Physical Therapy for Hip Pain

Hip pain often begins as a slow ache that escalates with time. Causes can range from mild to severe health problems like fractures, osteoarthritis, strains that directly affect the hip joint. Without treatment, you may deal with swelling, weakness, and limited movement. Hip pain physical therapy consists of manual therapy, mobilizations, massage, and various exercises for such conditions as hip arthritis, bursitis, hip labral tears, and tendonitis.

Overview: Hip Pain

Hip pain often starts as a dull or sharp ache in the hip joint. The pain can gradually spread, often turning into a burning or tingling sensation, limiting movement and activities of daily living (ADL’s). The intensity of hip pain varies, depending on the cause of this problem.

There are numerous causes of hip pain, starting with the joint itself. If you feel hip pain inside the joint or near the groin, then the problem is most likely associated with the joint. When hip pain occurs in the surrounding area (i.e. upper thigh or outside of the hip), the issue could concern tendons, ligaments, muscles, or other soft tissues. This type of hip pain can result from muscle strain, inflammation, hip labral tear, or the overuse of hip flexors due to repetitive (or sudden) movement.’

We consider hip pain as a common complaint or symptom of a medical condition such as strains, bone diseases, fractures, hip joint infection, etc. Most of these conditions have debilitating effects on the hip joint. Constant hip pain, swollen joints, and tenderness limit the range of motion. In turn, this restricts mobility.

Symptoms of Hip Pain

The symptoms of hip pain can vary depending on the main cause of the condition.

Common signs include:

  • Dull ache or throbbing hip pain
  • Redness, swelling or tenderness around the hip joint
  • Numbness of the hip
  • Generalized hip fatigue
  • Weakness in the hip joint, or the whole leg
  • Muscle cramps or strain
  • A tingling sensation in the affected area
  • Stiffness or restricted movement
  • Inability to walk
  • Pain radiating to the low back

Causes of Hip Pain

Here are the multiple causes of hip pain:

  • Overuse of the hip joint 
  • Hip flexor strain
  • Excessive weight, obesity
  • Pinched nerves
  • Bursitis (joint inflammation)
  • Dislocated hip joint
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) (bony growths that develop in the hip joint)
  • Hip fracture or labral tear
  • Hip Arthritis (i.e.  juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis)
  • Advanced (metastatic) cancer that has spread to the bones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sacroiliitis
  • Sciatica
  • Snapping Hip Syndrome
  • Sprains or strain
  • Synovitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bone cancer
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (in children)
  • Leukemia
  • Meralgia paresthetica
  • Osteomyelitis (a bone infection)

Diagnosis

If you experience hip pain due to a minor hip injury, overexertion of the hip flexor, or muscle strain, you should consider visiting our physical therapy clinic in Fair Lawn for a detailed examination. Early diagnosis can prevent hip pain from turning into chronic pain.

During the initial consultation, our physical therapists will conduct a detailed assessment. It includes questions related to your medical history, current symptoms, and possible causes. You will also be asked to perform a series of physical activities (i.e. walking, climbing stairs, and jumping). The physical exam allows us to observe how your condition affects movement and flexibility.

We will also determine if hip pain is truly originating from the hip or possibly from your low back, knee, or maybe even related to poor footwear.  We examine the entire kinetic chain to determine the true source of pain.

Treatment

Once we determine the true source of your hip pain, we develop a personalized physical therapy plan for recovery. We aim to use tried and tested techniques to promote natural healing. The program features manual therapy and stimulation to provide relaxation and hip pain relief.

We also create a detailed home physical therapy plan for daily use. It may include stretching and muscle strengthening exercises, along with pain preventative measures with stairs, squats, and other ADL’s. These gentle movements boost muscle coordination, improve gait and balance, and restore optimal range of motion.

If required, we may teach you ergonomic principles and recommend supportive shoes to protect the affected area. All these techniques reduce hip pain and make it easier for you to transition into your regular routine.  

Contact us or CALL Specialized Physical Therapy @ 201-773-8851 to discuss the possible causes of hip pain and find a personalized physical therapy plan that fits your needs.

Request a free consultation or give us a call to get started!