The hip is one of the body’s strongest and most resilient joints in the human body. Because it plays such a large role in mobility and balance, it can be affected by a variety of degenerative conditions, injuries, and other illnesses. Hip pain can be especially debilitating – to the point that it can dramatically affect a person’s quality of life in profound ways.
Thankfully, physical therapy can help you manage your hip pain safely and effectively by improving the strength of the muscles that surround and support the hip, as well as the hip joint’s range of motion. By undergoing targeted physical therapy treatment, you may even be able to restore normal function of the hip joint.
The hip is a ball and socket joint that is located at the junction of the thigh and pelvis. This joint is supported and stabilized by cartilage, several ligaments, and the surrounding muscles in the leg, back, and abdomen. Injury to any of these ligaments or muscles, or degeneration of the bones that make up the joint’s ball-and-socket, can lead to tremendous pain and loss of mobility and strength. Hip pain can express itself as:
In many cases, the cartilage in the hip simply becomes worn, causing bone to rub against bone. This is usually caused by the aging process and/or repetitive motion. Additionally, the tendons and ligaments that are there to provide support to the hip can be torn through injury. The muscles supporting the joint can lose strength over time, especially when existing pain forces one to compensate by relying on their other hip for most of their movements.
Pain in the buttocks, hip, or thigh, or even in various parts of the back can stem from injury or other issues that may be taking place in the hip or hip area. Further, injury in the low back or groin areas can also manifest as hip pain in the body.
Pain in the hips can be the result of many things, including:
Because the hip is located proximal to the lower back area, it can be difficult to determine if pain that seems to arise in the hip is actually a result of pain in the hip itself, the back, or one of the surrounding areas. Determining where the pain is coming from through a thorough assessment by a physical therapist can help to determine what underlying issue is ultimately causing the pain.
An initial visit to a physical therapist includes a comprehensive assessment. This will aid the physical therapist in understanding your range of motion, level of pain, and any other symptoms that may be impacting quality of life. Performing a thorough evaluation of this nature will aid your physical therapist in making a determination of the underlying condition that may be causing the hip pain. Last, the evaluation will allow them to come to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Depending on the therapist’s findings, imaging tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis, after which a customized treatment plan will be created to help reduce pain and inflammation in the hip, strengthen and tone the muscles around the hip, and improve the joint’s range of motion. This treatment plan, including home exercises, can eventually decrease or eliminate some or all of your symptoms.
Get treatment for your hip pain today and start on the path to a life with less pain. Contact us today or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our certified physical therapists.