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For athletes and active adults, there’s nothing worse than sitting out a match or practice session because of injury. Unfortunately, due to the strain caused on the body as you work out, sports-related injuries are common.

One of the most common causes of discomfort for active individuals is hip pain. Often, direct impact, overuse or muscle strains are the cause. If the pain is left untreated, it can develop into something chronic that will keep you out of action for extended periods of time.

The symptoms of a hip injury include:

  • Popping, clicking, or others sounds when you move
  • Pain in the hip, lower abdomen, groin, or buttocks
  • Your range movement is limited
  • Bruising or swelling
  • Limping
  • Stiffness

Other than keeping you out of your favorite sport, hip pain can also prevent you from carrying out your day to day activities. Therefore, it is essential to have any hip-related soreness or pain treated before it worsens.

Read on to find out the five types of hip pain, some of the causes, and how physical therapy can help restore your athletic lifestyle.

Trochanteric Bursitis

The bursa is a sac-like cavity filled with fluid that’s found around joints. Its primary function is to reduce friction between bones, muscles, and tendons. When the hip bursa becomes inflamed or irritated because of overuse or impact, a condition known as trochanteric bursitis occurs.

Due to the inflammation, hip movements will result in mild or severe pain on the outside of the hip. Hip bursitis is a common injury among runners and CrossFitters. In addition, contact sports such as football, hockey and soccer players suffer from this condition. Activities such as stairs, walking long distances, running and jumping can aggravate the bursa. Sleeping on the painful hip will also make the pain worse..

Though the condition has recurring tendencies, you can make a full recovery if you seek treatment early on. You can expect treatment to involve joint manipulation and dry needling for quick pain relief. From there, we will recommend corrective exercises to restore strength in that area and prevent muscle atrophy.

Labral Tear

The labrum in the hip is cartilage that surrounds the hip socket providing support and stability to the joint. Therefore, any falls, sudden twists or unnatural body movements during sports activities can cause the cartilage to tear. Labral tear pain is worse when applying weight through the leg, walking and sleeping. Motion at the hip joint is often limited and some will experience a sharp popping or catching sensation.

For recovery, physical therapy treatment plans involve dry needling and joint manipulation to provide initial pain relief. It is important that you to regain full joint mobility before starting exercises in order to properly treat this condition.

Hip Impingement

Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where the hip develops a structural or mechanical disorder. It leads to the formation of bone spurs along the edges of the hip joint that damages the cartilage. Therefore, untreated FAI may lead to labral tears or early onset arthritis. Sitting, squatting and driving most commonly aggravate FAI pain.

It is important that you seek treatment for hip impingement before symptoms progress too far. FAI is managed with exercises and joint manipulation. Joint manipulation addresses the pain you feel in the deep part of the squat and at the ends of hip motion. Corrective exercises help to strengthen the supporting hip muscles.

Hip Arthritis

As athletes age, their risk of developing hip osteoarthritis (OA), which causes the cartilage cushioning your joints to be lost, increases. As a result, you may experience pain and joint stiffness. Hip arthritis is commonly seen in adults over the age of 50 years old.

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of work disability among adults in the US. Arthritis pain is always worse in the morning and is accompanied by stiffness within the joint. Pain and stiffness are improved with activity and movement of the hip joint.

To help you regain the range of motion of your hip and strengthen the muscles, your doctor will recommend exercises and stretches to help alleviate the pain.

Hip Flexor Strain

The hip flexors are muscle tissues that allow a person to stretch and achieve a wide range of motions. If the hip flexor muscle is overstretched or overused, injury can occur. This results in sudden, sharp pains deep in the pelvis or groin area.

Activities such as running, lunging or squatting put the most pressure on your hip flexors. Above all, overuse or an increase in volume of these tasks are most likely what caused the initial injury. When recovering from a hip flexor strain, stretching and dry needling help to relieve your pain, at least in the short term. After that, the best method of treating your pain is exercising the hip flexor directly.

Recovering from Hip Injuries

Hip injuries can have lifelong effects if left untreated. At Peak Physiotherapy and Performance, we use Differential Diagnosis to identify the specific cause of your pain. After determining the cause of your problem, we use a wide range of techniques, such as dry needlingcorrective exercisejoint manipulationcupping and other therapies to get you back to doing the things you love, staying active without pain.

Get in touch with us today for a free phone consultation and customized treatment plan that will shorten your time on the sidelines.

About the Author

Dr. Andrew Junak is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist. Dr. Junak received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Walsh University and completed his Orthopedic Specialist training at the Cleveland Clinic. He is the owner of Peak Physiotherapy and Performance, a physical therapy clinic in Canal Winchester, Ohio where he serves the local communities of Lancaster, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, Pickerington, and Columbus. In his practice, Dr. Junak helps clients find relief without resorting to medications, injections, or surgery.

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