called hip flexion.
5) Hip Labral Tear
A hip labral tear occurs when the labrum (a ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip joint and supports the ball of the hip) is torn or injured.
Labral tears are usually a result of:
❖ Trauma: a labral tear may occur when the hip joint was dislocated or injured in an accident
❖ Overuse: Repetitive movement of and impact to the hip joint can provoke a labral tear. Labral tears from overuse are common in athletes who increase the duration or intensity of training too soon.
Athletes who perform high-impact sports or sports that cause repetitive impact to the hip joint are most at risk of labral tears.
Sports that involve long-distance running, twisting, sudden changes in direction, and cutting motions are considered higher-risk sports for labral tears.
❖ Structural Abnormalities: Some people are born with hip problems that can accelerate wear and tear of the joint, leading to a labral tear.
Athletes with structural abnormalities who participate in sports that stress the hip joint must practice extra caution by regularly strengthening, stretching, and mobilizing the hips.
Your hip physical therapist may treat your labral tear with a combination of strengthening, mobility exercises, stretching, stability, and functional training, as well as manual therapy.
Symptoms of a Hip Labral Tear
- A deep ache in the front of the groin
- Painful clicking sounds when you move the hip
- Pain that worsens with prolonged sitting or walking
- Sharp pain in the hip or groin
- Weakness in the muscles around the hip
- Stiffness in the hip
Osteoarthritis (also called “degenerative joint disease” or “age-related arthritis”) is the most common type of arthritis in adults aged 60 and older.
The hips, groin, thighs, buttocks, and knees are usually the most painful areas for people who have osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis in the hips causes the cartilage in the hip joint to gradually wear away, leading to symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness.
You are more likely to develop osteoarthritis that affects the hip joint if:
- You are over the age of 60
- You are overweight
- Have sustained a previous injury to the hip joint
- You do not exercise regularly
Just because osteoarthritis isn’t curable doesn’t mean it’s not treatable. Hip physical therapy is tremendously helpful in helping many people with osteoarthritis move and function again with reduced pain and stiffness.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
- A dull to sharp ache in the joints
- Stiffness that can impair movement
- Pain or stiffness that worsens with prolonged inactivity such as resting or sitting
- Pain, swelling, or tenderness in the joints (such as the hip joint)
- A crunching sound with certain movements (which results from bones rubbing against each other due to worn-down cartilage)
- Inability to move the hip joint (or other joints), which can hinder daily activities
7) Snapping Hip Syndrome
Snapping hip syndrome (also called “dancer’s hip”) refers to the sensation or sound of snapping when performing activities that move the hips or require bending at the hips, such as:
- Getting out of a chair
- Swinging the leg around
This condition is usually more annoying than painful; however, athletes may experience pain and weakness in the hip area that impacts their sports performance.
The most common underlying cause of snapping hip syndrome is tightness in the muscles and tendons that make up the hip joint. Therefore, hip physical therapy for snapping hip syndrome usually includes manual therapy and exercises that decrease tightness.
8) Stress Fracture in the Hip
A stress fracture is an injury in which a small crack forms in the femur (the upper portion of the thigh bone).
Athletes that participate in high-impact sports such as long-distance running are at the highest risk of developing a stress fracture in the hip. This is because the hips act as the main shock absorbers for repetitive high-impact forces.
Hip physical therapists typically treat stress fractures by:
- Suggesting modifications to activities (for example, a runner may temporarily switch from the high-impact activity of running to a low-impact activity such as swimming to safely maintain fitness levels)
- Designing an exercise program that strengthens the hips and reduces tightness
- Helping the patient improve sports technique, gait issues, and posture to reduce the load on the hips
Symptoms of a Stress Fracture in the Hip:
- Pain in the groin or front part of the hip that worsens with certain physical activities such as running
- Pain that feels better with low impact activities or rest
- Pain/tenderness when pressing on a specific area of the hip/groin
- Swelling in the groin or hip area
Common Hip Physical Therapy Treatments
Your hip physical therapist will combine multiple treatments to maximize your healing. These common hip physical therapy treatments are proven to heal the hips and diminish your pain for good:
Treatment 1: Electrotherapy
Your hip physical therapist may add electrotherapy into your treatment program. Electrotherapy is a safe and non-invasive way to reduce pain without the side effects that are typical of medications, injections, and painkillers.
You will sit or lie down in a comfortable position while your physical therapist presses electrodes (which look like little stickers and conduct electricity) onto your skin near the painful area.
These little electrodes provide big benefits as they stimulate your nerves and muscles. Some of these benefits include:
- Safely reducing pain (by stimulating specific sensory nerve fibers)
- Increasing circulation so that healing nutrients can enter the injured area
- Calming muscle spasms
- Preventing or reversing muscular atrophy by stimulating the muscles
- Improving motor coordination
Treatment 2: Functional Exercise
Functional exercise helps those suffering from hip injuries complete everyday tasks more easily.
These types of exercises are designed to improve your technique while you perform daily tasks (such as lifting, twisting, bending, and walking). These exercises also strengthen your hip and core muscles.
Treatment 3: Gait Training
Whether your hip injury impairs the way you move on foot, or the way you move on foot contributed to your hip injury, gait training will help you move on foot more smoothly.
Your physical therapist will guide you in activities such as walking, running, stepping over objects, lifting your legs, and standing up. He or she will suggest changes to the way you move during these activities in order to reduce pain and prevent further injury.
Your physical therapist may also recommend specific footwear or attire, such as orthotics (which are supportive inserts you place in your shoes), sneakers, and supportive braces.
If you have muscular imbalances which are impacting your gait, your physical therapist will have you perform strengthening exercises to correct the imbalances.
Treatment 3: Ice/Heat
When your injury is causing inflammation, your physical therapist will suggest icing and heat. You may use a heating pad before you begin your physical therapy exercises and end your session with an ice pack to reduce inflammation in the injured area.
Treatment 4: Manual Therapy
Physical therapists who are trained in the most advanced hip treatments may perform manual therapy, which is a treatment technique that can significantly speed up your recovery process.
Manual therapy is a technique in which a physical therapist will use his or her hands or a specialized tool to massage your injured area, realign the spine, loosen tight muscle tissues, and mobilize the joints.
These techniques are designed to safely alleviate pain, stiffness, and improve your range of motion so that you can move more easily.
Treatment 5: Mobility Exercises
These exercises are designed to ease stiffness by taking your joints, tendons, and muscles through their full ranges of motion.
Your physical therapist will monitor your mobility exercises to ensure you’re doing them correctly. You will likely need to perform them at home between visits for maximum effectiveness.
Over time, you should feel less stiffness and pain, as well as a greater ability to move fully and smoothly as a result of the mobility exercises.
Treatment 6: Patient Education
Are you wondering when you can return to sport again if you should ditch your old shoes for more supportive ones, how to sleep on your side comfortably, or if that special cream that claims to “fight inflammation” actually works? Your physical therapist can answer all of that and more.
Your physical therapist’s primary goal is to restore your ability to perform normal tasks and enjoy your favorite activities (such as sports) again, pain-free. That’s why your physical therapist will educate you on anything you need to know so that you may get back to your life pain-free and without risk of the injury returning.
Treatment 7: Stability Training
If you can’t manage to stand on one leg longer than twenty seconds or find yourself falling over when trying to perform a single-leg squat, you probably have a problem with stability.
No matter how strong and powerful you are, you will face a higher injury risk and a sub-par performance (if you are an athlete) if you do not have good stability.
Stability training involves performing exercises on an uneven surface to train your stabilizing muscles to work properly. Practicing these exercises regularly will facilitate communication between your muscles and brain, helping you balance and stay stable in your normal activities and exercises.
Treatment 8: Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening and stretching exercises are the base of most hip physical therapy programs. These exercises will ease tension and pain, as well as build strength in the hips to prevent re-injury.
Your physical therapist will select stretching and strengthening exercises that are appropriate for your hip condition, lifestyle, and goals.
Here’s a Quick & Easy Way to Get Started
There are a few things you’ll want to look for in a hip physical therapy clinic in order to receive the best care, such as:
- A privately owned physical therapy clinic
- One on one care (many physical therapists treat more than one patient at a time)
- Treatment is given by a certified Doctor of Physical Therapy
- A physical therapy clinic that specializes in hip pain and injuries
Back in Motion Sport & Spine Physical Therapy in Fort Myers, FL, meets all of the above criteria and more! Our skilled physical therapists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hip pain and injuries & have hip pain treatment specialists on their staff.
We use a cutting-edge treatment called The Gray MethodTM, which employs a full-body treatment approach to diminish your hip condition once and for all by fixing the underlying causes of your hip condition. This advanced method of treatment is not practiced anywhere else!
If you are experiencing constant pain now, want to avoid surgery, or already had it, I urge you to call me today at 239-610-5083. To schedule a no-obligation evaluation, please click the button below.
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