Hip Pain

Hip pain is a condition where there is a sudden or gradual onset of pain in the groin, hip, thigh, and buttocks. Hip pain is a common condition caused by an injury, disease, or aging. Hip pain can range from mild to severe, and it can also affect your daily life.

Various factors, including arthritis, injuries, bursitis, and structural issues with the hip joint, can cause hip pain.

Hip pain treatment

Physiotherapy management for hip pain focuses on addressing these issues through exercises, stretches, and other treatments. At Opl Physio, working with our physical therapy team can help improve your hip discomfort and increase your range of motion, increase strength and muscle engagement around the hip joint, and alleviate the pain that prevents you from walking or running properly.

Hip Pain Treatment

Hip Joint

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint that connects the thigh bone to the pelvis. The hip is one of the largest joints in the body, comprising many parts. These parts include the femur (thigh bone), pelvis, sacroiliac joint (where the spine meets the pelvis), pelvic bones, hip socket, and muscles around the hip joint.

The hip joint is surrounded by a complex structure of articular cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons and synovial fluid, all involved with joint protection and movement. The primary function of the hip joint is to enable rotation, flexion and extension of the hip relative to the trunk. A complex series of reciprocal movements between bones, muscles, and soft tissues achieve this. Hip joint diseases are often associated with decreased mobility and pain in one or both hips; however, there can be many causes.

Causes of hip pain:

The most common causes of pain in the hip are muscle strain or injury and arthritis in hips, but it can be caused by a wide variety of factors, which include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Fractures/Injury
  • Tendinitis/tendinopathy
  • Muscle strains and tears
  • Ligament injuries.
  • Femoral acetabular impingement
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Snapping hip syndrome
  • Infection in the joint
  • Post hip surgery
  • Radicular pain – Pain in the hip can also be caused by a herniated disk, sciatica or spinal stenosis, which can cause radicular pain in the hip.
  • Systemic causes like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and kidney stones could also cause radicular pain symptoms in the hip/groin.
  • Medical conditions: Hip pain can also be related to other medical diseases like cancer.

 Risk factors for hip pain:

Risk factors for hip pain and the severity can vary greatly. Some of the most common risk factors are:

  • Age: older individuals are more prone to hip pain due to wear and tear of the joint over time
  • Poor posture: can cause pressure on the hips and place more stress on the lower back. This can lead to lower back, pelvis, and hip pain.
  • Previous hip injury: prior injuries increase the risk of developing hip osteoarthritis.
  • Physical activity/sports: certain sports and intense physical activity can lead to overuse injuries and microtrauma in the hip.
  • Anatomical abnormalities: structural issues like acetabular dysplasia can increase hip osteoarthritis risk.
  • Occupation: Certain occupations involving repetitive motions may increase risk. Desk work involving prolonged sitting or standing positions can increase hip pain.
  • Obesity: People with obesity are at greater risk of developing hip pain because the excess weight puts more stress on the hips and surrounding joints.
  • Genetics: Some genetic factors may predispose individuals to hip osteoarthritis.
  • Excessively tight muscles in the buttock, abdomen, or thighs.
  • Weak muscles around the hips.
  • Other forms of arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, etc. can also affect the hip joint.

Symptoms of hip pain

Hip pain symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the pain condition. It is usually characterized by a dull, persistent ache that worsens with activity and is often accompanied by a limp or weakness in the hip.

Some common signs and symptoms of hip pain include:

  • Pain in the hip joint or surrounding areas like the groin, outer hip, thigh, knee, or buttock
  • Referred pain felt in the back, buttock or knee from a hip issue.
  • Tenderness over the hip area.
  • Pain with activity, sitting or standing prolonged, walking or climbing stairs.
  • Stiffness and reduced range of motion in the hip.
  • Difficulty moving the hip and leg.
  • Locking, clicking or snapping sensations in the hip joint
  • Night pain or difficulty sleeping on the affected side.
  • Weakness in the hip, leg or buttock muscles.
  • A limping or altered gait when walking.
  • Swelling, redness or warmth over the hip area in case of infections/inflammation

Symptoms can be sudden in case of injuries but gradual in conditions like arthritis. Seeking medical care is recommended if the pain is severe, accompanied by fever, or persists for over a week despite home treatment. An accurate diagnosis is vital to determine the underlying cause and guide appropriate therapy.

What are the management options for hip pain?

The treatment or management of this pain depends on the severity of the condition and how long it lasts.

Mild to moderate symptoms – are managed conservatively using

  • Resting and taking a short break from the activity to help heal and applying heat/ice to help alleviate pain.
  • Physical Therapy.
  • Medications.
  • Injections.
  • Alternative treatments like acupuncture, yoga, meditation and massage.

Surgery is often recommended for moderate to severe cases depending on the cause of the pain, which can include total hip replacement, partial hip replacement and lumbar spinal surgeries.

Most people will experience hip pain from time to time without needing any help. The typical symptoms of painful hips include sharp or aching pain in the hip joint and redness and swelling, usually when the hip is overused for long periods. However, if the pain persists for days and does not get better even after taking breaks from the activity causing it, you should consult your doctor for further investigation.

It is necessary to identify the precise cause of the pain to get the appropriate treatment.

Hip Pain – When to seek medical attention?

You should seek immediate medical attention for hip pain if an injury causes it and includes any of the following symptoms:

  • Intense pain
  • Sudden swelling
  • Inability to move the hip or bear weight on the affected leg
  • Deformity or instability of the hip joint
  • Signs of infection, such as fever, redness, or warmth around the hip area
Hip Pain Physiotherapy Treatment

Physiotherapy treatment for hip pain:

Physiotherapy treatment for pain in the hip joint can vary depending on the cause. Physiotherapy treatment for pain caused by arthritis or injury would involve rehabilitation to help improve the range of motion, strengthening and stretching to improve functional mobility and return to activities.

The physiotherapists aim to reduce pain and restore movement and function.

Hip pain treatment in Langley

At Opal Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists use varied treatment methods to help relieve pain and restore movement in the hip joint.

Opal Physiotherapists are trained to work with patients of all ages, and our physio treatment plans are tailored to each individual’s needs and conditions.

  • Physiotherapy can involve a detailed assessment.
  • Exercises based on the findings.
  • Pain management.
  • Weight-bearing exercise – mild to moderate aerobics training.
  • Progressive weight training and strengthening exercises.
  • For Post-surgical hip – We provide rehabilitation and exercise training following the post-operative hip protocol to achieve the best outcome.

Some common physiotherapy interventions for hip pain include:

  • Flexibility exercises: The aim is to improve the hip range of motion and reduce stiffness.
  • Strengthening exercises: Target specific hip joint muscles to improve strength and stability.
  • Endurance training: These exercises help to improve overall hip function and daily life participation.
  • Manual therapy: This involves using hands-on techniques to improve joint mobility flexibility and reduce pain.
  • Modalities: Physiotherapists may use various modalities such as ultrasound, heat packs, and LLLT to alleviate pain and promote healing.
  • Education and advice: Physiotherapists guide appropriate rest, exercise, and sports options while undergoing hip rehabilitation

Pain in the hip can become a considerable problem with aging and our hectic lifestyles. Physiotherapy treatment is available to help with hip pain and other musculoskeletal issues. Many people in the Langley and Lower Mainland region are turning to Opal for Physiotherapy treatments to relieve pain and improve mobility issues.

At Opal Physio, our physiotherapists can help with your hip pain, recovery and return to normal activities. Give us a call at 604-532-7887 or Contact Us.