Everything You Need To Know About Hip Physical Therapy

Suffering from hip pain or a hip injury? Looking for treatment and not sure who you can trust? Consider hip physical therapy. In this articles we’ll disclose what hip physical therapy is and what it consists of. However, before we do, we’ll disclose the most common injuries and symptoms to the hip.

Whether it is to run, dance, walk or just stand, your hipbone should be fully functional to support your day-to-day activities. When you suffer from chronic hip pain, it may make you feel that your life has been put on hold.

There are a couple of reasons that make the diagnosis of hip pain challenging. The first reason is the anatomy of hip bone which includes – head of the femur (thigh bone) fits tightly into the acetabulum which is a deep socket in the hip bone. This constitutes the classic ball and socket joint which allows movement along several axes. This complex structures and anatomy of bones also make hip joint one of the strongest as well as stable joints in the body and bears extreme forces during many activities, like running, weight bearing and locomotion.

There are plenty of reasons that cause hip pain or injury, for example, muscular strains and pulls in the groin in runners, arthritis, stress fractures, labral tears, etc. If your hips are sore, here is a list of few causes and sign you should not ignore.

Adductor or Groin Strain

Groin strain or pull is by far the most common type of groin injury. It is caused when adductor muscles (that pull the legs together), which are the main muscle on the inside of the thigh and meets pelvis, are stretched or torn.

Groin strain is usually caused by the movement which triggers an acute groin strain, like kicking, twisting, sudden change is direction while rigorous body movements, like running or jumping. Any overstretching or small tear in adductors muscle can result in hip pain, swelling or ache in the groin area. Overused or severe tears may also result into sharp pain or bruising down the leg. Other symptoms include – snapping sound at the moment of injury, difficulty in walking or running, decreased strength in the upper leg.

Immediate treatments, just after the injury, focus on reducing pain and swelling and include – RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Depending upon the level of your injury, your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs. Other additional treatments which can be accompanied to speed up healing are – physical therapy, massage therapy, heat and stretching, and electrotherapy, and rushing to sports therapy clinic. In severe cases, your doctor may also suggest surgery to repair torn fibers.

Snapping Hip Syndrome

Also known as dancer’s hip, snapping hip syndrome is a condition where a snapping sound or sensation is felt or heard by the patient in their hip while running, walking, getting up from the chair, swinging the leg around and similar activities. The condition is more annoying than painful as it usually includes only one symptom, i.e., snapping sound or sensation. For dancers and athletes, this condition may also include pain and weakness that may interfere with their performance.

Snapping hip is commonly the result of tightness in the muscles and tendons that constitutes hip joint. Hip joint encases ligaments that join and hold everything together, in the right place. All these ligaments and tendons that attach muscles in the buttocks, thighs and pelvis control hip movement. People who are involved in rigorous sports and activities that demands repeated bending at the hip are more prone to snapping hip. Dancers and young athletes are also more vulnerable to snapping hip.

Home remedies to treat snapping hip includes – reduce activity level and apply ice to the affected area. Your doctor may also prescribe you anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize discomfort. If you are an athlete, it is advisable to modify your sport or exercise activities to avoid repetitive movement of the hip. Other treatments options are – athletic physical therapy with a focus on stretching, strengthening, and alignment; corticosteroid injection to the area to relieve inflammation, and surgery in severe cases.

Hip Labral Tear

Hip Labral Tear occurs when the labrum, the ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip joint, is torn or injured. The labrum acts like a rubber seal that holds the ball securely at the top of the thighbone and within the hip socket. Labral injuries can be a result of:

  • Trauma – injury or dislocation of the hip joint which may occur during car accidents.
  • Repetitive trauma to hip joint – active participation in sports, that requires severe motions, like figure skating, twisting, cutting (hockey or soccer), long distance running, etc.
  • Structural abnormalities – Some people are born with hip problems that can accelerate wear and tear of the joint and gradually develop into a hip labral tear.

Symptoms of hip labral tear include – a deep ache in the front of the groin, painful clicking with hip movements, pain after prolonged sitting or walking, a sharp pain in the hip or groin, weakness in the muscle surrounding the hip, stiffness in hip.

Treatments of hip labral tear depend majorly on the severity of the symptoms. Some people recover with traditional treatment options in a few weeks. Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and relieve inflammation. Physical therapy Fort Myers FL can help you achieve maximum range of motion, strength, and stability along with pain management, manual therapy, functional training and education about external factors that cause pain. Depending on the cause and extent of the tear, your doctor may also recommend arthroscopic surgery.

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Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis which is also known as age-related arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is more likely to develop in older people. Osteoarthritis causes pain and swelling in body’s joint, like knees and hip and is one of the most common causes of hip pain.

It occurs when inflammation and injury to hip joint causes breaking down of cartilage tissue. This breakdown results into pain, swelling, and deformity. Factor that contributes to the osteoarthritis of hip joint includes – joint injury, increasing age, overweight, etc.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis in hip joint – Diagnosis of this medical condition can be difficult at first as the pain can appear in different body parts, including groin, thigh, buttocks, and knee. The pain can vary from dull to shape ache with hip becoming stiff which can make day-to-day activity, like walking difficult for patients. Moreover, it also includes joint stiffness that occurs as you get out of bed or sit for a long time; pain, swelling or tenderness in hip joint, a crunching sound when bone is rubbed against each other, inability to move hip to perform routine activities.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip – The primary focus of the treatment is to improve patient’s mobility to get around which is followed by pain management and restoring the function of the hip. It is done through:

  • Ample rest and joint care
  • Use of supports while walking to take the weight off the hip
  • Pain relief techniques
  • Losing excess weight
  • Physical therapy, exercise, yoga, swimming, stationary biking
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to subside pain
  • Surgery in severe cases

Hip Dislocation

When the femur (head of the thighbone) in the hip joint is pushed out of the socket (pelvis), it results in a traumatic hip dislocation. This injury mainly occurs due to auto collision or high impact fall, for example, car collisions and falls from significant heights, sports injury, especially who also suffer from a broken leg or pelvis as it takes a great force to dislocate the hip.  The dislocation often occurs when a great force drives the thigh backward, pushing the ball head of the femur out of the hip socket.

Hip dislocations are often accompanied by other related injuries, like fractures in the pelvis, legs, back, abdominal part, knee, and head.

Hip dislocation has been categorized into two kinds of injury:

  • Posterior dislocation – In 90% of the hip dislocation cases, the thighbone is pushed out of the socket in backward direction which is referred to as posterior dislocation. It leaves the lower leg in a fixed position, with knee and foot rotated towards the middle of the body.
  • Anterior dislocation – In an anterior dislocation, the thighbone gets pushed out of its socket in the forward direction. Though the hip bents only slightly, the leg rotates out and away from the middle of the body.

Symptoms – A hip dislocation is marked by sharp pain, tears or strains in adjacent blood vessels, nerves, muscles, ligaments and other soft tissue surrounding the hip joint. Patients feel difficulty in moving leg, and if there is any nerve damage, it may also lead to lack of sensation in foot and ankle area.

Treatments:

  • Reduction procedures – It is a nonsurgical procedure which is carried out by an orthopedist who simply pushes the ball back by hand. This procedure is performed when the patient is under anesthesia.
  • Hip physical therapy
  • Total hip replacement – In some cases, like elderly patients or those with some physical therapists, higher rates of dislocations occur. These cases are usually treated with a total hip replacement (THR). If a patient experiences multiple dislocations after THR, a hip revision surgery is done.

Hip joint is less prone than other kind of injury; still, it can be afflicted by a large number of issues, both big and small. To get back to routine activity, it is important to seek correct diagnosis and get effective treatment.

Consider Hip Physical Therapy….

If you’re suffering from any of the injuries above, you should consider hip physical therapy. It is a non-invasive way of healing your hip pain. Here are some of the treatment that your speciality trained hip physical therapist can do for you:

  • Massage
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Specific Strengthening Exercises
  • Patient Education
  • Stretching Exercises

To inquire about cost and availability with one of our hip physical therapist, click here.

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About Author: Dr. Scott Gray

Dr. Scott Gray is an internationally recognized and expert physical therapist specializing in sport, athletic, and back and neck injuries. He is the inventor of a revolutionary form of treatment called the GRAY METHOD. This type of treatment unlike others, addresses the CAUSE rather than just your SYMPTOMS with a full body approach. For more information on how to ease or overcome your injury, go to www.backinmotionsspt.com.

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