Physical Therapy and Hip Pain

Physical therapy can be great to help alleviate hip pain symptoms and get you back to your active lifestyle. PT goals should include decreasing or eliminating your pain, improving your mobility, increasing your strength and improving your ability to perform your daily activities.



The hip is a ball and socket joint surrounded by ligaments and muscles which provide stability and movement to the joint. It is very important for activities such as standing up from a chair, walking around, squatting, jumping, going up and down stairs.


Is it really coming from your hip?


Your hip is located very close in proximity to your back and it can be difficult to determine if your pain is truly from your hip or if it is related to your back. One of the ways we can determine the problem area is by assessing where your pain is occurring.


Pain deep in the groin can sometimes be the result of arthritis of the hip. Overtime, we can experience degeneration of the hip joint including the cartilage of the joint. This can cause increased compression as well as the development of bone spurs. Typical symptoms of hip arthritis include pain in the groin, stiffness, especially in the morning or after prolonged sitting, difficulty going up and down stairs or standing for long periods of time.


Another common hip diagnosis is bursitis. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that helps muscles and bones glide smoothly against each other. We have them all over our body including our hip joint. Bursitis refers to irritation and inflammation of the bursa. Hip bursitis is usually painful on the bony part of the outside of the hip. It will typically hurt to lay on your side and will hurt when you over do your activities such as walk for too long.


If you have been having hip pain for greater than 2 weeks or have had a trauma, such as a fall, it is time to seek help and call your physical therapist or physician to get to the bottom of what is causing your pain and how to best get rid of it.


What to Expect from Physical Therapy


Physical therapy has been shown to be very helpful in managing hip pain and alleviating its symptoms. Your treatment will start with a thorough evaluation to determine exactly what has gone wrong and establish a baseline of your current function. Once we have a very good idea of the root cause of your pain, we will tailor a program specifically for you, your limitations and your individual goals. Treatments may include:

  • Manual treatment – Most of our treatment sessions will include some hands-on treatment. This may include massage techniques, stretching of the muscles as well as passive movement of your joints all aimed at decreasing pain, improving your mobility and increasing your range of motion.

  • Stretching – If you are having hip pain, you are more than likely experiencing tightness of certain muscles. Specific and targeted stretching can help improve your mobility and movement.

  • Strengthening – Targeted exercises will be prescribed to correct any muscular imbalances so your hip and supporting muscles are strong enough to support your joint throughout your day.

  • Gait training – Hip pain can interfere with the way you walk. Your PT will take a look at your walking, identify any abnormalities and help correct them.

  • Functional activities – Other exercises and activities can include daily life activities such as balancing, stairs, and squatting to name a few.

If you have specific questions about your hip pain or are serious about getting rid of yours, give us a call to inquire how we can help.



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