Recovering from Hip Instability: The Role of Physical Therapy in Preventing Re-injury
Hip instability is a common condition caused by overstretching or weakening of ligaments that surround the joint. It can lead to chronic pain, decreased range of motion, and difficulty walking or standing up straight. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to help with this condition, including physical therapy. Physical therapy is an effective way to increase strength and stability, reduce pain, and improve overall function in the hip joint.
What To Expect At Physical Therapy
When you visit a physical therapist for hip instability, they’ll first assess your current mobility and range of motion. They might use tests such as manual palpation or muscle testing to determine how much flexibility and strength you have in the affected area.
Based on their assessment, they develop a plan that targets specific muscles and ligaments around the hip joint to improve its stability. This individualized treatment plan may include exercises that strengthen the muscles around the hip and improve your flexibility. Over time, your hip joint will become more stable, reducing pain and improving your quality of life.
Your physical therapist will work with you to ensure that your treatment plan is tailored to your unique needs and goals, so you can return to your normal activities without discomfort.
What Types of Exercises You Might Do
Depending on your diagnosis, your physical therapist may recommend various exercises to help strengthen the muscles around your hips and improve the stability of the joint. These exercises might include:
- Core strengthening: bridges, side planks, and bird dogs strengthen your core, the foundation of your body’s strength and stability.
- Leg lifts target your hip flexors. Building strength in this area improves running form, reduces the risk of injury, and helps you maintain stride and momentum.
- Gluteal stretches increase flexibility in the area, unlocking better form and more powerful strides.
- Balance exercises, such as single leg stand and heel walks, enhance coordination, stability, and proprioception, which in turn reduces your risk of slips and falls during a run.
These exercises will help strengthen muscles that support your hips and improve stability in the joint, ultimately leading to a better range of motion and reduced pain. Additionally, they can also help improve posture and prevent further re-injury.
How Long Recovery Takes
The amount of time it takes to recover from hip instability varies depending on several factors including age, overall health, type of injury, and severity of symptoms. Most people will start to see improvements within a few weeks of beginning physical therapy, but complete recovery can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks.
How Physical Therapy Prevents Re-injury
Physical therapy is an important part of recovering from hip instability and preventing re-injury. By strengthening the muscles that support your hips, you’ll be better able to control movements and avoid excess strain on your joints. Your physical therapist may also recommend lifestyle changes such as avoiding certain activities or wearing supportive shoes to help reduce the risk of reinjury.
Physical therapy is an effective way to treat hip instability by targeting specific muscles and ligaments around the joint. Through individualized treatment plans, exercises, and lifestyle modifications, physical therapy can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, and prevent further reinjury.