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The Athletic Hip and its Injuries

Post by Maggie Gebhardt, PT, DPT, OCS

You may be asking yourself, “What IS the Athletic Hip?”

It is a joint that serves as a junction zone for the leg and the pelvis or low back.

It is a hip that is often painful and injured as a result of overuse or traumatic activities.

It is a joint that is not arthritic and in need of a replacement, but is very painful and can interfere in a person’s ability to participate in all kinds of physical activity.

It is an area that is often hard to diagnose, which results in many trips to physicians, multiple xrays and MRIs, and many bouts of unsuccessful physical therapy.

It is a joint that if given a thorough evaluation including a movement examination, range of motion assessment, strength measurements, and consideration of a person’s medical history can be diagnosed accurately.

Although the topics of hip replacements and labral tears have been in the news recently, there are many diagnoses that involve the hip: piriformis syndrome, trochanteric bursitis, and hamstring strains to name a few. Many factors play into these conditions and need to be considered for full resolution. A good physical therapist should be able to tease out these factors and create a comprehensive treatment program getting the patient closer to being active without having pain or causing further hip dysfunction.

Time is a factor and unfortunately an accurate diagnosis of the hip can sometimes be a lengthy process. The longer it takes to find the true cause of the hip pathology the longer it will take to return the patient back to normal function. If you are questioning some type of nagging hip pain have your physical therapist take a look at it. Most of the time they will be able to offer some easy solutions to start you on the path of healing. No matter what, they can surely point you in the right direction to get you started!

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