Do you ever wonder why you are having this constant discomfort in your hip?
Do you spend time searching through Google to understand what is going on and all of your searches send you into a downward spiral of thinking you need surgery to fix your pain?
Well, we are here to tell you it is going to be okay. Take a deep breath and let’s dive in!
As you can see in the images above, the hip can be quite complicated which is why it may be hard to differentiate exactly what is causing your pain. Now, before we get into common issues we see and treat here at Alliance Regen & Rehab, we wanted to provide a brief overview of how involved our hip is on a daily basis.
The hip joint is a large ball and socket joint comprised of the femoral head and the deep socket of the acetabulum (part of your pelvis). Within this deep socket is a circular piece of cartilage that we call the labrum. Our hip labrum works to stabilize the joint and allows for smooth movement in all planes of motion that we perform throughout our day. Surrounding our hip joint, we have three ligaments (ischiofemoral, pubofemoral, and iliofemoral) that assist in stabilizing the joint and resisting excessive movement.
Lastly, the bread and butter of the hip joint are the muscles! Our hip complex consists of over 18 muscles and it would take another blog just to explain the specific role of each. But some of the common muscles that we notice issues with are the glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors. These muscles generally can become tight and weak and lead to dysfunction in our hip or along the kinetic chain such as our knees and ankles. If you want to learn more about how the ankle joint can play a role in hip dysfunction check out our recent blog post The Ankle Joint- Don't Get It Twisted.
It's a Tissue Issue!
Now that you have a brief understanding of the anatomy, let’s talk about what could be causing your hip pain. The most common issue we see are soft tissue restrictions in the muscles surrounding the hip joint. These soft tissue restrictions can be the result of poor posture, overuse, bad movement patters, previous injuries, or a current injury (more on that below). When we compromise the length-tension relationship of soft tissue and these restrictions arise, that particular muscle doesn't have optimal function and actually affects the surrounding muscles and their ability to do their job effectively.
Real Life Example: 👉🏽 Think about it as having a teammate who's head isn't quite in it or a co-worker who isn't as invested in the success of the team as you are!
Similar to soft tissue restrictions, we also come across glute medius and proximal hamstring tendinopathies. These injuries are common running injuries that have St. Pete Runners coming in our clinic and calling our number. So, what is it? A tendinopathy is an overuse injury that involves varying degrees of damage and dysfunction to the tendon that connects a muscle to its insertion point on a bone. These injuries can happen form normal everyday use and overtime it can affect the way you move and function in your daily lives and activities.
Let's Get Deep!
Do you sometimes get popping in your hip thats accompanied by pain? Is that pain deep and hard to pinpoint? Is there a pinch in the front when you squat or when your knee get's close to your chest? Does it lock up?
When someone comes in for a hip injury, we always check for one particular injury - a hip labral tear. The questions above are typical questions we always look out for because they are big clues into what is going on. When we start to hear of a particular pain pattern, random bouts of hip pain or a cluster of issues, we look at the labrum.
Labral tears are a common injury that we come across in our athletes and are the result of either an acute injury from weight lifting, running, or golfing or just general wear and tear over time. If left uncorrected, a labral tear can lead to osteoarthritis later down the road which can result in decreased range of motion and strength in the hip.
To Fix Something, You Have To Know What's Broken... So, What Next?
If you are someone who dealing with pain or injury that is keeping you from simply enjoying your day or continuing to move like you are used to, then there are many different ways you might try to get this issue fixed.
If you are like most, the first step you take is rest or trying to self treat via instagram, youtube, or google. We caution people on the method because it's a double edge sword. It's a very high likelihood that when you search for something, find an answer that sounds like it might be your issue, and then start doing those things - that might not actually be what you are dealing with. And if that's the case, you might not only be trying to "fix something that isn't broken," but you'll also be delaying yourself from really overcoming the real issue.
We have a much better alternative to this method and it's even better than the traditional track of going to your orthopedic, get sent for imaging, go back to the ortho, get a steroid injection, etc, etc.
The Alliance Rx Method
We have a method called "The Alliance Rx Method." This method involves getting down to the root cause, identifying the actual injured tissue with real-time diagnostic ultrasound imaging, uncovering movement dysfunctions that are contributing to your pain, offer immediate treatment, and then create a plan for the short term and the long term!
If this method sounds like something you'd be interested in hearing more about, we invite you to fill out our talk to a specialist form to get the ball rolling in the right direction!
Our Favorite Exercises
Below are a few exercises we like to perform to keep the hip strong and moving:
Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
Standing Glute 3 Way
Ask us about our Alliance Rx Method Co-Evaluation