Hip Pain & Injury
Article by John Miller
Hip pain is common and spread across 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.
The Older Hip
If you are in the older population group, you will be 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.
Groin pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with hip joint pathologies such as hip osteoarthritis and hip labral injury. 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
The successful treatment of your hip pain requires a thorough and accurate assessment 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.
Your hip pain can and often is related to your whole 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
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, especially for the troublesome or recurring hip pain sufferer. 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)
A thorough analysis of WHY you actually having hip pain from a movement and control aspect is important to solve your current problem, prevent a recurrence and improve your performance especially on the sports field.
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-backed approaches have modernised physiotherapy treatment approaches to your 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 and up-to-date physiotherapist, who is experienced in the assessment, treatment, prevention and optimisation of hip pain and related conditions, 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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