Sammi was dealing with pain in her right hip that was preventing her from completing many daily activities. The pain made it difficult for her to sit for more than 30 minutes or move or rotate her hip in several directions. Sammi also displayed weakness in some of the muscles surrounding her right hip, experienced decreased balance on her injured leg and limped slightly while walking due to her symptoms. Based on these findings, it was determined that Sammi had torn the labrum in her right hip, which is a piece of cartilage that provides a suction seal and adds stability to the hip joint.
Initially, Sammi followed a course of physical therapy to address her injury. The treatment helped improve her strength, but she was still experiencing a notable amount of pain on a regular basis. In particular, she could not put her pants on without significant discomfort and was unable to do any physical activity without feeling pain and tightness in her hip. She also had trouble sitting for extended periods of time at work and found the need to get up and walk frequently on account of these problems. Based on her situation, Sammi decided to try acupuncture after two months in physical therapy, and said that she was considering surgery if the acupuncture did not help to reduce her pain.
After five acupuncture sessions, Sammi started to notice a decrease in her pain levels. Once she completed her 11th session, her pain had resolved completely, but she was still dealing with significant tightness that was constant and got worse with sitting. After examining her condition, our therapists realized that Sammi’s stress at work was actually contributing to how her hip felt. On more stressful days, there was more discomfort in her hip. Once Sammi was informed of this connection, she became more aware of her emotions and how they were affecting her physically.
Back to physical therapy
Having reduced her pain levels with acupuncture but still dealing with tightness, Sammi returned to Dynamic Sports Physical Therpay in New York City to address the remaining issues. She informed the therapist that her goals were to return to the gym and workout activities safely, and to be able to sit and walk more normally for longer periods of time and distances. Perhaps most importantly, Sammi said that she wanted to avoid having surgery due to her young age.
With these goals in mind, Sammi’s therapist created a treatment program that consisted of several components. These included the following:
- The Graston technique
- Cupping and mobilizations for the hip joint
- Postural re-education and strength training for the gluteal muscles
- Leg exercises to target the abdominal and other core muscles
- A progressive return to planks, squats, lunges, jumps and overhead lifting
- Education using a workout program for the lower body that emphasized mechanics, positioning, form and muscle awareness and self-correction when completing certain movements
After completing treatment, Sammi was able to successfully return to working out at the gym and rock climbing without any pain or discomfort. If she did experience any tightness in her hip, she would perform a specific set of stretches, which were effective for alleviating this discomfort. Sammi’s pain is now well controlled, and she still comes in once a month for acupuncture pain management and injury prevention.
Sammi had this to say about her the result of her treatment program: “All of you helped me so much to decrease my pain, help me get back to exercise, and avoid having surgery,” she said.
Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City can help bring you similar results
At Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, we are extremely pleased to see Sammi back in the gym and out of the operation room. Her story is yet another testament to the power of conservative (non-surgical) treatment for injuries, and shows that with dedication to a treatment program, it’s possible to avoid surgery altogether. If you’re dealing with a recent injury or pain that’s been bothering you for a while, contact us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today. We can get directly to the root of your problem and develop a personalized treatment protocol that’s right for you. For more information on hip labral tears, read our last blog here.