Joint Pain vs. Muscle/Tendon Pain?
One of the first things that needs to be figured out when dealing with hip pain is Does the pain come from the hip joint or does the pain come from the soft tissue such as the muscle or tendon around the hip? There are a couple easy orthopedic test we can use to stress the hip join to see if the pain is joint related. There are also a couple easy tests that can be done to see if the pain is muscle/tendon related. Occasionally, we will need an X-ray to rule in/out degeneration of the hip joint.
What are the best treatment option for hip pain?
This is a great questions and depends on what's causing the hip pain. If the pain is occurring from the hip joint we can use an adjustment or mobilization. This type of treatment creates a distraction to the hip joint and relieves pressure on the joint. Many times we see patients in our office having a difficult time walking and after a few adjustments to the hip joint their pain is significantly reduced. If the pain is soft tissue related we can use different soft tissue therapies such as FAKTR to increase blood flow and improve the function of the soft tissue. In the case of the pain being soft tissue an individual should also be given rehab exercises to strengthen the tissue and decrease the chance of the injury returning.
What exercises can I complete to help with my lateral hip pain?
This is another great question. One of the best exercises for lateral hip pain is an exercise called the Clam with a Band Exercise. This exercise is complete on the patients side with a band above their knees. The upper leg is brought into the air and held for 30-60 seconds. This exercise should be completed on both sides.
What are the differences between manual therapies and injections or surgery?
The majority of hip pain will respond very well to manual treatment. The goal with manual treatment is to improve blood flow to the tissue, improve the biomechanics of the hip and the body, and strengthen the are in need of strengthening. If this is done right the vast majority of patients respond very well and will not need to go on to the more aggressive treatment options such as injections or surgery. An injection typically contains a pain killer and sometime a steroid into the joint/hip area to decrease inflammation and decrease pain. The one issue with an injection is unless the patient improves the biomechanics of the hip area or increases the strength of the area the pain can return in the future. In the case injections or surgery is needed manual therapies or a rehab program should often be present in a patients care anyway to improve the outcome and improve a patients function long term.
What is the most common cause of lateral hip pain?
The most common cause of lateral hip pain is a condition called gluteal tendinopathy. Gluteal tendinopathy most often is involving the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius muscles and occurs when there is a strain or tear to these muscles. Gluteal tendon tears have been dubbed the "rotator cuff tears of the hip" due to their similar anatomy, etiology, and managmement.
If you are experiencing hip pain and need help please let us know! We would be happy to help get you feeling better and back to the activities you love! Contact us at 952-303-4590.