Physical Therapy for Hip Pain
The hip is a ball and socket joint consisting of the thigh (femur) and the pelvis. There are many ligaments that support the bones, which provide considerable stability to the joint. Numerous muscles also attach around the hip to help move the joint.
Hip pain can be caused by many factors. Often, you may start feeling hip pain for no apparent reason. Sometimes recreation or sports puts repetitive strain on the hip causing pain. Because the hip is a major weight-bearing joint, arthritis of the hip is a common problem. The hip is responsible for such functional activities as walking, running, rising from sitting, and climbing stairs. Pain in the hip can limit these activities.
Where Hip Pain Is Felt The hip is close to the low back, and it can be difficult to determine if your hip pain is truly coming from the hip or coming from your low back. The location of your symptoms can often help to solve this problem.
What to Expect From Physical Therapy for Hip Pain Your first visit to physical therapy for hip pain will begin with an initial evaluation. This visit is important to ensure correct diagnosis and proper management. During this visit, the physical therapist will interview you to gather information about the history of your problem, the aggravating and relieving factors, and about any past medical history that may contribute to the overall problem. From the information gathered during the history, a focused examination will be conducted.
The examination may consist of several sections including, but not limited to:
Passive treatments like heat or ice may feel good, but active engagement in your PT program through exercise has been proven to be the best treatment for hip pain.
Exercises to improve hip strength or mobility may be prescribed by your physical therapist. You also may have to perform exercises at home each day as part of a home exercise program. It is important for you to be an active participant in physical therapy, and ask questions if you have any.
Exercises to improve the mobility or strength of your hip are important to keep your hip healthy. Simple exercises performed once daily are a good way to keep the hips working properly. As your hip pain improves, advanced hip strengthening may be another option to maximize hip function.
Research has also shown that joint mobilization techniques can help improve short and long-term pain in patients with hip osteoarthritis. This improvement in pain may also be accompanied by improved hip mobility.
The hip is a major weight-bearing joint in the body and is responsible for many functional activities such as walking and running, sitting and standing, and climbing stairs. Pain in your hip may limit your normal activities. Research has shown that working with a physical therapist can help improve your pain and overall mobility. By keeping your hips strong and mobile, hip pain can quickly be eliminated and a rapid return to normal activity can occur.
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