Hip Rehabilitation

Following hip injury or surgery, a hip rehabilitation physical therapy program can help decrease pain, accelerate healing, and promote normal joint function. Such programs include a variety of exercises designed to improve strength and mobility in the affected hip. Rehabilitation of this joint is crucial, as the hip is one of the body’s major weight-bearing joints; it is involved in walking, running, sitting, standing, and climbing stairs. A patient’s first visit to therapy will begin with an initial evaluation, during which the clinician will interview the patient about the history of the injury and perform an examination. If a patient is unsure of what is causing his or her hip pain, the physical therapist will use the results of the initial evaluation to form a diagnosis. This evaluation may include a gait assessment and analysis; strength and range of motion tests; palpation (i.e., feeling around various structures for signs of pain or physical abnormalities); and other special tests specific to the hip, which may including testing the lower back region to see whether the pain is actually originating in the spine. Following the initial evaluation, the therapist will create an individualized plan of care to rehabilitate the hip. This treatment plan may involve physical agents such as heat or ice application as well as exercises. As a patient’s condition improves, the therapist may introduce more advanced exercises.