Hip Pain & Rehab

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Overview

Hip pain is a common compliant that affects people of all ages, and can have many different causes depending on the location of hip pain. 

Many types of hip pain respond well to conservative measures, like physical therapy, although some require surgical intervention.

Anatomy

The hip joint is where the ball of the thighbone (femur) joins the pelvis at the socket (acetabulum). There is a cartilage covering both the bone of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis in the hip joint. There are numerous muscles and tendons that glide around the hip joint, helping to provide movement and stability. The hip joint is one of the largest joints of the body and has a critical role in walking.

Symptoms

The location and severity of hip pain can widely vary depending on the cause. Dysfunction of the hip joint tend to result in pain on the inside of your hip or groin, while hip pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock are usually caused by a problem with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissue that surround your hip joint.

Common Injuries

  • Bursitis- Some hip pain is caused by inflammation of a bursa (small, fluid filled sac) that cushions outside the hip joint for tendons and ligaments to glide smoothly over. Hip bursitis may feel achy or stiff, hurt more when you move it or look red and swollen. 
  • Hip labral tear- A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage (labrum) that forms a rim of the socket of your hip joint. In addition to cushioning the hip joint, the labrum acts like a rubber seal or gasket to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone within your hip socket.  Sports related motions that include the sudden twisting and pivoting motions (like golf, softball, baseball) can lead to joint wear and tear that ultimately results in a hip labral tear.
  • Sciatica- Refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve that branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark sciatica pain;. Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve with non-operative treatments, such as physical therapy, in a few weeks.
  • Osteoarthritis- This is the most common type of arthritis, sometimes caused degenerative arthritis. It’s a wear-and-tear condition that occurs when the cartilage in your hip deteriorates with use and age. This causes the bones of the joint to rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing may result in pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased ability to move. Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be effectively managed, although the underlying process cannot be reversed.
  • Hip fracture- Hip fractures are usually caused by falls, and significantly increase with age. Older people are at a higher risk of a hip fracture because bones tend to weaken with time (osteoporosis) and have an increased risk of falling. A hip fracture usually requires surgical repair or replacement, followed by physical therapy. 
  • High hamstring tendinopathy- Chronic high hamstring tendinopathy is becoming increasingly recognized as a causative factor in both sitting and activity-related posterior hip pain. Unlike an acute tear, the pain usually comes on gradually and may be aggravated by repetitive activities, such as running or biking, and worsened by prolonged sitting. Athletes who complain of deep buttock pain, pain when sitting, or deep, posterior, upper thigh pain may be suffering from high (proximal) hamstring tendon injury. 

Treatment

A thorough physical examination will usually establish the diagnoses of hip pain. The underlying cause of hip pain will help direct the treatment and plan of care. Most instances of hip pain can be successfully treated conservatively (physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, etc.) although some injuries may require surgical intervention.


Source: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org

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New Wave Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation

7125 Turner Road, Rockledge, Florida 32955, United States

P: (321) 961-3805 (call/text) F: (321) 362-4678

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