Here at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy, we pride ourselves on offering a wide range of different treatments and striving to always identify the best possible option for your condition. While physical therapy is clearly our bread and butter, and the core component of most treatment programs, in some cases we supplement it with other interventions in order to bring about even greater benefits. One example of this “integrative approach” to care is for treating hip labral tears, which can cause significant hip pain in New York City.
The hip is a ball-and-socket joint in which the “ball” is the head of the thighbone (femur) and the “socket” is part of the pelvic bone called the acetabulum. Both the femur and the acetabulum are covered with smooth articular cartilage that protects the bones and prevents them from rubbing against one another. In addition to this layer of protection is the labrum, which is another piece of cartilage that provides a suction seal and adds stability to the hip joint.
Labral tears occur when the labrum is damaged from being pulled too far away from the socket. These tears may result from a traumatic incident like a fall or an accident, but in most cases they’re considered overuse injuries that are caused by too much time repeating motions that involve the hip joint. Athletes in sports like soccer, football, ice hockey, long-distance running and golf are more susceptible to these injuries because of the repetitive movements that are involved. Symptoms of labral tears include hip, groin and buttock pain, as well as a locking sensation and loss of hip range of motion.
In addition, labral tear symptoms can mimic or be related to pelvic floor muscle dysfunction or other conditions that affect the region. The pelvic floor is a collection of muscles located at the bottom of the pelvis that wrap around the underside of the bladder and rectum. These muscles are considered to be the “true” core muscles, since the state of your pelvic floor affects the rest of the body, and having good pelvic stability is beneficial for many other parts of the body, too.
Due to the anatomy of the pelvic floor muscles and the labrum, there is a deep connection between these two regions that causes one to occasionally affect the other. This is why pelvic floor dysfunction can contribute to labral tears, and vice versa.
Using physical therapy, acupuncture and pelvic floor therapy to treat hip pain in New York City
Due to the complex nature of some labral tears, our therapists will occasionally use an integrative approach that consists of several different components. The reason is that physical therapy on its own will likely be helpful, but additional interventions are needed to address all of the problems present. For labral tears causing hip pain in New York City and pelvic floor dysfunction, we often recommend a combination of physical therapy, acupuncture and pelvic floor therapy that includes the following:
- Physical therapy
- Muscle-strengthening that focuses on the muscles of the hip, abs and legs, which will also affect the functioning of the hip
- Manual therapy, in which the physical therapist will gently move muscles and joints to decrease pain and improve motion and strength
- Movement re-education, which will include self-stretching techniques to help restore normal motion of the hip, back and legs
- A trained acupuncturist will insert 1-20 hair-thin needles into specific points throughout the body for 15-30 minutes
- The goal is to correct or maintain the normal flow of energy throughout the body and address any imbalances in the pelvic region by controlling against pain and compensatory muscle guarding patterns
- Acupuncture may also release hormones and pain-killing chemicals called endorphins, and help cells from the immune system fight infection and inflammation
- Pelvic floor therapy
- Your therapist will instruct you with specific exercises to improve the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles
- Completing these exercises will teach you how to better control and work out these muscles in the future
If you’re dealing with both hip pain in New York City from a labral tear and pelvic floor issues, we can offer an integrative treatment approach that will work for you. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here for more information.