Hip Pain is a condition where you can develop sudden pain in your Hip or it can gradually develop over time to a degree causing severe pain and dysfunction.
Hip Pain can be caused by a number of factors. Examples include: trauma to hip, fall, excessive loading to the leg, or sports injury to name a few. No matter what the cause, Hip Pain is a serious condition and can be life altering and impact your ability to walk and move normally.
A painful hip can limit normal range of motion of hip (leg). It can impact muscle function and cause a deactivation of muscle contraction ability which can lead to true muscle weakness and then impact your ability to perform daily functional tasks like walking, rolling in bed, sitting up, getting and out of a car etc. Therefore, controlling the pain and inflammation is often key to improving pain and function (movement).
One of the main goals when managing hip pain should be to control any inflammation and restore/promote normal motion (if limited) as soon as possible.
Range of motion exercises that promote general, pain free motion of the hip where the muscles can be very tight due to the pain should be emphasized. Ensuring the hip region can remain flexible and function. Muscle activation exercises such as isometric (tightening) exercises of the muscles of the hip/leg can be useful. These type of exercises can be perform in sitting, lying down or even standing positions.
Aquatic therapy can often be well tolerated for hip pain sufferers because it can decrease the stress of the Body Weight acting on the hip/leg loading it causing stress and pain. Motions such as simple walking forwards and backwards can help to stretch and mobilize the the painful hip.
Performing general pulling motions when in the gym such as a leg press cab Emphasize activating and stretching the muscles and hip joint and achieve a full range of motion to tolerance. Plank positioning or face up bridge maneuvers can also assist in helping to activate the muscles of the hips helping to stabilize and gently stimulate the muscles and joints of the hip.
You can also implement cold pack and warm pack to be applied to the painful area to attempt to relieve pain and control inflammation as well as reduce muscular tension.
Topical pain relieving agents like BioFreeze® or Celadrin® can also help to reduce pain and muscle tension enabling for improve comfort with motion exercises, stretches, isometric exercise.
If self management is not successful at resolving the issue, then you may need to seek the care of a licensed healthcare provider such as a Physical Therapist or Chiropractor.
Using specialized techniques, your qualified healthcare professional can implement effective treatment procedures that can include the following:
- Joint manipulation
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Cold laser therapy
- Electrical Muscular Stimulation
- Fascial manipulation
- Cross Function Massage
- Functional Manual Therapy
- Neuromuscular re-education
- Acupuncture or Dry Needling
In the short term of addressing Hip pain (~ 1-4 weeks), whether it is self management or via professional healthcare intervention, you can expect the pain and irritation to be up and down where it will seem to do better one day then worse the next. Maintaining consistency is key to resolving the issue effectively.
If the condition does not respond to your self management and as it progresses into a more chronic experience (> 4 weeks), seeking professional intervention can help to prevent a severe chronic problem that becomes much more difficult to manage.
Your healthcare professional can examine and advise a treatment plan along with a prognosis on your condition. Treatment can last from a couple of treatments to several times a week for several weeks. All depending on the severity of your condition.