Do you suffer from Hip pain?

Do you suffer from Hip pain?

Hip pain and soreness around the hip joint are amongst the more common problems that patients see physiotherapists about. Difficulty lying on the hip, crossing the legs or even standing too long or getting out of the chair can be a hefty and painful task for those that suffer from hip pain. The pain can also be present during the night, making sleep difficult. Other regional hip joint and back joint conditions need consideration, however there are key features in the assessment that direct physiotherapists to look more closely at the tendons of the hip joint.

The primary causes of hip pain are recognised as hip tendon overload injury (tendonopathy), hip joint or low back joint issues. It is the most prevalent lower limb tendon overuse injury and also the most debilitating. It is often associated with hip bursitis, however research1 suggests the bursa (helps to reduce the friction between two moving tendons) is only sometimes inflamed and if so, then it is a component of the overall problem.

There are 2 essential steps to managing lateral hip pain

1. Reduce excessive load (compression) on the hip tendons

  • Stand evenly: avoid standing with most weight on one leg (“hanging on one hip”);
  • Sit without crossing the legs;
  • Avoid sitting on seats which are too low;
  • When lying on the side, place a large and firm pillow between the legs to avoid the affected leg dropping down towards the other leg.
  • Modify load such as reducing or avoiding hills;
  • It is important to continue to exercise if able, unless severe symptoms when a short break from exercise may be necessary.

2. Increase the tendons capacity for load

  • Exercise –The exercises are started in side-lying and progressed to standing to improve postural control, movement patterns and strength in standing, sit to stand, single leg stand, squats, climbing steps and running.
References
1. Grimaldi, A., Mellor, R., Hodges, P., Bennell, K., Wajswelner, H., & Vicenzino, B. (2015). Gluteal tendinopathy: A review of mechanisms, assessment and management. Sports Medicine, 45, 1108.
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* Conferred by Fellowship of the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2010