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Moving, standing or sitting creating discomfort?

By: Mike Bills, MS PT

Many people seek physical therapy because of hip pain, specifically, pain in their hip flexor muscles. When you experience this pain in the front of the thigh, it usually stems from the fact that your hip flexor muscles, there are a few of them, are being overworked for a number of reasons.

These reasons can include:

  • Weak gluteal muscles
  • Tight IT band
  • Weakness in the hip flexors

When this overworking and stress happens, the hip flexor starts to get tight as a result. This tightness begins to create an impingement or pinching in the front of the ball and socket joint and thus creates pain. You’ll notice this pain initially when you move the leg. As it progresses, it will begin to be uncomfortable when you stand or place any weight on the leg at all and even to the point when you sit and the hip is bent. All of this is due to the fact that the proper space in the hip joint is not staying open. The ball in the ball and socket joint is sliding forward in the joint because the hip flexor is not working properly.

Another common hip problem we see, often in females, is a labral tear or wearing of the labral cartilage. The labrum in the hip is the extension of cartilage of the edge of the socket and creates a suction and pulls the ball into the socket. When certain muscles of the hip are either too tight, too weak, or when there is a problem in the hip flexor muscles, the labrum is under a significant amount of stress and strain. The labrum is a very thin structure and thus easily worn through or torn. When a tear develops in the labrum it loses its ability to create suction. As a result, the ball now moves around in the socket considerably more than it should. It will typically collide with the walls of the socket and rub against the socket thus creating pain. In the beginning this pain is only present with increased activity. However, as it progresses, it will be present more constantly and will start to effect the ability to walk and even sit.  

You may be asking how physical therapy can help your hip. A skilled clinician will evaluate your specific deficits and develop an individualized plan to help return you to your activities. By using a targeted approach of appropriate manual therapy techniques and exercises, our aim is to not only reduce your pain, but to address the root causes and give you the tools to take care of your hip in the long term. Don’t go for the band-aid approach; come to Loudoun Sports Therapy Center! Call our office today at 703-450-4300 and handle your hip problems for good!

CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help you. 

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