Why is my hip painful?
The hip joint is a large ball and socket joint that joins pelvis with the leg. It is the largest joint in the body and its build allows for movement in all planes and weightbearing. The hip joint can withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear, however over time the structures of the hip joint can start to show signs of wearing.
There are a lot of different causes of hip pain depending on your age, lifestyle or any injuries you might have sustained.
In children and teenagers the most common causes of hip pain are:
- muscle strains - especially in active children and teens playing sports
- septic arthritis
- transient synovitis (irritable hip)
- hip dysplasia and femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
- Perthes disease
In adults the most common causes of hip pain are:
- arthritis (osteoiarhritis, infectious arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- trochanteric bursitis
- hip fracture
- muscle or tendon strain
To establish the cause of the pain a thorough assessment is needed and sometimes diagnostic imaging (ultrasound, X-ray, MRI) and blood test will help to diagnose the issue.
How can hip pain be treated? Will Physiotherapy help my hip pain?
Treatment of hip pain very much depends on the cause. Sometimes medication and rest is all that is required, other times injection or surgery might be necessary and very often physiotherapy intervention will sort out your hip problem.
Physiotherapy is an important part of whichever medical intervention is decided on to treat the cause of your hip pain. The correct physio intervention will help you to get better regardless if you need surgery or conservative treatment. Physiotherapy will help to:
- strengthen weak muscles and release tense or shortened muscles and tendons
- increase range of movement
- improve weightbearing through the hip, improve gait pattern
- get rid of "knots" or trigger points in your gluteal area
- decrease inflammatory process if you have bursitis or inflammatory arthritis
- get you going after hip surgery
Based on the assessment and findings a treatment session with us might include:
- tailored exercise program to strengthen the weak muscles, stretch the tight / shortened muscles and work on improving posture
- soft tissue work / myofascial release
- neuromuscular therapy
- DNS technique
- neuromuscular therapy
- electrotherapy or ultrasound
- dry needling
- gait re-education including correct use of mobility aids as Zimmer frame, walker, crutches or walking stick
- advise on footwear or orthotics if required
Physiotherapy after hip replacement
Physiotherapy plays an important part of rehabilitation after hip replacement, although having couple of sessions before the surgery will also help with faster recovery.
The main goals of rehabilitation after the total hip replacement are:
- gradually increase the strength in your leg but also core muscles
- safely increase your range of movement
- wean you off walking aid and make sure your gait pattern is correct.
- making sure your scar is healing well and if needed work on it to prevent adhesions and fibrosis both of which can affect the movement in your hip and be cause of further pain.