Physiotherapy for Hip Pain


Physiotherapy is an allied health profession that can help in most cases of hip pain. Your physiotherapist will employ several treatments specifically made for you to help relieve your symptoms. In addition, physiotherapy will help you regain or maintain your muscle strength and your overall fitness, returning you to your original level of function or highest attainable function possible.

Physiotherapy for Hip Pain

Depending on the cause of your hip pain, your physiotherapist will use a combination of any of the following:

  • Ice or Hot Pack Application
    The use of ice can help you minimize your pain and swelling. It is often prescribed for people who have had a recent (acute) injury. An ice pack is wrapped in layers of towel and applied over the site of your hip pain for about 20 minutes. Your physiotherapist may advise you to continue ice application when you get home, every 3 to 4 hours.

    Hot packs can help relieve hip stiffness and pain. In addition, applying hot packs help increase blood flow at the site of your injury, thus, helps hasten healing. Your physiotherapist will wrap a hot pack in layers of towel and apply it over your injured hip for 20 minutes. This is often prescribed when swelling in your hip has already subsided. Hot pack application may be done before stretching.
  • Stretching

    Because of pain, you may have not moved your injured hip for a long time. This can cause stiffness in your hip joint and surrounding muscles, making movement difficult. Your physiotherapist will employ several stretching techniques to improve your joint motion. In addition, your physio (PT) may teach you several self-stretching procedures that you can do on your own.
  • Exercises
    Performing exercises can help improve your joint motion, muscle strength and your general fitness. Your physiotherapist will teach you several exercises including
    • Range of motion (ROM) exercises
    • Strengthening exercises
    • Work or sport-specific strengthening exercises
  • Electrotherapeutic Modalities

    Your physiotherapist may decide to make use of machines or devices as a part of your treatment regimen including ultrasound (US) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS). The type of electrotherapeutic modality used will be determined by your PT, depending on your specific needs and goals.
  • Gait Training and Use of Walking Aid

    Your physiotherapist may suggest that you make use of a walking aid, such as a cane, walker, or crutches to help minimize stress on your injured hip as it heals. Your physio will teach you how to properly use the device. The type of walking device that will be recommended depends on your overall level of fitness and needs.
  • Patient Education

    An important aspect of physiotherapy rehabilitation is helping you understand about your condition. In addition, your physiotherapist will provide you with precautions to observe as you recover and teach you several techniques to help prevent re-injury. Your physio may also teach you how to do home treatments for your hip pain and may provide you with a list of safe exercise that you can perform at home as a part of your home rehab program.

Additional physiotherapy treatments options may be necessary, which will be determined by your PT based on your specific needs and goals.

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