Maria is a preschool teacher who came in to Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City after she had been experiencing issues with her right hip. Her primary complaint was stiffness, pain, and weakness in the hip, and these symptoms were interfering with many of her abilities. In particular, Maria found it difficult to walk, stand, exercise, sit on the floor with students, squat down, and sleep because of these problems.
After performing a complete evaluation, Maria’s therapist found that she had decreased strength in the muscles of her buttocks (gluteal muscles), decreased stability in her lower back and hip region, decreased hip range of motion, and muscle tightness in the muscles responsible for rotating and moving her hips outwards. Based on this assessment, Maria was diagnosed with right hip pain and a condition called trochanteric bursitis, which is the inflammation of a fluid-filled sac in the hip. Maria also reported that she has had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 7, and based on her X-rays, it was determined that the goal of her treatment would not be to increase her hip range of motion. Instead, the goal was stabilization in the appropriate range. This was based on the fact that Maria was also diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis three years ago, and was successful with physical therapy at that time.
Before beginning treatment, Maria stated that her personal goals were to reduce her pain levels, increase her strength, and improve her mobility and tolerance to walking. She also wanted to be better prepared for work tasks at school, particularly in her ability to sit and stand.
Maria’s treatment program from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City
The first part of Maria’s treatment plan involved therapist-led education on her diagnosis and the importance of continuously strengthening her hips and core muscles, as well as staying active, even when she’s not in pain. From there, hands-on treatments included Active-Release Techniques, the Graston Technique, and stretching exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles of her right thigh. The program also focused on strengthening exercises that Maria was to perform while her arthritis symptoms were flaring up. As her strength increased, Maria was soon instructed to perform an advanced home-exercise program to maintain the improvements she was making within the clinic. Eventually, the focus of her treatment shifted to single-leg stabilization exercises.
Each of Maria’s sessions would include one or a combination of the following techniques:
- Joint manipulation and lateral distraction
- Soft-tissue massage
- Taping to improve posture
- Cupping and the Graston Technique
- Postural restoration and integration techniques
- Stretching and strengthening exercises of the hips, quadriceps, and hamstrings
- Exercises to improve the flexibility and stability of the core muscles
After eight sessions of physical therapy, Maria started noticing much less pain in her hips, and she was able to tolerate walking and standing for longer periods of time. Her gluteal strength increased, and she quickly started to tolerate single leg movements. Eventually, Maria was able to return to her normal exercise routine and felt more confident with her hip movements. Maria had this to say about her experience with us: “Physical therapy has really helped me get back to my daily routines and even push myself further! The exercises and helpful tips from my physical therapist, Ashli, are what helped me increase my daily exercise while decreasing the pain and discomfort. Thanks Ashli!”
We couldn’t be more pleased with Maria’s outcome, and are thrilled that she had such positive things to say about her treatment. If you’re experiencing any pain or movement-related issues of your own, we invite you to come in and see us for a consultation that will serve as your first step towards improvement. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog for more information on juvenile arthritis.