Treating Hip Pain for Brooklyn Athletes

Written by Boris Gilzon, PT, DPT, OCS, CHT & Alex Ariza

Physical Therapists play an essential role in the nonsurgical treatment of hip pain. Two of the most common conditions associated with hip pain are labral tears and hip impingement.

Labral Tears

Labral tears occur when the labrum, which is the cartilage that comes between the head of the femur – your thigh bone – and your pelvis – your hip bone, begins to wear down or experiences trauma. The most common cause of labral tears is repetitive stress on the hip joint, especially for athletes participating in running and skating sports.

Labral Tear - Hip Pain
Original Image Source:
http://www.moveforwardpt.com/symptomsconditionsdetail.aspx?cid=fabdfb4e-5fb5-4077-b341-df5d04a93605

Hip Impingement

Hip impingement, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), occurs when extra bone grows on either or both the head of the femur or the acetabulum (the part of the pelvis where the femur meets – the “socket”). The extra bone creates an irregular fit and can start to rub against the cartilage or bones in a way that can damage the joint causing hip pain.

There are 2 types of hip impingement. They can occur separately or together.

Hip Impingement Types
Original image source:
https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/femoroacetabular-impingement/

Cam-type Impingement

The head of the femur is shaped like a sphere. It acts as the “ball” for “ball and socket” joint in your the hips. In this deformity, an excessive bone growth around the head of the femur creates an irregular shape that makes it difficult to rotate in the acetabulum, your “socket”.

The misshapen overgrowth contacts the cartilage that lines the hip socket, the labrum, and can cause it to become worn and frayed. This can lead to hip instability and pain.

Pincer-type Impingement

Pincer impingement is when the acetabulum (hip socket) protrudes around the femur head, decreasing the space of the joint. Overtime with repetitive contact, hip flexion (bending over, sitting, walking) leads to tearing and inflammation of the cartilage that envelopes and protects the joint (labrum).

Symptoms

With either one of these conditions you may experience:

  • Increased pain with prolonged sitting and leaning forward in the sitting position.
  • Sharp pain during squatting, changing direction during running, pivoting and lateral motions./li>
  • Stiffness and deep aching in the front of the hip. Occasional groin pain.
  • Decrease ability to turn your thigh inward.

Treating Hip Pain with Physical Therapy

Kristin Treating Patient - Hip Mobility 2 | Park Sports Physical Therapy

Treatment of hip pain starts with a comprehensive evaluation of movement of your hip and surrounding joints.

Our therapists will test the strength of the muscles around your hip and observe your movements to properly diagnose the condition. During each session, our therapists will instruct and educate you about your body mechanics, the origin of your injury, and exercises you can perform to prevent future injury to the hip and strengthen the muscles around the hip and other parts of your body to stabilize and correct any imbalances.

Your orthopedic doctor may order X-rays and an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Hip impingement and labral tears may be concurrent with lower back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Once your weaknesses and imbalances are identified, the goal of therapy is to restore normal force coupling and to develop strategies to compensate if your condition is chronic.

Strengthening of weak muscles and stretching tight muscles can help to avoid the progression of hip impingement. Manual therapy techniques may also be employed restore flexibility of the joint.

At Park Sports Physical Therapy, one of our therapists, Svetlana Lazarev, PT, is an advance hip specialist certified by the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).

Hip Arthroscopy Post Operative Rehabilitation

If you do end up having surgery for your hip pain, our therapists follow an established post-surgical protocol. Physical therapy is known to shorten recovery time and ensures that your body is healing properly. Our therapists help to promote safe healing by limiting the weight you put on the operated leg, exercises, stretching, and manual therapy.

The next stage of postoperative rehabilitation focuses on improving your range of motion and strength. During your treatment, our physical therapists can keep your doctor and orthopedic surgeon informed of your progress if you choose.

After 4 to 6 months of treatment following surgery, you’ll be able to return to your normal activities.

Do you currently suffer from hip pain? We can help.

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Physical Therapy for Marathon Runners in Brooklyn

Race day is approaching. You put months of training and during that time, in ideal world, there would be no lingering soreness, no twinges. Are you worried about some long-standing maladies caused by overtraining? Do you think that there were other factors like body inefficiencies or misalignments that led to soreness, pain, even injury during your race prep? In reality, most runners have some issues that vary in severity. The running pain spectrum is wide.

Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapist is trained and equipped to help runners to avoid or recover from most running injuries. I listed some conditions we treat at Park Sports Physical Therapy in the order of their frequency:

  1. Anterior knee pain, or Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome is the most common one, in some studies it was reported that it constitutes close to 40 percent of all running injuries. It is caused by biomechanical factors that increase load on the knee. Those factors are: excessive foot inward rolling (overpronation), weakness in quads and hip muscles, hip rotational deformity and disproportional stride lengths.
  2. Achilles tendinitis most common in runners over age 30. It is most commonly caused by high or low arches, tight hip flexors, weak trunk. These factors lead to overtraining  that contribute to the tendon inflammation.

    Plantar fasciitis is often caused by the same factors that contribute to Achilles tendinitis. Some studies showed that it is correlated to the lower back pain.

  3. Less common are Illiotibial Band Syndrome, Shin splints and Metatarsal Stress Fractures.

Physical Therapist can help you to become a smarter and stronger runner by evaluating your functional mobility and movement patterns. We can help you design a specific exercises and stretches to address those issues.

Running Injury Specialist in Brooklyn and the AlterG

A running injury specialist in Brooklyn isn’t easy to find.  Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

As we mentioned in our last post, running injuries are common and it’s important to see a healthcare provider that specializes in running injury evaluation and treatment and understands the challenges and demands of distance runners.  Click here to review that post.

One of Our Secret Weapons to Optimize Running Injury Recovery

Our AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill can help elevate your physical therapy treatment program to a new level.

When you’re recovering from an injury (especially a running injury), the force of gravity actually works against you during this process, whether you realize it or not.  In our normal environment, gravitational forces move through the body from the foot and ankle, to the knee, the hips, and the trunk.  If these forces are too much for the injured soft tissue, they can cause repetitive stress disorders and slow the recovery process.  But what if gravity could be reduced or nearly eliminated from this equation?

The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is essentially the answer to this question.  Using technology developed by NASA to allow astronauts to exercise in space, this treadmill was created to help patients recover from their injury or condition more efficiently in an environment in which the amount of gravity can be controlled.  The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill can be added to many different physical therapy treatment programs, and at Park Sports Physical Therapy, it has been working wonders in helping many patients to improve more quickly.

Here’s How Limited Gravity can Help Get You Back to Running Faster

Here’s how it works: patients wear a special device on their waist and then step onto the treadmill.  When they’re ready, an air chamber is then inflated, and the seal is secured to their waist device with a zipper.  Once inflated, the gravity in the air chamber can be adjusted from as low as 20% to 100% of the patient’s normal body weight.  This allows them to walk or run with a feeling of weightlessness that many patients say feels like “walking on the moon.”

By offering this ability to patients like distance runners, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill can be used in a physical therapy treatment program for just about any injury or condition of the lower body, as well as for those who are overweight.  Here are just a few of the many diagnoses the treadmill is used for:

  • Foot fracture
  • Ankle sprain or tear
  • Stress fracture
  • Plantar fasciitis or plantar fascia tear
  • Knee or hip osteoarthritis
  • Knee or hip replacement recovery

Case Study – Chronic Knee Pain in a Runner

The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, cutting edge physical therapy equipment, was utilized early in the rehab process in order to restore normal gait and running mechanics.  The patient had excellent carry over from AlterG training and was able to demonstrate normal gait and running mechanics outdoors on level ground at the end of the treatment session. By the end of week 5, the patient was able to achieve normal gait and running mechanics on level ground without warm-up or training on the AlterG. The patient continued to progress running for endurance training on level ground as part of home exercise program.

The patient was able to achieve all her goals and return to full time competitive level cheerleading without symptoms.
Reference: http://www.alterg.com/case-study/chronic-patellofemoral-pain

Numerous other case studies found on the AlterG website, have shown that the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is effective for treating a number of problems by increasing strength, flexibility and fitness levels.  So if you’re dealing with any sort of lower body injury, find out how a physical therapy treatment program with this treadmill can help you next.

Call us today if you are looking for a running injury specialist in Brooklyn. Click here to visit our contact page.

Running Injury Treatment in Brooklyn

If you are looking someone that specializes in the treatment of running injuries, we can help.  Our doctors of physical therapy and expert staff not only treat people with running related injuries, we are avid runners, triathletes, and competitors.  We know what you are going through…that’s what makes us the logical choice for running injury treatment in Brooklyn.

Running is Your Passion – You’re Part of a Special Group We Can Relate To

Running has grown to become one of the most popular forms of exercise in the country, as more than 40 million Americans claim that they run on a regular basis. If you count yourself as one of the many runners out there, then you’re clearly on to something. As runners are well aware, regular running has been associated with a host of health-related benefits, which include reduced blood pressure, a lower risk for heart disease, better sleeping habits and brain performance, and an improved mood with less stress and anxiety. However, sometimes these health benefits come at a painful price.

Running Injuries are Common

There is only one small problem: running lots of miles frequently puts a great deal of stress on the legs and feet.  As a result, runners are at a fairly high risk for getting injured, especially those that run extreme distances like marathoners and long-distance runners.

running specialist Brooklyn
Approximately 25% of all runners are dealing with some type of injury at any given point in time.  Most running-related injuries affect the knees, ankles or feet, and they can either result from a single incident or develop over the course of time. Some of the most common running injuries include shin splints, runner’s knee, Achilles tendinitis, patellar tendinitis, ankle sprains, jumper’s knee and patellar instability. The symptoms of each of these conditions are different, but they all prevent runners from doing what they love in a similar way.

We are the Running Specialists in Brooklyn

There are several ways to hasten the recovery process after an injury and help runners return to their routine as quickly as possible, but the best way to accomplish this is with physical therapy. Our running specialists in one of our four Brooklyn offices have worked with a number of locals…both amateurs and elite athletes.  In fact, the owner of Park Sports Physical Therapy was a competitive triathlete himself.  Each running rehab program will be different based on the type and seriousness of the injury, but your first visit with us will consist of the following:

  • A thorough past medical history
  • A review of your current complaints
  • A complete physical exam
  • A dynamic biomechanical analysis of your gait
  • Footwear evaluation and review
  • Custom treatment program
  • A plan to get you back on the road

So if you’re currently dealing with any type of running-related injury or are concerned with your risk for experiencing an injury in the future, we strongly recommend that you schedule some time with one of our doctors of physical therapy as soon as possible.  Doing so will get you back to your running routine and help keep your injury risk at a minimal moving forward.

Visit our Contact page to schedule an appointment at one of our four convenient locations.