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One of the most stable joints in the body…

hip prpobl

You guessed it, the hip joint! However, that does not keep this joint and region of the body from becoming unstable, developing issues, and producing discomfort.

Unstable hip joints can lead to discomfort and weakness in the hip region and creates difficulties:

  • sleeping or lying in certain positions
  • standing, walking, running, and climbing stairs
  • standing up from a seated position
  • balancing
  • bending your leg in towards your chest (such as when dressing, cutting your toe nails, or washing/drying your feet)

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

Furthermore, compensations due to unstable hip joints and discomfort can lead to secondary pains of the lower back, knee, or ankle/foot.

Check in with your physical therapists if you are experiencing any discomfort or evidence of an unstable hip joint. A physical therapist will be able to perform special tests to access hip weakness and to help rule in or rule out certain issues. They can then assess your strength, flexibility, joint mobility, muscle quality, balance/stability and gait to determine factors that may be contributing to your discomfort

By: Rachel Herrmann, DPT, PT

Don’t let your hip pain hold you back! Get evaluated and treated TODAY by a physical therapist, to help yourself stay moving and doing what you want and need to do. Call 703-450-4300 to schedule your evaluation today. Click HERE for more information!

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