Recently we’ve been seeing a lot more patients, especially women, coming to see us with a ‘stiff hip’. They tell us they have trouble sitting cross legged, have aching and stiffness in the groin wrapping around the side and front of the hip. This is a condition called Femoroacetabular Impingement (or hip impingement). [...]
The hip joint is a ‘ball and socket joint’ where the head of the femur (thigh bone), sits inside the acetabulum (base of the pelvic). The joint is lined with a ‘labrum’ which is cartilage which holds the head of the femur in the acetabulum providing stability. Picture a baseball (head of the femur) sitting inside of a baseball glove (labrum).
Hip impingement can occur when the femoral head gets pinched in the socket. This can cause a pinching of structures in the hip joint during certain hip movements which can irritate the joint. Patients describe their symptoms as a dull ache or sometimes even a sharp sensation in the groin, outside of hip or even the buttocks and low back. Most people have pain with bringing the knee towards the chest and rotating the hip. Often patients will be limited in their ability to run or workout depending on the extent of inflammation in the hip joint.
Physical therapy can help with improving mobility and strength in the muscles around the joint. Exercise is the best medicine for improving symptoms related to hip impingement. A comprehensive exercise program issued by your physical therapist will include hip and thigh stretching, hip and core strengthening, as well as balance and proprioception exercises. Your physical therapist may choose to use Deep Tissue Laser therapy to help decrease pain and inflammation around the hip as well as Kinesiotape to relieve the tension. You will need about 12-14 physical therapy sessions over the course of 6 weeks to address your symptoms and improve strength so the changes are long lasting.
If you’re tired of feeling the pain in your hip or you know someone who has been struggling with hip pain, you don’t have to suffer anymore. Send this post to a friend who you know you can help! Our job is to help you make the best decisions about your health so you can continue to stay active in your sport! Call, text or email us today to find out more about how physical therapy can help!