Physical Therapy for Hip Pain

If you’re seeking physical therapy for hip pain, you’ve found the right place.

True hip joint pain usually begins in the groin and can travel to the glute or down the leg to the knee. The hip/groin area will be sensitive to deep bending (like sitting in a low chair) and crossing midline (like crossing your legs). This is common with age-related changes or repetitive stress in athletes like dancers or lifters.

Muscles around the hip are commonly injured, too. Athletes often look for therapy after a hamstring or hip flexor strain.

If you’re having pain isolated in the glute area without groin pain, physical therapists are sure to rule out nerve irritation from the low back.

At JACO, we provide a rare opportunity for you to be treated 1-on-1 by a physical therapist for over 50 minutes every session. We empower you to manage your symptoms so you can confidently discharge from our care.

Interested in an appointment? Call us today!

Common Hip Injuries that Physical Therapists Treat

  • Hip Impingement/Femoral-Acetabular Impingement (FAI)

Everyone’s body is shaped differently. Some hip joints are shaped in a way which may predispose you to impingement, where your hip doesn’t move as freely due to the joint’s shape. This is usually confirmed with imaging and is common in athletes. It can be treated conservatively with physical therapy.

  • Hip Arthritis

Age-related “wear and tear” on the joint can be a source of pain. Physical therapy helps to reinforce the joint by strengthening surrounding muscles.

  • Labral Tears & Repairs

The labrum of the hip refers to cartilage in the joint. A tear in the cartilage could cause pain and predispose the joint to arthritic changes. Sometimes, a repair is necessary to protect the joint. Physical therapy treats this similar to arthritis by reinforcing the joint with muscular support and applying your strength to your functional activities.

  • Total Hip Replacements

If arthritic changes are too advanced for conservative care, a replacement may be indicated. Total hip replacements are routine and have improved tremendously. Physical therapy can help achieve superior outcomes. Most people return to full daily function very quickly.

Looking to prepare for your surgery? Check get some prehabilitation!

  • Adductor Strain

Your adductor is located on the inside of your thigh and connects to your groin area. Repetitive use of the muscle without adequate strength of the tendon can create a strain or a tendonitis. In many athletes, this can be a reoccurring problem if movement technique is not addressed. Classic examples are soccer players.

  • Hip Flexor Strain

Like an adductor strain, the front of the hip can be overused and stressed to the point of a strain or tendonitis. This is also common in athletes who kick and run. Sport-specific movement technique should also be addressed to prevent future reaggravation.

  • Hip Bursitis

The bursa is a structure between bone and muscle that helps lubricate the area and allow for smooth movement of soft tissue. As a result of prolonged pressure or stress, a bursa can become painful and irritated. Physical therapists help patients understand why the bursa is inflamed and how to remove aggravating factors so that it does not continue.

The most commonly irritated bursa lies behind the hip bone near the glute. It is important rule out sciatica, as it also affects a similar area and can be easily confused with bursitis.

Does Physical Therapy Help Hip Pain?

JACO physical therapists know how to assess and treat your hip pain.

During your first day at JACO, you’ll meet your therapist who will listen to your history and ask about your pain patterns and your personal goals. He/she will take time to assess your mobility and strength before determining which exercises are appropriate for your hip’s unique needs.

The more compliant you are with your exercises at home, the better your outcomes!

During the course of your treatment, each session will be used to reassess your symptoms and determine the next steps in your care.

Rehab after Total Hip Replacements

Total hip replacements are seeing great outcomes, physical therapy can help secure you returning to all your activities.

JACO Rehab’s therapists can help educate you on expectations during a prehab visit and/or get you moving confidently after your replacement.

Any surgery can be rough, but rehab is an excellent way to help you gain independence once again. Physical therapists know tips and tricks on how to make mobility easy again: bed mobility, walking, squatting, stair climbing, or getting off the floor. You’ll even gain insight into how you can return to your favorite recreational activities including but not limited to golfing, paddling, surfing, or hiking.


Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Hip Injuries

1. How do I decrease my hip pain when I’m sitting or driving?

If your hip pain is in the groin, your seat may be too deep causing your hip to bend too far up for comfort. You can adjust your seat higher if you’re in the car. If you’re sitting on the couch at home, sit on a few pillows to make your seat higher.

If your hip pain is in the glute, you should consider the possibility that a nerve is irritated by your low back’s position in the seat. Are you slouching? If so, then you can try to place a pillow behind your back for added lumbar support to see if it helps, but you may need to get your back evaluated by a physical therapist.

2. Can hip pain cause knee, ankle, or foot pain?

In some instances, hip pain can radiate to the knee. However, it is rare that true hip pain radiates to the foot. Pain that passes through two joints is likely related to a nerve which originates from the spine.

If your hip pain is causing pain past the knee, you may need to have your lumbar spine evaluated for nerve irritation.

3. How long is recovery after a total hip replacement?

As with any joint replacement, you’ll be functional quickly… but it can take up to a year for the joint to feel “normal” to you.

Read more about total and partial hip joint replacements.

There are many factors that affect your recovery including:

  • Your function/strength prior to surgery
  • Infections/blood clots after surgery
  • Compliance with your treatment plan
  • Personal factors that affect healing rates such as smoking and diabetes

The longest part of recovery is regaining strength. It takes at least six weeks to begin seeing real strength gains. Any gains prior to six weeks are usually related to improvements in muscle coordination rather than strength. Even after physical therapy, you’ll be working to regain strength with a continued exercise regime. Regular activity is highly encouraged.

If you’ve decided to get a hip replacement, book a prehab appointment to get you prepared!

Quick Tips for Injury Prevention

Core Exercises for Hip Strength

Hip Stretches to Stay Flexible

These videos are not a replacement for professional physical therapy but to help alleviate for minor injuries and aches.

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