Here’s why you might be suffering from hip pain
What Causes Hip Pain?
Hip pain is common and spread across all age groups. The hip joint and its integration with your pelvis, SIJ and lumbar spine (lower back) make it a complex region to correctly analyse and assess any dysfunction.
The Older Hip
If you are in the older population group, you will be more vulnerable to age-related hip issues such as hip arthritis, trochanteric bursitis and GTPS (Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome). Functional limitations could include simply walking, sit to stand, single leg standing, stairs or even sleeping in severe cases.
Hip pain can also be associated with reduced balance. A thorough balance assessment may be required to predict a falls risk. Falls prevention exercises may be prescribed by your physiotherapist to address any individual deficits. They may even advise you to utilise a walking assistance device such as a walking stick, crutches or a walking frame.
The Sporting Hip
Younger sports-related hip issues may come on after prolonged running, jumping or landing activities. Specific sporting hip conditions should be discussed and thoroughly assessed by your hip physiotherapist. Biomechanical deficits and subtle hip weakness that may only show on a slow-motion video are just two of the potential causes of sporting hip injuries.
Groin pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with hip joint pathologies such as hip osteoarthritis and hip labral injury. There are also many other causes of groin pain that need to be excluded by a health professional.
Only after a thorough hip assessment will your hip pain be effectively rehabilitated to relieve your current hip pain and joint dysfunction, plus prevent the return of any future hip pain.
Hip Pain Assessment
The successful treatment of your hip pain requires a thorough and accurate assessment of your:
- entire lower limb (foot, ankle, knee, hip, groin)
- lumbar spine
- pelvis and SIJ function and alignment
- deep hip muscle control and activation patterns
- middle and superficial hip muscle control, strength and function
- deep abdominal, core and pelvic floor muscle control
- upper thigh muscle length and strength (e.g. quadriceps, adductors, hamstrings, and ITB)
- neural tissue extensibility e.g. sciatic and femoral nerve
- hip joint biomechanics.
Your hip pain can and often is related to your whole lower limb biomechanics and function. Your assessment should include a functional assessment of your knee, foot and ankle joints, plus your thigh and calf muscles. They all contribute to your hip function.
What is the Best Treatment for Hip Pain?
A thorough analysis of WHY you actually suffering hip pain from a movement, posture, or a control aspect, is vital to solving your hip pain.
Only an accurate diagnosis of the source of your hip pain can solve the pain, quickly improve your day to day function, prevent a future recurrence, or improve your athletic performance.
Symptomatic treatment has traditionally been the first choice of short-term treatment. This could include local chemical modalities such as cortisone injections or painkillers. Ice or heat could also assist along with some gentle stretching or exercise.
However, persisting hip problems will require additional investigations to assess your joint integrity or range of motion, muscle length, strength, endurance, power, contraction timing and dynamic stability control.
Your physio who has a special interest in hip pain and injury management should be consulted to thoroughly assess your hip, groin, pelvis, lower limb and spine. Due to the kinetic chain, they all have an impact, especially at the high athletic performance end. A quality physio will specifically educate you regarding your condition and combine with exercise and physiotherapy.
For specific advice regarding your hip pain, please seek the advice of your physiotherapist. Call PCA today on 0813 028 0496 today!