Hip pain or stiffness is a very common complaint that individuals seek treatment for. Hip pain and hip joint stiffness can result from arthritis, injury (both recent and past injuries), and anatomy/genetics - some folks are just more stiff and over time that can lead to painful hip conditions.
Is it my hip or my back? One of the primary questions that must be answered in any patient with pain in their hip area is whether they have a hip problem or a back problem. We have treated several patients that have been diagnosed with lower back pain and have had their lower back treated for several months (including injections) without success because their pain was coming from their hip! In many instances hip pain and hip joint stiffness can contribute to lower back pain, which is why it is important to have your hip and spine thoroughly examined to distinguish between the two. A comprehensive orthopedic examination provides the best information about the diagnosis and treatment of your hip pain, especially compared to X-rays, MRIs, or other diagnostic tests.
Treatment: We utilize a hands-on, manual therapeutic approach with our patients suffering from hip pain and joint stiffness. Our manual therapy techniques include joint and soft tissue mobilizations of the hip and often lower back mobilization/manipulations. These techniques are well tolerated by our patients and are very effective at reducing pain and improving mobility. The included video demonstrates some of these specialized techniques. Additionally, most patients benefit from a specific therapeutic exercise program to strengthen their hip muscles, most importantly the gluteus medius, which controls the pelvic position in standing and walking and is often weak in patients with hip pain.
Experiencing hip pain or hip joint stiffness? Schedule a FREE consultation with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy to discuss how our individual, specialized care will benefit you!
Dr. Nathan J. Savage, DPT, PhD Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist