Most of us think of hip pain as something that happens as we get old, and is associated with arthritis, which leads to an eventual hip replacement. But, many teens and young adults complain of hip pain, and most of those complaints come from otherwise healthy and active individuals. A recent study, as reported on www.moveforward.com states that 87% of hip pain in young and active individuals is caused by impingement in the hip. This is called acetabular impingement, and is caused by bone changes at the hip joint. (Think of it as a pinching of the structures of the hip between the bones.)
The hip joint is made up of the acetabulum- a socket on the pelvic bones- and the head of the femur, or the ball portion of this ball and socket joint. Surrounding the joint is a capsule and a labrum, or lip, around the edge of the joint. There is cartilage on the surfaces of the bones that form the joint.
Hip osteoarthritis is caused by a wearing down of the cartilage on the ends of bones in the joint. Eventually, this can lead to bone on bone rubbing in the joint and is painful, and usually dealt with by having a hip replacement. Hip impingement is the pinching of the labrum, cartilage, or joint capsule between the bones due to misalignment. This misalignment can be caused by imbalances between the muscles of the front of the hip and the back and side of the hip.
Symptoms associated with hip impingement include:
-Stiffness or deep ache in the front or side of the hip and/or upper thigh. This can occur with prolonged positioning, especially sitting and leaning/bending forward.
-Sharp/stabbing type pain with transitional movements such as standing up from a chair, squatting, jumping, cutting, twisting, etc...
-Pain usually begins gradually, or can present with another injury and then lingers.
-Decreased flexibility of the involved hip during inward rotation of the thigh.
Physical therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation of the joint, help to correct muscle imbalances, and restore range of motion to return a person to pain free movement of the hip. Do NOT let hip pain keep you from doing what you love. Contact us for a FREE consultation to see how physical therapy can help you today.