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Common Hip Injuries

The Hip

diagram showing location of common hip injuries

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that is responsible for support of the head, neck, arms, and trunk during static and dynamic movement. This joint allows for a significant amount of movement while also being inherently stable through a combination of boney structure, intra- and extra-articular ligaments, the labrum, and supportive musculature. Only the knee joint bears more weight than the hip in our daily lives.

Common injuries to the hip in adolescents and adults include hip bursitis, hip tendinitis/tendinosis, and snapping hip syndrome. Another common diagnosis is hamstring syndrome (involving sciatic nerve) which is treated differently than hamstring tendinitis. With advancing non-surgical and surgical techniques, interest has grown in the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). This boney issue causes friction and “pinching” in the joint and is often associated with labral tears. Many times these injuries and conditions can be resolved with physical therapy, however, at times, you may need to see an orthopedist or other physician to consider options such as injection therapy or surgery.

Normal processes of aging cause wear and tear and degenerative changes in the hip joint. At times, pain and loss of ROM may be indicators of hip arthritis. In severe circumstances, this warrants a surgical consultation. Advancement in hip replacement surgeries allow surgeons to change a painful and non-functional hip into one that allows for most non-impact activities.

Our physical therapists use the most recent evidence in the treatment of the hip joint. Many times, soft tissue mobilization using ASTYM® or IASTM is indicated along with gentle joint mobilization. Core and gluteal strengthening are also key elements of most hip treatment.

Did you Know?
Commonly, someone who has deep, internal hip pain will report a “C” sign to a doctor or physical therapist. This individual will place a hand around the hip bone, with the thumb wrapping around the back of the hip and the fingers in the direction of the groin.