Injuries & Treatments
Hip Injuries and Treatment
Many hip and thigh injuries are related to overuse, with tendonitis and bursitis being the most common. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.
These types of hip & thigh injuries can occur from not warming up and stretching properly, being out of shape or even over-training. The most common treatment includes stretching, icing, using anti-inflammatory medicines and resting.
Other more severe hip injuries and conditions – such as hip impingement, labral tears or hip dysplasia – often require surgery.
These injuries can occur when athletes have underlying differences in the way they are built combined with participation in high-intensity activities. The main symptom is activity-related pain in the groin area, which also includes limping after activity.
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Strong muscle contractions at the growth attachments of the hip muscles, including the hamstring or the quad muscles in the leg, can lead to another painful condition called apophysitis.
When the muscle contracts, it can pull a tendon off with a piece of the bone, which is known as an avulsion fracture. Athletes will usually feel acute pain around the hip in the middle of a high-intensity activity. Avulsion injuries aren’t usually treated with surgery but can be a big worry to families. Patients typically use crutches to limit mobility and the condition takes about six to eight weeks to heal.
Adolescents with overly tight hip and thigh muscles are more prone to pelvis and hip apophysitis. For those that run, a biomechanical test to analyze gait can be helpful.
A frame-by-frame video gait analysis can target weaknesses that are causing pain and is particularly useful for any athlete that runs. She said it’s common for runners to complain of knee problems when it’s actually their hips that are the problem.
Long-distance runners and other endurance athletes are more prone to stress fractures, either of the hip bone or the pelvic bone.
Not getting adequate nutrition through a balanced diet, especially calcium or vitamin D, can contribute to stress fractures. If overlooked, they can become severe and can turn into a complete fracture needing surgery. Signs may include limping after running or while walking, pain when pressure is applied to the leg, or pain in the groin area or side of the hip.
Most injuries can be treated by guided physical therapy and a controlled return to sport.
Prevention is really the key, which means warming up properly, and gradually increasing workout duration and intensity. It’s important to identify overuse injuries early so you can alter your activity level, and also to eat a balanced diet to make sure you don’t develop a vitamin deficiency. If you have any warning signs, seek evaluation by your athletic trainer or physician, sooner rather than later.