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The Truth Behind Our Hip Pain

Causes of Hip Pain

There are multiple structures in and around the hip joint that can produce pain in this area of the body:

  • Labrum– the ring of cartilage around the rim of the socket of the hip joint. Tears can produce symptoms of catching, locking or giving out of the hip.
  • Hip abnormalities– abnormalities in the shape, size, or position of the ball or socket of the hip joint  that can cause instability of the joint, pinching of the hip and a deep pain. This can be congenital, developmental, traumatic, or related to repetitive hip movements such as with certain sports (ex: soccer, dance, golf, baseball, hockey)
  • Muscles – spasms, strains, trigger points, or inflammation of the muscles or their tendons can produce sharp, aching, or throbbing pain and or tightness along the front, back, outer side or groin regions of the hip
  • Bursas– small fluid-filled sacs that lie between bony prominences and tendon, most commonly along the bony prominence of the side of the hip and second most commonly at the front of the hip.
  • Osteoarthritis– degeneration of the joint surfaces of the hip bones. Most commonly produces stiffness that improves with movement and groin pain.
  • Radiculopathy– nerve pain (sharp, shooting, electric-like) that originates from the low back can also produce pain in the region of the hip

How does hip pain affect our everyday lives?

Pain in the hip region can contribute to difficulty sleeping or lying in certain positions, difficulty walking and climbing stairs, difficulty standing up from a seated position, altered balance/stability, difficulty bending your leg in towards your chest (such as when dressing, cutting your toenails, or washing/drying your feet), difficulty running, difficulty squatting and difficulty standing. Compensations due to hip pain can lead to secondary pains of the lower back, knee or ankle/foot.

How to Treat Hip Pain

If any of these pains sound familiar, checking in with your physical therapist would be a good first step. A physical therapist will be able to perform special tests to help rule in or rule out some of the above issues and then can assess your strength, flexibility, joint mobility, muscle quality, balance/stability and gait to determine factors that are contributing to your pain. In many cases the pain can improve with just physical therapy and no need for surgery. Even if surgery may be required, doing physical therapy beforehand can help improve your strength, muscle control, balance and flexibility to help make recovering from surgery quicker and easier.

Don’t let your hip pain hold you back. Call LSTC at, 703-450-4300 to schedule your evaluation and start living pain free again!

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