Hip Labral Tear Recovery and Prevention: The Role PT

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The Importance of Physical Therapy for Hip Labral Tear Recovery


Are you suffering from pain in your hip? You may have a hip labral tear and physical therapy can provide relief. A hip labral tear is an injury to the ring-shaped cartilage that cushions and stabilizes the hip joint. Physical therapists understand how to treat such injuries, and through specific exercises, they can help restore motion and strength to the surrounding muscles.

In this article, we will explore what physical therapy entails when it comes to treating a hip labral tear. We’ll look at what should be expected during physical therapy visits, some of the exercises used during treatment, how long recovery takes, how physical therapy prevents reinjury, and more. Let’s get started!

What to Expect at Physical Therapy

When you attend physical therapy for a hip labral tear, your physical therapist will start by conducting an evaluation including range of motion testing and strength tests. They’ll also ask about your current level of pain and what activities cause it to worsen. Based on this information, the therapists can create a personalized treatment plan designed to reduce pain and restore flexibility around the hip joint.

Your physical therapist will likely use manual techniques such as soft tissue massage to decrease inflammation in the area, as well as stretching exercises to improve mobility. In addition, they may give you static or dynamic strengthening exercises to build up muscle strength and stability in the injured area.

What Types of Exercises Might You Do?

Your physical therapist may have you perform several different types of exercises depending on the severity of your injury. Some of these include:

  • Gluteal stretches – Stretching the gluteal muscles will help reduce tension in the hips and lower back while improving flexibility.
  • Prone hip extension – Strengthening the muscles that support the hip joint can help relieve pain by taking pressure off of the injured area.
  • Quadruped hip abduction – Abducting (or moving away) from the body helps to strengthen muscles around the hip joint, which can improve stability and reduce pain.
  • Clamshells – This exercise helps strengthen core stabilizers in order to reduce strain on the hips and lower back.
  • Step ups – Strengthening leg muscles helps to improve balance and reduce your risk of injury.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery from a hip labral tear can take anywhere from 6 weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the injury. Your physical therapist will work with you to create a timeline for recovery that takes into account any pain or discomfort you are experiencing. As you progress through physical therapy, they’ll adjust the treatment plan accordingly in order to ensure that you are healing properly.

How Physical Therapy Prevents Reinjury

Reinjury is always a concern after recovering from an orthopedic injury like a hip labral tear. The goal of physical therapy is to restore your full range of motion and strength in the injured area. This will help reduce your risk of re-injury, as you’ll be able to move more freely without putting pressure on the hip joint. Additionally, with proper strengthening exercises, you’ll be better able to support yourself during everyday activities and sports.


Physical therapy is an effective treatment option for individuals who have suffered a hip labral tear. With the right program and knowledge of what exercises are best suited for your specific injury, you can expect to see significant improvement in pain relief and mobility within 6 weeks or less. Working closely with a physical therapist can also significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a reinjury.