Hip Arthritis & Hip Pain

Hip arthritis and hip pain can be debilitating, affecting each movement and activity of your everyday life. Thankfully physical therapy can help to prevent future surgery by managing symptoms effectively.

Symptoms

General hip pain can be worrisome when you are unsure of the cause. Hip arthritis symptoms can present as pain deep in the hip joint or into the groin. Hip arthritis can also lead to feeling of stiffness in the hip joint, limiting your mobility, especially in the mornings or after sitting. However, not all diagnoses present the same. Some people experience general pain throughout the outer hip, buttock, or thigh, which may be related to a muscular or tendinous issue.

Causes

Arthritis is inflammation with a joint and can be triggered by a variety of factors, including weight, age, prior injury, “wear and tear”, or genetics. Carrying extra weight throughout the body places greater stress on the joints and as you age, your risk of cartilage breaking down increases greatly. “Wear and tear” is a common term used to explain overuse of a joint. For example, dancers who perform for years may develop arthritis in their hips. Also, having a prior injury may also predispose you to later developing arthritis.

Other non-joint related diagnoses of the hip include hip bursitis, labral tear, tendinitis, or muscular strain. Muscular, tendinous, or ligamentous injuries of the hip can arise from overuse, muscular imbalances, a fall, or traumatic injury.

Diagnosis

Your physical therapist will first take a history of your symptoms, including questions to understand your pain pattern, history of symptoms, how your symptoms affect your function throughout the day, and any help or doctors you may have seen. Next, your therapist will perform a thorough examination of your hip mobility, strength, muscle flexibility, and ability to perform functional activities (such as standing from a chair and walking). Performing a comprehensive evaluation will help the therapist to understand the cause of the symptoms and how to treat it.

Treatment and Exercises

Your treatment plan will be personalized to you and your goals for physical therapy, whether it is getting back to tennis or returning to walking without pain. The program will likely include hands on therapy and exercises focused on strengthening and flexibility that will help you get back to living the life you want.

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