Live Life Physiotherapy

Physical Therapy for Hip Pain

What is hip pain?

Hip pain is simply any discomfort, pain, or aches that occur around your hip joints.

While many people experience hip pain, the good news is that there are ways to relieve hip pain. 

For some, beginning a program of stretching exercises, doing gentle yoga, or participating in other hip mobility and strengthening programs can bring much-needed relief.

However, if you’ve tried that and you’re still wanting to alleviate your hip pain, it may be time to call a physical therapist near you who can provide hip physical therapy.

Hip Pain Symptoms

Hip pain can feel different for everyone, and it can vary in severity.

For some, hip pain can be a sudden and intense burst of pain, often right after certain movements. Others describe their hip pain as a dull, persistent ache. Still others may complain of hip pain that radiates and spreads to other areas in the lower body, such as their thighs, lower back, or groin.

Hip pain can feel like:
  • sharp or stabbing pain
  • dull ache or throbbing
  • radiating pain
  • stiffness
  • popping or clicking
  • pain during weight-bearing movements
  • limited range of motion
  • numbness or tingling

What causes hip pain?

There can be many possible causes for hip pain. And, many find it challenging to determine the precise cause. 

However, physical therapists have identified some of the most common conditions that contribute to hip pain.

Common causes of hip pain include:
  • arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • bursitis
  • tendonitis
  • hip labral tears
  • hip fractures
  • iliotibial band (IT) band syndrome
  • other musculoskeletal or neurological issues

Physical Therapy for Hip Pain

Can physical therapy help relieve hip pain? 

The good news is that physical therapy exercises can help many relieve pain experienced in their hips.

After finding a physical therapist near you, you will work together to create a plan that includes therapy exercises for hip pain. The physical therapy exercises for hip pain will be customized to your specific situation and designed to ease hip pain you’re experiencing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your physical therapist will first meet with you to better understand your hip pain. They may ask you questions, such as whether you experience pain with external hip rotation, in your hamstring muscles, or anywhere in your upper body. They will also want to know where in your hips you experience the pain and if anything specific triggers or alleviates the issue. 

At that point, your physical therapy appointment may include some hip pain exercises so your therapist can see what activities aggravate hip pain. You will likely be performing stretching exercises in this initial appointment so your condition can be accurately assessed, so dress appropriately.

Once the initial consultation is completed, your physical therapist will create a customized program of exercises for hip pain. The exercises will likely include a combination of exercises to increase flexibility, strengthen joints, and stabilize your core to prevent falls.

Your physical therapist will first want to understand your current condition and when you’re feeling your hip pain. At that point, they will work with you to create a plan just for you. The exercises for hip pain will vary based on your symptoms. Whether you are dealing with tight hip flexors, sciatic nerve irritation, trouble with one leg, pain in your ball and socket joint, weakness of your hip abductors, groin pain, or any other combination of issues, your exercises for hip pain will likely include a combination of strengthening, stabilizing, and stretching. 

Yes! In fact, one of the most common causes of hip pain is arthritis. Especially for seniors, arthritis can be a trigger for pain in the hip joint. Hip pain stretches have been shown as greatly effective to alleviate pain.

You may be asked to do stretches that improve your flexibility and range of motion in the hip joint, especially ones that target tight hip flexors, hamstrings, gluteus maximus muscles and gluteus medius muscles. You’ll also do strengthening exercises that focus on the muscles around your hip joint, such as leg lifts, in which you stand upright and then slowly raise and lower your body; bridges, in which you lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor before you slowly lift your hips to the sky; or squats, which are performed by bending your knees and lowering your body into a seated position before returning to a standing position.

Performing yoga stretches or participating in tai chi can also be beneficial. In addition, some physical therapists may recommend aquatic therapy to alleviate hip pain.

Unfortunately, certain yoga poses can aggravate hip pain for some. A 2016 study that was published in the Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy showed that certain weight bearing yoga poses, such as tree, standing pigeon, and warrior 2, rapidly fatigue hip muscles and cause pain for those already experiencing hip pain. Additionally, deep hip-opening poses like pigeon and cow face are potentially problematic for individuals with pre-existing hip issues, such as arthritis or labral tears.

If certain yoga poses bring you pain rather than alleviate it, it’s best to seek advice from a healthcare professional to better understand what exercises you should avoid or what modifications you could make.

Yes! It’s a great idea to consider a physical therapist as part of your surgical team. 

Prior to surgery, they can help you increase strength—not only in your hips, but also in your upper body and lower body

After surgery, physical therapy can help you get back to the activities you love even faster. A physical therapist can make sure that your post-surgery hip stretches are performed in just the right way as to alleviate pain, not make it worse. 

Ready to take on that hip pain?

Are you looking for a physical therapist near you that can help with your hip pain?

If you’re in the East County area of San Diego, Live Life Physiotherapy can help! Live Life Physiotherapy provides customized mobile physical therapy in San Diego to those who need it, where they need it.

Every day, we help residents of La Mesa, El Cajon, Santee, Lakeside, Del Cerro, San Carlos, and the surrounding areas with their physical therapy needs by removing many of the common restrictions and challenges of traditional physical therapy. Our ultimate goal is to help you live your best life.

If you are limited because of hip pain and ready to live life on your terms, contact us today!

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