Hip Problems

Hip Problems 

  • Hip pain is common, with pain frequently being felt in the groin (directly over the hip joint), or into the buttock/back or upper leg.
  • Other common causes are referral from the lumbar spine (low back), and frequently once the lower back problem is cleared up the “hip signs” completely disappear.
  • This indicates that many apparent hip problems are actually low back problems.
  • When a lumbar disc (disc in the back) bulges to one side (approximately 40% of low back disc problems), frequently the muscles supplied by this nerve tighten and produce pain and or weakness.  A lumbar disc problem can also cause a twist in the pelvis, loading the hip and creating or contributing to a local hip problem.
  • This can occur in the absence of low pain! (Hiding the clue the problem is the back).
  • A thorough Hip Assessment should include testing of the low back to exclude this possibility. It may be that your specific hip problem has both low back and local hip components.

 

What structures in the Hip are locally affected?

  • Many structures within the hip can be injured and cause pain.
  • The most commonly injured structure inside the hip is the cartilage that sits between the joint where the Femur (thigh bone) and pelvis meet. This cartilage is called the Labrum, and is most commonly injured with a twisting movement with our without the hip bent.
  • Certain movements of the Hip (most commonly repeated bending of the hip joint, as in prolonged sitting or driving) cause a flap of this cartilage to protrude into the joint space.
  • Loading the hip to walk, run or squat pinches this cartilage, causing pain and inhibiting power of the muscles around the pelvis and hip.
  • Frequently this is the cause of the restriction and pain, and the loss of power. If this is the cause of your problem, certain exercises can be identified during your McKenzie Assessment that essentially push the flap of cartilage back into place, which gives a relief of pain and restores strength and movement within minutes.
  • A small percentage of these will not respond to the McKenzie exercises and may require a small operation called an Arthroscopy, where a keyhole procedure is performed to trim off the loose piece of cartilage.
  • Over time if there is sufficient wearing out of the underlying cartilage, the bones rub and eventually can lead to enough damage to the joint that a hip replacement is required.

 

Hip Extension is the most commonly required direction of McKenzie Exercises required

Hip Extension is the most commonly required direction of McKenzie Exercises required