Hip Pain and Physical Therapy

July 10th, 2012
Hip Pain and Physical Therapy

Contrary to popular belief, hip pain is not restricted to seniors. It affects individuals of all ages and in worse cases, can be incapacitating. The hip is one of the major weight and stress bearing joints in the body. When the function of the hip is impaired, it is difficult to have an active lifestyle and even affects daily activities. The hips support the entire torso and connect the torso to the lower extremities (the knee foot and ankle).

At times, abnormalities in the biomechanics of the lower body manifest after a period of several years, triggering hip pain and knee pain. Excess weight puts extra strain on the hip and knee joints particularly while walking and climbing stairs. Wrong posture can take its toll several years later and cause excruciating hip pain.

Physical therapists in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania and elsewhere will help determine if the pain is a symptom of hip pain or not. While the hip pain might be caused by the joint itself, there are surrounding areas in the hip that might cause the pain. If the pain is located in the groin or front of the hip, it might be arthritis of the hip joint or a muscle strain. If the pain is on the side of the hip, it is more likely a hip bursitis. If the pain originates from the back of the hip or the buttocks, it is likely sign that it is a low back pain.

Trauma and overuse can also cause hip pain which explains high incidence in athletes. On the other end of the scale is a sedentary lifestyle that results to hip pain. Sitting too much and driving long stretches are some of the common causes of hip pain.

For the elderly, falls are one of the common causes of trauma and fractures of the hip resulting to debilitating hip pain.

When consulting a physical therapist for hip pain, a series of evaluation will be made. One of this is the gait evaluation of the hip pain sufferer. The physical therapist will make on assessment on the different phases of the patient’s ability to walk. Palpation or using the hands to feel the affected area for any abnormality or pain to the touch can also be done. Measurement of the range of motion will let the physical therapists know how well the hip joint is moving. Strength measurements can also determine if there is problem in balance or muscular weakness which is causing the hip pain.

These are just few of the tests that can help the physical therapist make an evaluation and with the patient’s participation, initiate a treatment plan.