Hip Pain & Injury
Article by John Miller
Hip pain and joint injury are common for all age groups. The hip joint and its integration with your pelvis, SIJ and lumbar spine (lower back) make it a complex region to correctly analyse and assess any dysfunction.
Hip pain is a special interest of the physiotherapists at PhysioWorks. Your physiotherapist will spend the time with you to fully assess the origin of your hip pain and investigate what physical deficits you have that are affecting your function.
The Older Hip
The older population is rendered more vulnerable to age-related hip issues such as hip arthritis, trochanteric bursitis and GTPS (Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome). Functional limitations could include simply walking, sit to stand, single leg standing, stairs or even sleeping in severe cases.
Hip pain can also be associated with reduced balance. A thorough balance assessment may be required to predict a falls risk. Falls prevention exercises may be prescribed by your physiotherapist to address any individual deficits. They may even advise you to utilise a walking assistance device such as a walking stick, crutches or a walking frame.
The Sporting Hip
Younger sports-related hip issues may come on after prolonged running, jumping or landing activities. Specific sporting hip conditions should be discussed and thoroughly assessed by your hip physiotherapist. Biomechanical deficits and subtle hip weakness that may only show on a slow-motion video are just two of the potential causes of sporting hip injuries.
You may not realise it, but groin pain is the most common symptom associated with hip joint pathologies such as hip osteoarthritis and hip labral injuries. There are also many other causes of groin pain that need to be excluded by a health professional. More info: Groin Pain.
Only after a thorough hip assessment will your hip pain be effectively rehabilitated to relieve your current hip pain and joint dysfunction, plus prevent the return of any future hip pain.
Hip Pain Assessment
To successfully treat your hip pain and joint dysfunction it relies upon a thorough examination of your:
- entire lower limb (foot, ankle, knee, hip, groin)
- lumbar spine
- pelvis and SIJ function and alignment
- deep hip muscle control and activation patterns
- middle and superficial hip muscle control, strength and function
- deep abdominal, core and pelvic floor muscle control
- upper thigh muscle length and strength (e.g. quadriceps, adductors, hamstrings, and ITB)
- neural tissue extensibility e.g. sciatic and femoral nerve
- hip joint biomechanics as a whole and in isolation
Your hip function can also be affected by your lower limb
Common Sources of Hip Pain
Hip Joint Pain
- Hip Arthritis - Osteoarthritis
- Hip Labral Tear
- Hip Pointer
- Femoroacetabular Impingement - FAI
- Perthes Disease
- Slipped Femoral Capital Epiphysis
- Stress Fracture
- Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head
Lateral Hip Pain
- Inguinal hernia
- Sportsman's hernia
- Hip Flexor Strain
Other Muscle-related Pain
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Muscle Pain -Muscle Strain
- Poor Hip Core
- DOMS -Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
- Core Stability Deficiency
Hip Pain Treatment
At PhysioWorks, we have several highly skilled physiotherapists with a special interest in hip pain and joint injury. In the past, most hip joint conditions have often been treated with only short-term aims in mind. e.g. cortisone injections or painkillers. This is inadequate. Your health care practitioner should be providing you with patient education regarding your condition and combining with exercise and /or manual therapy as per the Clinical Practice Guidelines. (Cibulka et al., 2017)
One of the differences that you'll notice with PhysioWorks treatment is the thorough analysis of WHY you actually have your hip pain, rather than only treating your symptomatic pain. We strongly believe that if you don't correct why you are vulnerable to hip injury then it is only a matter of time before your hip pain returns.
Hip pain education should also include teaching you specific activity modification, individualised exercises, weight-loss advice (if required), and methods to unload any arthritic joints.
Recent research findings have modified modern physiotherapy treatment approaches to hip pain. Together with a thorough hip assessment, your hip treatment can progress quickly to get you pain-free and perform your normal sport or daily activities in the shortest time possible. A quality physiotherapist will individually prescribe therapeutic activities based on your specific needs for daily living, values, and functional activities.
Buy Helpful Products for Hip Pain
Hip Pain Treatment Options
Your hip physiotherapist may consider using manual therapy to improve your joint mobility, flexibility or pain. As you range of motion improves your physiotherapist is likely to add strengthening and stretching exercises as they deem appropriate for your needs.
Please click the links below for more information about some of the common hip treatments that your physiotherapist may recommend or utilise for your hip pain.
Hip Pain FAQs
Cibulka, M., Bloom, N., Enseki, K., Macdonald, C., Woehrle, J. and McDonough, C. (2017). Hip Pain and Mobility Deficits—Hip Osteoarthritis: Revision 2017. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 47(6), pp.A1-A37.
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