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Hip Labral Tears

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What is a hip labrum tear?

A labrum is a band of cartilage that surrounds the hip joint offering support. Injury and tears can occur via a traumatic incident or due to overuse or continuous stress at the labrum. The hip is known as a ball-and-socket joint  that is designed to allow for movement in multiple directions. The labrum is meant to be an additional support for the joint to support the mobility of the hip. 

A tear occurs when the labrum is pulled away from the bony component of the joint. 

Once torn the labrum will not heal on its own- it requires surgery to fixate the labrum back to the bone. But surgery is not always necessary. Physical therapy is usually the first course of action. Physical therapy focuses on addressing asymmetries in muscle length, muscle strength and mobility of hip in order to decrease the stress on the injured labrum. Often, patients will see satisfactory results and able to achieve results that allow them to perform activities they enjoy without surgery. 

What causes a hip labral tear?

  • Bony changes in the hip known as hp impingement
  • Hip muscle weakness
  • Hip muscle tightness
  • Improper technique with repetitive activities like ice skating, dancing, running, skiing. 

What are signs and symptoms of hip labral tears?

  • Deep ache in the front of the hip, glut, or groin region. Sometimes people show a "C" with hands in order to demonstrate the area of their pain. 
  • Painful popping, clicking, or catching with movement at the hip. Sometimes the hip can feel caught or stuck. 
  • Pain with prolonged standing, sitting, or walking. 
  • Sharp pain when changing positions or squatting/ 
  • Weakness in surrounding hip muscles. 
  • Stiffness in hip.

How can a physical therapist or chiropractor help?

A PT or chiropractor can help with pain management through a variety of techniques. They can also help identify regions of the hip or positions of the hip that increase your pain in order to help you avoid further irritating the joint. They can also perofrm hands-on techniques in order to relieve pain and facilitate hip motion and strength. Based on how your labral tear is affecting your daily life, the phyiscal therapist can prescribe a ondividualized strength program in order to strength core, hips, and legs. Impoving strength can changethe way you may in order to decrease stress at hip. The physical therapist can help you choose activities for cardiovascular health that will allow you up upkeep your health while not increasing pain at hip.