Hip pain and discomfort are serious issues that require a visit with a highly qualified physical therapist who can effectively evaluate a problem. There are various things, like physical therapy for hip pain, that people who are in pain or discomfort can do to improve their strength and flexibility.
If you experience hip discomfort, physical therapy exercises may help you increase your mobility and relieve your pain. Working with a physical therapist (PT) can assist you in determining which activities are appropriate for your unique ailment.
Hip pain frequently results in a loss of range of motion, a reduction in strength and muscle activation around the hip joint, and pain that affects your ability to walk or run normally. Physical therapy exercises for hip pain can help you regain strength and mobility and return to normal activities.
Stretches for Hip Pain
Physical therapy stretches for hip discomfort can assist increase joint mobility. This can relieve pressure on muscles, ligaments, or nerves, reducing or absence of distress.
Stretching may also help relieve hip pain by allowing your hip joint to move freely, enhancing functional mobility, and decreasing compensatory motions that may be causing your pain.
When completing hip stretching exercises, go carefully into each position until you feel a mild pulling sensation around the stretched area. Each stretch should be held for around 60 seconds before progressively releasing the strain.
Stretching too vigorously or bouncing during stretching may cause injury to the tissues being extended. An excessive strain or pull on a muscle can cause harm, resulting in increased pain and decreased movement. Move slowly and hold each stretch for 60 seconds at its maximum range.
Physical Therapy Exercises for Hip Pain
Before beginning Physical Therapy exercises for hip pain, consult with your doctor or physical therapist. They can evaluate your condition and suggest the best practices for you.
Your hamstrings connect to the pelvis below your hip and work to bend and stretch your knees and hips. Tightness in this area might cause hip pain and impede your capacity to move normally. To extend your hamstrings effectively, do the following:
- Lie on your back with your knees straight out.
- Place both hands behind your knee and bend one knee.
- Straighten your knee out all the way while holding it behind your knee.
- For 60 seconds, maintain a straight knee position.
- Repeat for each side three times.
You should feel a tug behind your thigh while stretching your hamstrings. Stop the stretch and consult your physical therapist if you experience pain.
Iliotibial band stretch
The iliotibial band is a thick fascial band that runs from the lateral hip to the lateral knee. It does not contract itself, but it attaches to muscles that do. The iliotibial band may cause pain in your lateral hip. To extend your iliotibial band, do the following:
- Lie down on your side.
- The side you want to stretch should be at the top.
- Maintain stability by keeping your bottom knee bent, then reach back and hold the ankle of your top leg and bend your knee. A pull should be felt at the front of your thigh (the quadriceps muscle).
- While maintaining your knee bent, gently place your bottom leg’s foot on top of your upper knee. Pull your upper knee down towards the floor with your foot on top of your knee. A pulling feeling should be felt on the side of your kneecap where the iliotibial band crosses the knee joint.
- Hold this stance for 60 seconds before relaxing. This stretch should be done three times.
Hip flexors are located in the front of your hip and thigh and are frequently tight when you have osteoarthritis or sit for long periods at work. Stretch your hip flexors by doing the following:
- One knee should be on the floor, and the other foot should be flat in front of you (as in a genuflected position).
- Tighten your abdominals and keep your shoulders and chest up high.
- Slide your body forward until you feel a tug in the front of your hip and thigh on the floor knee.
- Hold the position for 60 seconds, then switch sides three times.
If your knee on the floor hurts, put a little pillow underneath it to cushion it. A minor strain in your thigh should be noticed; extreme pain indicates that you’re stretching too far. Reduce the distance you slide forward in this situation, or halt the stretch and consult your PT.
Monster walking can aid in the development of hip strength in a multitude of muscular groups. It also has the advantage of being a weight-bearing exercise. Here’s how to do monster walking:
- Obtain a resistance band that is looped. The diameter of the loop shoulder should be about 12 inches.
- Wrap your ankles with the resistance band.
- Stand up with both knees straight, focus your abs, and take a 15-inch side step.
- Step slowly sideways in the same direction as your other leg. Maintain constant tension on the band and manage the motion.
- Step 15 times in one direction, then 15 times in the other. Stepping sideways strengthens the gluteus medius muscles on the side of your hips.
Causes of hip pain
These are some of the conditions that commonly cause hip pain:
Arthritis: Hip discomfort is commonly caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, especially in elderly persons. Arthritis causes hip joint inflammation and cartilage destruction that cushions your hip bones. The pain intensifies with time. People with arthritis experience stiffness and a reduced hip range of motion.
Hip fractures: The bones might become brittle and weaker as we age. Weakening bones are more prone to breaking during a fall. Learn more about the symptoms of a hip fracture.
Bursitis: Bursae are liquid-filled sacs between tissues such as bone, muscles, and tendons. They reduce friction caused by the rubbing of these tissues. Bursae inflammation is typically caused by recurrent actions that work overtime or strain the hip joint.
Tendinitis: Tendons are fibrous strips of tissue that connect bones to muscles. Tendinitis is a condition in which the tendons become inflamed or irritated. It is frequently the result of repetitive stress from misuse.
Muscle or tendon strain: The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that sustain the hips can be strained by repeated movements. When inflamed due to misuse, they can cause pain and hinder the hip from working.
Cancer: Tumors that begin on bone or migrate to the bone can cause discomfort in the hips and other bones throughout the body.
Physical Therapy for Hip Pain
If your doctor suggests physical therapy, your therapist will assess your strength and range of motion, as well as your balance and functional abilities, ask you about your goals, and then develop a personalized treatment plan to help ease your hip pain and improve your mobility.
Some physical therapy treatments for hip discomfort include stretching, balance training, gait training, and joint mobilization. Your physical therapist can advise you to use orthotics and other assistive equipment.
Your physical therapist will also collaborate home exercise program to assist you in improving your quality of life outside of therapy sessions.