Physical Therapy News Letter - May 18, 2015
The hip is an important weight bearing joint in the human body. Repetitive stress to the femur (thigh bone) over time can lead to the formation of cracks in the hip joint, which is the junction of the pelvis and the femur. For most individuals, simple cracks can heal over time without the need for surgical intervention. For others, it may escalate into a fracture.
A fracture can occur in one of three possible locations – at the top near where the femur joins the pelvis, in the middle of the thigh bone, or the bottom near the knee joint. The femur reaches a breaking with a fall (a particular risk for seniors), vehicle accident, or during competitive sports.
Regardless of the location of the fracture, an individual will experience extreme pain and movement restriction. Tingling or numbness in the area may accompany the pain, along with swelling and the inability to walk, stand or tolerate pressure on the leg. If left untreated, complications may include uncontrolled bleeding, blot clots, infection and pneumonia.
The femur is a major weight-bearing bone and the rate at which it heals is dependent on factors such as age and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. Full recovery can take approximately 12 weeks to several months and may require surgical intervention.
Thomas Edison once said, "There is time for everything". We live in a very busy world, and it’s easy to ‘ignore the pain’ and just carry on. But as your physical therapists, we can tell you that it’s important to make time for a physical therapy evaluation if you have any pain or discomfort.
If you have hip pain, it’s important to rule out a fracture in the hip joint and seek physical therapy right away. This will protect your balance, ability to walk unhindered, eliminate pain and improve bone strength.
Depending upon the severity of the injury and the stage of recovery, physical therapy may involve a combination of exercise, stretching, balance training and pain relief modalities.
When the correct movement pattern is reinforced in the muscles and joints, the process of recovery begins. This is called ‘neuromuscular re-education’ and includes a variety of advanced techniques to speed up recovery.
The use of water as a medium to reduce pain and swelling, increase strength and improve mobility is also helpful. Massage under the guidance of the physical therapist also helps relieve pain and improve mobility. Several exercise programs can be prescribed to build core and pelvic floor strength to aid in balance and prevent falls. In some cases, the therapist may recommend mobility devices such as crutches and canes.
Let’s face it – no one wants to be in crutches or have to struggle to walk. Hip pain can impact every aspect of life, from getting out of bed in the morning to driving and walking. The good news is that physical therapy has two significant benefits for anyone with hip pain:
– Improve healing so you have less pain and can get back to doing the things you enjoy doing.
– Prevent further damage to the hip joint and reduce your risk of falls.
The benefit of physical therapy extends beyond strength improvement in the hip joint and pelvic muscles. This can also help reduce or treat low back pain, improve posture and boost the quality of life.
Hip Hip Hurray to that!
If you or someone you know is experiencing hip discomfort, please have them contact our office. You can also call our office and request us to call them on your behalf, and we will reach out to them. We are committed to serving your needs and improve the health and well-being of everyone in our community. Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.