Common Hip Injuries

Hip injuries are very common in people of all ages. Children and young adults who participate in sports or recreational activity are at risk for common hip injuries. Senior citizens are more prone to hip injuries because of falls and weak muscles.   

People who are overweight are also prone to hip and lower back pain. This is due to the excessive pressure on the hip joint. When the injury occurs in the hip, the pain along with decreased mobility and other hip pain symptoms may occur in other areas of the body. These areas include the leg, groin, and low back.

Image of a man with hip painCommon Hip Injuries
 

The following conditions listed below are common hip injuries that doctors and physical therapists/athletic trainers see on a day to day basis. 

Bursitis of the Hip

The first common hip injury mentioned is trochanteric bursitis of the hip. A bursa is a closed, fluid-filled sack that exists to reduce friction between tissues of the body. Bursae are located near major joints such as shoulders, hips, and knees. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed. This can be from injury, overuse, or a biomechanical deficiency in the muscle/joint. 

Trochanteric bursitis causes pain on the outer portion of the hip. Most people will point directly on the outside part of the hip. They usually describe the discomfort as painful and tender. The most common treatment options include cortisone injections, PRP injections, and physical therapy. 

Exercises for hip pain include stretches and strengthening. If bursitis does not resolve with these conservative treatment measures, arthroscopic surgery may be used to remove the painful bursa sac.  

Hip Anatomy Anatomy of the Hip
 

Hip Instability

The second most common hip injury is called hip instability. Hip instability is caused by a few things such as a birth defect or a traumatic fall. Sometimes these instabilities can range from severe dislocation (fall) to a subtle hip subluxation (sliding in and out of place) and most often occurs from a car accident or an athletic sport. These injuries may cause damage to any or all parts of the hip joint. Overuse of the hip joint can cause chronic hip instability. This happens as a result of repetitive movements that are found in most sports or any type of work/recreational activity. Stretching the labrum too far which can cause a tear. Physicians treat the area with anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. However, if the pain is persistent, arthroscopic measures may be considered.

To learn more about a the hip, please read this article on a hip flexor strain.

Labral Tears of the Hip 

The third common hip injury is called a labral tear. The labrum is the seal that holds the ball and socket—the femoral head to the acetabulum. When the labrum tears, the ball and socket may dislocate causing instability and loss of mobility in the hip. One of the most common causes of labral tears is known as Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI). There are two types of FAIs: Pincer impingement and Cam Impingement. 

A torn labrum can occur in the hip and cause dislocation of the ball joint in the hip. JOI Rehab Hip Labrum AnatomyAnatomical Image of the Hip Labrum
 

Pincer impingement involves an excess of labral tissue of the acetabulum. When the hip moves, the leg bone rubs against the pincer lesion. If not addressed quickly, pincer impingement may crush the labrum where it serves as a cushioning agent between the femoral neck and the acetabulum. 

Cam Impingement is a lesion or bump that forms right on the femoral head. When in motion, the lesion bumps against the labrum and the cartilage of the acetabulum.  

Your doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or physical therapy to help improve joint mobility and flexibility. If these conservative treatment methods do not work, surgery to the area may be the next course of treatment.  

Common Hip Injuries in the Elderly

The fourth most common hip injury is called hip fractures. Hip fractures are very common in the elderly due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. A fall on a hard surface at one time might have resulted in nothing more than a bruise in a young person. However, it may result in a severe fracture in the hip in the elderly. Most patients that have osteoporosis can be treated in physical therapy. A regimen of exercise and stretching will keep the hip joint healthy and lubricated.

Arthritis of the Hip

The fifth most common hip injury is called Arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of hip arthritis, is the general wear-and-tear of the cartilage in the hip joint. When the cartilage is worn out, bones rub against bones, resulting in severe pain. Arthritis can hit at any age. Usually, people over the age of 60 are more likely to suffer from this. To learn about the best stretches for your hip, please go to this article: Hip Stretches.

Several Approaches To Treating Hip Pain With Physical Therapy

Despite hip pain being a common complaint among all people, there are a few easy forms of physical therapy which can help. Exercises for core strength and stability are used to treat and prevent pain in the hips. Ergonomic education is instrumental in treating hip pain, as the source of most of the pain comes from how people sit and/or stand for long periods of time. Lastly and perhaps most importantly is keeping up with your health. Weight loss and a healthy BMI are always recommended in the treatment of hip pain.  At JOI Rehab we have specialty-trained hip therapists who work with our surgeons on hip-specific protocols for the best outcomes. Please give us a call at 904-858-7045.


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