Hip Exercises for a Hip Injury (Torn Labrum)

by Annie on March 14, 2010 · 48 comments

in Exercise & Injuries

Ever since I wrote about my torn labrum on my hip, I have been getting a few emails from readers asking about what type of hip exercises I do at home.  From my interactions with readers, I come to the conclusion that my torn labrum is not as severe as others and that my pain is a small pittance compare to what others are going through.

This post is a discussion of the type of hip exercises (including hip stretches) I do at home for my torn hip labrum to manage the pain. Please note that I am not a doctor or a personal trainer.  I have no idea what is the severity of your hip injury.  These are examples of hip exercises that worked for me.

Hip exercises are going to hurt

When you injure your hip or back, you want to continue to move that injured muscle group as soon as possible.  The last thing I want to do when I was recovering from my car accident was move.  Staying on the sofa with a bag of cookies and watching TV was all I want to do between doses of pain killers.  But that is the worst thing I can do for myself.  The longer your body stays still, the longer the recovery time and the more painful it is to rehabilitate that injured muscles because of muscle atrophy.

That is not to say that you spring from the sofa with a cheerful song in your head and do leg kicks like a Rockette.  You might not be able to do any leg kicks for a while, but you must keep that idea in the back of your mind.  The goal is not to just stop the pain, but to someday do a few leg kicks because you feel like it.

If you ever have a cast on a body part, you will notice that when you take the cast off, the injured arm or leg is weaker than your other uninjured arm or leg.  This is muscle atrophy.  You either use it or you lose it.

So when you injured your hip, the worst thing you can do is sit still or lay down in your bed all day.  Because you avoid using your injured muscles, they hurt even more when you do use them.  So you continue to limit your range of motion, which cause your injured hip muscles to get even weaker, which cause you more pain the next time you use them.  Are you following this vicious cycle I am trying to paint?

You must start doing rehabilitation exercises as soon as you are able to in order to speed up your recovery.

Ice/heat therapy for your hip muscles

After the onset of the initial cause of the injury, the pain and swelling you feel are caused by inflammation in your injured hip muscles.  Inflammation is your body’s trumpet call before the cavalry (white blood cells) charge to heal the injured site.  This is a good thing because without inflammation, there is no healing.  But the problem is that sometimes your body does not know when to turn that dang inflammation off!  So practice RICE while you are rehabbing your hip muscles with hip exercises.

I find that a combination of icing and heating my hip muscles works best.  Icing for 20 minutes brings down the swelling cause by inflammation, then applying a heat pad for about 20 minutes to loosen the muscles after doing hip exercises.  But when my hip muscles do not hurt, I do not even bother with the icing.

Please note that you should not apply heat to an injured area (this only makes the swelling worst) for the first 24-48 hours after a hip injury.  Icing should be used exclusive for the first 24 to 48 hours.  Afterwards, you can do a combination of ice and heat.  If icing is too intense (your skin tends to get thinner as you age), try wrapping a towel around it.

I like using frozen peas because it is malleable.  By using a couple of bath robe belts, I am able to tie the peas around my hip and move about even when I am icing.  When the peas start to get a soft then it is time put them back in the freezer.  I do not eat the peas I use exclusively for icing.  I find that the freezing and thawing cycle changes the taste of the peas for me.

I was doing this every few hours (when the frozen peas harden up again) for weeks after my car accident.  Of course, at the time, I also injured my back.  So imagine a short Chinese woman with a bag of peas tied around her left hip and a bag of peas tied around her back with multi-colored bath robe belts, shuffling around her apartment with bad hair.  Yeah, that was me four years ago.  It wasn’t funny then, but I can see it having the potential of being a sitcom episode now.

Hip stretches

I never do my stretches without a small warm-up (I used to be able to, but not anymore).  Remember how I mentioned that your heart rate from computer work is almost equivalent to sleeping?  When you get up from any sitting position, your muscles are not primed for stretching.  When you are warmed up, your body actually recovers faster and you are less likely to injury your muscles.  So before you do any stretching, get up and walk around a bit to warm up.  Here is a list of hip stretches I do on a regular basis:

Back of leg muscle

Warrior pose (pay attention to the feet placement)

triangle pose (pay attention to the feet placement)

Sun salutation (only arch your back if you can)

Groin stretch (try this stretch moving your toes closer and further from your body.  You can hit different parts of your hip muscles)

Hip cradle

Strengthening your hip muscles

Ditto on the warm-up discussion on the hip stretches section.

Hip abductor (clam)

Hip abduction (outer thigh)

Hip Adduction

Leg Extension

Exercise dvds for your hips

I prefer to follow an exercise dvd for my hip stretches and hip exercises.  The reason why I like exercise dvds for hip rehabilitation exercises is that I do not have to think about it.  I just follow what what is on the screen.  I recommend the following exercise dvds for hip rehabilitation:

Rehab Your Body At Home (approximately 20-25 minutes if you do both Part A (easy) and Part B (harder))

Pick Your Spot Pilates (the “spot” you want to pick is your thighs.  approximately 15-20 minutes)

Sara Ivanhoe’s 20 Minute Yoga Makeover – Sculpted Buns & Thighs (approximately 20 minutes, more advance)

Final thoughts about hip exercises

I have been living with a torn hip labrum for the last four years.  It took four years, 3 chiropractors, 2 rounds of physical therapy, and 2 orthopedic surgeons to finally diagnosis the pain on my hip.  The tear is small enough that my doctor does not consider surgery an option right now (who knows if this will change after my first pregnancy), but the torn hip labrum is painful enough for me to need hip exercises and a combination of icing and heating on a regular basis.  I cannot say that I am pain free, but considering where I was 4 years ago, I am just thankful that I am able to live as I did prior to my car accident with only a few modifications to my lifestyle.

My hip joint itself is in good condition.  It is the tear on the labrum that is causing me pain.  It sometimes makes a crunching sound when I do the clam exercise where you are lying on your side, opening and closing your bended leg.  Because my hip joint is in good condition, my doctor feels that I should continue with my hip exercises since it is helping, but you should check with your doctor in case your torn hip labrum is more severe or there are problems with your hip joint.

If you want further ideas on how to treat your hip injury at home, you might want to consider reading Heal Your Hips.  Reading this book a few years ago gave me the idea of doing hip exercises on a regular basis to manage my hip pain.  All the above exercises can be done with modifications in a pool.  Pool exercises are actually the first step to rehabilitating your hip muscles after hip surgery before doing them on the ground.  Heal Your Hip will give you photos and a list of pool exercises you can do if you are not yet ready for rehabilitating your hip on the ground.

In addition, I also use a foam roller to massage away the tightness on my hip on regular basis.

One final thing, you will get better.  Your body is a wonderful machine designed to heal itself, but it is also a slow clunky machine.  Understand that even though you might be causing yourself some pain from doing hip exercises, but in the years ahead you will feel better.  Sometimes it is discouraging when you are doing everything you can and the pain does not stop.  But you will get better.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.

Photo by:  cobblucas.

Related Posts:


Like what you are reading? How about subscribing? It's free!

Subscribe in a Reader
Enter your email address:

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Sagan March 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for all of this great information. I have one leg shorter than the other by nearly an inch, so when I don’t wear shoes with a build-up, it hurts my hips to walk. I honestly never thought of doing hip exercises before *smacks forehead*. I”m going to try some of these out!

Reply

asithi March 24, 2010 at 6:34 am

Sagan – An inch? That’s a lot. Mine is only about a quarter of an inch. Because I do not wear orthotics, I believe that is partly the reason why my back aches sometimes when I walk too much. Thanks for the comment.

Reply

Susy July 15, 2010 at 12:08 am

Hello,

I am a professional ballet dancer and a yoga instructor also. I have a labral tear in my right hip that was diagnosed almost 2 yrs ago. The pain has actually subsided, but sometime it flares up. Right now, it has definitely been flaring up. I find that ice helps in addition to using a foam roller. It helps with loosening all the muscles around the area which tend to be real tight from sitting, dancing, and life :) I use a cream called Sarna also before dancing and that helps warm the muscles up and it feels nice when you start to get warm.

Just a few thoughts… :)

Reply

asithi July 15, 2010 at 6:55 am

Susy – Thanks for the tip. I used a foam roller for a while. But I found that using a tennis ball gives me more precision, especially for the muscles close to the groin area (but it can be more intense). I’ve never heard of Sarna, but it sounds like something I want to try.

Reply

jacinto July 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Hi, asithi:

I am pending from diagnosis but it seems I have a labral tear and a little impingement. When you say exercises hurt, but they are worth, how do you control the possibility of worsening the tear?.

I ask that because I think I hurt myself yesterday only flexing a little more than normal after having run. (My condition seems to be quite good, and normally I am very careful and I did that carefully, but yesterday nearly nothing hurt me and today everything is worse.).

By the way, I have tried some of your exercises and they didn’t hurt. Now don’t know if should dare, but anyway I would like to know your point about that.

Regards and thanks for your blog.

Reply

asithi July 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm

jacinto – I do not run, so I have never felt what you are feeling. However, I do bike and after a long bike ride, especially with an incline, my hip would hurt more the next day. I believe it has to do with the amount of force I am exerting when I push against the pedal going uphill. When I do high impact aerobics (ie. step aerobics) which requires jumping, I have the same increase in pain on my hip the next day. So based on my experience and what you are telling me, I believe the pain you are experiencing is from the force exerted on your hip when you pound the pavement.

When this happens, I go back to my old standby of icing, heating, and stretching. I am lucky enough that it goes away on its own within a day. And since I know how my body works, I usually do the icing, heating, and stretching as soon as I am home so I feel very little of the pain the next day.

Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor might not decide to do anything with your hip. For me, my doctor does not think surgery and its recovery is going to give me any more mobility or less pain than what I am feeling. Sometimes I have days where I do not feel a thing as long as I remember to exercise. The point of the hip exercises is to retain what hip mobility you have left and to strengthen the muscles around it. A couple years ago, I would not have been able to bike for miles like the way I do now. I really think the hip exercises help. So basically I monitor my hip pain and if the condition worsens then my doctor will re-visit his original diagnosis.

Your doctor will let you know if your tear will worsen with exercise. But you know your body best. As you do the exercises you know at which point to stop the movement when there is a sharp pain. The hip exercises on this post are common exercises given to patients recovering from hip surgery. And if your doctor sends you to a round of physical therapy before surgery, the hip exercises they give you will be similar to the ones listed on this post.

The only thing I suggest you try is deep tissue massage with a tennis ball. I will write a post about the technique sometimes this week to explain this in more detail.

Reply

Kayla August 17, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Asithi,
I have found this article to be one of the most helpful ones I’ve found so far. I am 20 yrs old and am dancing for the first time professionally this fall. For about a year and a half I’ve had stiffness in my right hip after sitting long periods of time and while doing certain things in ballet class. I’ve decided to take the summer to rest and to my suprise my injury just seems to get worse. I haven’t been diagonosed, but I have been researching this injury and have not found any other that pinpoints my pain as closely as this does.
I”m hoping it will soon go away, but I don’t know what the odds are for that if it is a tear. I’ve just tried your excercises and it is already seeming to feel better than 20 minutes ago. I’m wondering if you usually ice after you do the excersices?
I felt really depressed after reading a lot of others experiences with this injury, I was excited to finally see some hope and I am so happy :)
Thank-you!
Kayla

Reply

asithi August 18, 2010 at 7:02 am

Kayla – Yes, I do ice my hips sometimes. I find that as long as I do my hip exercises at least every other day, I am usually fine most of the time. But even then, sometimes I get discourage because the pain returns when I don’t do my hip exercises.

My doctor said that they usually do not recommend surgery for patients with minor labrum tears (which is the case with me) because the body will eventually heal itself. He said that I am doing everything right to maintain mobility in my left hip. I have no idea whether a labrum tear will heal itself. And from what I read of other people’s account of their labrum tears many people opt for surgery.

However, I have this injury for the last four years. I would say that when it was initially injured, the pain level was close to a 9 (on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most painful). Now my pain level is close to a 2 (enough to make me complacent, but not pain free). Since my doctor recommends that I re-evaluate the situation after my first pregnancy, which is what I am doing. By the end of next year if there is no change, I might seek my 3rd medical opinion on my hip.

Reply

Jacinto August 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Hi Asithi:

I have finally been officially diagnosed with small Labral Tear at 10’oclock.
Now I would like to do your exercises. But I wanted to ask you:

What have you been told about what can harm your lesion?. How fragile is the tear for one to be able to harm himself?
And what do you know about the lesion itself can lead to arthrosis?.

Regards.
Jacinto

P.S: What about the tennis ball massage? :)

Reply

asithi August 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Jacinto – Didn’t you ask your doctor these questions or were you ushered out of the office because your 10 minutes are up (ask you can see I have a problem with doctors who do not spend time talking to their patients)? As my doctor, he told me to continue to do the exercises, the icing and heating, and stretching as long as if makes me feel better. By the time I was finally diagnose, I have been managing the pain own my own for 3 years. My doctor said they usually do not recommend surgery for small tears because it usually get better on its own (notice he did not use the word heal on its own).

The first year, my pain level was about a 9 (on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being most painful). I am probably down to a 2 or 3 on a normal basis, but on a bad day (sometimes the weather and hormones contribute to this), I say it is about a 4. And then there are days when I do not notice anything, but they never last long.

A reader brought up the subject of arthroscopic hip surgery with my doctor, but he mention that there is a potential for nerve damage. And no matter how minor, it is still surgery and he does not think I benefit from it. But some people has found success with their torn labrum with this surgery. If you read all the postings on this thread (it goes from 2006 to now) you can how some people need surgery and others get by with hip exercises.

As for your arthosis question, I think you are asking about arthritis. From what I read, it seems like this could be an issue later on. I figured this might be something to worry about at least 20-30 years from now as long as I take care of the hip joint and its surrounding muscles. But one thing that I read in various books is that you do not want a cortisone injection on your hip. The reason is that sometimes the cortisone injection leaves behind a substance that is almost like grit in your hip joint. And over time, it could wear away the smoothness on the socket. I’ve gotten two cortisone injections, but thank goodness it was on my hip bursa (yes, the diagnosis on the second year was hip bursitis).

Thanks for the reminder about the tennis ball massage. I posted part one of Deep Tissue Massage using Foam Roller Exercises for Hip Pain today. I will follow-up with part 2 next week.

Reply

Jacinto August 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hi again:

Well, the fact is I got a conventional but sophisticated MRI and found the tear and a very subtle impingement, but I haven’t still gone to the doctor.

Anyway, I don’t expect much from her, since before knowing I had the tear, she told me that I had FAI impingement so surgery was only diagnostical and prothesis unavoidable. So I don’t think she can go brilliant about my doubts.

My pain scale is normally from 0 to 3, without pills or exercises, so I think I can expect a good quality life, but i don’t want to do wrong steps; so I am trying to get well informed; that’s why I ask you :)

Anyway, I think I will learn by the forum you linked me to; thanks for that and for the exercises. I will go telling you my evolutions.

Regards

Reply

David November 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm

The longer you wait for the repair of your labrum the most likely you will develop hip arthritis and more symptoms. Go to a better doctor.

Reply

asithi December 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

@David – Going to a better doctor means trying to convince the gate keeper (your primary care physician) that there is someone within their medical group that can help you. Sometimes it just get too exhausting trying to convince people that you are hurting when you look fine on the outside. But I am going to try again a year or so after the birth of my baby. Funny thing – since I stopped my cardio exercises in the middle of my second trimester, my hip has not been bothering me too much (totally manageable). Thanks for your comment.

Reply

Katie July 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

Internet research told me that leaving a tear alone will lead to deterioration of the hip and arthritis, however, the surgeon I spoke with told me this is untrue. She said that not repairing the tear with surgery will not do any lasting damage to your joint and that if you can handle the pain, not to have surgery (my tear is small). I think a lot of the info found online is generated by people who earn money when people opt to have surgery. Asithi, thank you for this post. I am desperate for some pain relief myself. Anti-inflammatories are helping immensely, but I still have bad days and don’t want to take drugs indefinitely. I’m going to try your workout, but I think it’s important to add a significant amount of core work as well (I realize this post is 2 years old, so maybe you already know that). That is one thing the surgeon said to me: Strengthen your core, hip abductors, glutes and hamstrings. I wouldn’t leave her office until she gave me some sort of game plan. I’ve been dealing with this for 2 years and spent a lot of money to have no real “this will make you better” answers.

Reply

asithi July 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Katie,

I’ve dealing with my torn hip labrum close to 6 years now and one pregnancy later, it is still about the same. I have my bad days, but can usually recognize the signs early enough to start stretching, exercising, and foam rolling before it becomes significantly painful. But I notice that regular exercise in general, core work, cardio, strength, and stretching make mananging the hip pain easier. But this is a lifestyle commitment. And it changes the way you view your body. Good luck on your journey.

Reply

Katie September 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

After doing some of my own PT exercises at home from an article I found on PT for a labral tear, I decided to see my regular doctor to make sure what I was doing was a good idea. She referred me to a physical therapist, and I have to say that the hip strengthening exercises have decreased my pain a lot (in the tear itself, that is). The tear (outer front side of the hip) wasn’t as painful as the inflammation I was getting in my upper buttock area, though; so reducing inflammation was a main concern for me, as well.

I don’t take the anti-inflammatories daily anymore. But I think the reduction in inflammation has more to do with the anti-inflammatory diet I began on Sept. 1. Check out http://www.whole9life.com if you want to know more about the diet.

Reply

Asithi September 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Katie – Interesting you mentioned inflammation because a lot of the pain I experienced with this old injury is from immflammation (the muscle moving and either rubbing or stretching scar tissues as mentioned in my foam rolling exercises post).

I also try to reduce inflammtion in my diet and take an omega 3 supplement daily. I don’t exactly how this helps with the pain management for my labrial tear, but at least it makes me feel like I am doing something to help.

Katie September 24, 2012 at 7:18 am

I just read the part in “It Starts With Food” where they talk about taking supplements. Here, in brief, is what they say about fish oil: “Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory, and protect against cancer & Alzheimer’s. Take it if you don’t eat a lot fish, your meat quality isn’t perfect, or you dine out frequently. 2-4 grams of EPA & DHA daily.”

There seem to be a lot of trial studies, too, where fish oil was used in place of the NSAID medicines. I think I will replace the Meloxicam Rx pill bottle in my purse with a bottle of fish oil!

Katie September 24, 2012 at 7:33 am
kristen June 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

hello. really nice blog. im happy i found it! i am actually having surgery on a torn labrum/impingement next week and am really scared. ive been dealing with it since 2004(car accident) and it took all this time to find the reason i was in so much pain. recovery is really long but if it will stop the pain im more than willing. ive been doing these exercises for a month and have helped a little. thanks for this blog! helps a lot

Reply

asithi June 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Kristen – I am glad the exercises help. Please let me know the surgery turn out for you. It took a while for them to diagnose my torn hip panting too.

Reply

Eileen July 6, 2011 at 6:40 am

hello, this website is a blessing !! I have been in pain for over 3 months now. I was working out 5 days a week, 1/2 hour of cross cardio and 45 min. of weights and one day felt a pain in my hip and things went downhill after that. I haven’t worked out in all this time. I have had several wrong diagnosis a spine MRI an xray and now FINALLY someone got smart and ordered a hip MRI and there was the torn Labrum. I am seeing a specialist this Friday. The pain has gotten so bad i cannot stand on my feet all day and have been out of work for a few days. I get shooting stabbing pains down the front of my leg. I am on two nerve pills, pain pills.. pills pills pills.. physical therapy did not help as the ultrasound hurt each time they did it. I haven’t seen anyone talk of nerve pain down the leg. Anybody have this problem?

Reply

Caz September 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hi I was just reading your post and wondering if you have trouble going up stairs? My mum has a few hip issues and your post sounds very familiar. She has had MRI’s etc and they show she has small tears but haven’t really told her that she has a torn Labrum Im hoping my reasearch can shed a little light for her. She does have trouble going up stairs and she too has trouble standing for periods of time. She’s told me that sometimes it feels like her leg will go from underneath her. She also has some nerve pain down her leg the oseopath said she has some siatica issues too.

Reply

asithi September 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Caz – on a bad day, yes, I have problems with the stairs. Before I started the exercises, I have the same problem with feeling like my hip could not support my weight. I haven’t fallen yet. But it has to do with the muscle imbalance caused by the injury. The hip exercises will help with this.

It requires some commitment to continue to do hip exercises, icing, and foam rolling just to go about your life with this injury. It does not even guarantee that you will always good days. All the stuff I do only ensure that I have more good days than bad. If I spend more than a week just sitting around, I feel the pain coming back. Sometimes I still feel the sting of how much this injury has limited my lifestyle. I am just hoping that with medical advances, I would be able to fix this in a few years.

I’m sorry about your mom. I hope they find and fix her problem. It took the doctors to find the tear on my hip. And two years later, I am still without a solution, other than a name to the pain.

Reply

asithi July 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Eileen – I’m sorry to hear about your injury. I know how you feel (literally since I would do the exact same thing several years ago). As for your question about pain racing down your leg, it will eventually go away once the inflammation around your torn hip labrum subsides. Because your hip is unstable right now, it is calling on other muscle groups on the leg to do double duty. This sometimes causes minor additional injuries or muscle imbalances that causes other muscle groups to contract resulting in the shooting pain that you are feeling.

Right now the best thing you can do to help reduced inflammation is to ice the hip area. Try wrapping a thin flexible ice pad around your hip (front and back). Eventually you might want to consider foam rolling exercises to help get rid of scar tissue from the injury. When you get to the point where you can do foam exercises, hip exercises might also help manage the pain.

Surgery is the only way to repair a torn hip labrum and depending on the location and size of the tear you might not be a good candidate for surgery. Good luck on your doctor’s appointment on Friday. Please keep me posted on how you’re doing. I am always interested on hearing how other people are managing their torn hip labrum since I am not a good candidate for surgery right now.

Reply

mike August 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

my wife has been suffering from a labral tear for a year now. It’s breaking my heart to see her in such pain. So far she has tried acupuncture that worked at first but now it is just a quick rest. She is now in pt to try and strengthen her sore muscles and it seems to be working. She is in lots of pain right after but it subside when she stretches and inverts for 15 minutes. Of course aleve gets put into the mix but how long can you go taking that crap before you have other issues. I just found this post from searching with hope to find another asnwer beside hip arthroscopy. I hope this post helps her anf I hope everyone who is suffering from this labral tear gets better soon. If I could take her pain I would but I have to just hope and pray she finds a
solution. We want to have more children but are scared because of her ongoing paiin and pain meds are at a minimum when you are carrying a a baby. Hahhhh. I wish it would just get better for her…

Reply

asithi August 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Mike – Don’t forget the icing. I explained how icing is really helps with pain management in my foam rolling post. The first 1.5 years was really hard for me too. Pain all the time. It has been 5 years since I injured myself and I just had my first child with a torn hip labrum five months ago. My pain went from a 8/10 to about a 2/10 after the first two years from icing, foam rolling, stretching, and hip exercises. This might not work for everyone, you wouldn’t know until you try it. Good luck to your wife.

Reply

Brooke August 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I have a labral tear in my left hip. I recieved a cortisone shot in it and it worked like a miracle! After 8 months without any pain, I started working out pretty heavily. My pain returned. My orthopedic doc told me that any squating exercises are bad because it puts extra pressure on the labrum. I have gotten another cortisone shot and now I’m afraid to work out. Does anyone know a good exercise regime?

Reply

asithi August 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Brooke – I had two cortisone shots on my hip a few years ago. Each time the pain return, I have no idea whether it had anything to do with my workouts, but I doubt that is the reason. If you read my healing a torn hip laburm post, then you know there is no nerve endings or blood supply in your hip labrum. Hence, you cannot “heal” the injury. The cortisone shot is just a temporary solution because it calms down the inflammation.

Yes, I also feel that squatting (just like biking) makes my hip ache more. It is hard to find a comparable exercise since squatting works so many muscle groups at the same time on your leg. But I find that my hip response very well to Barre and Pilates type of workouts. The problem though is that you end up doing 2-3 exercises (ie. leg lifts and dead lifts) in order to accomplish the same results as the squat (so you spend more time exercising). Have you tried modifying the exercise by doing a sumo squat instead? I know that my hips can respond better to the sumo squat because it works my weaker inner thigh muscles (though it does not target the same muscles as the squat). You might want to try different foot placement to see if you can modify the squat to accommodate your torn hip labrum.

Reply

Jacinto August 14, 2011 at 4:23 am

Hi again:

For Brooke, who is requesting opinion, and in general.

It’s been a year and a half since my first hip problems, (you can read above), and I am doing pretty well. I read that strenghtening the hip is demonstrated to relieve pressure inside it, especially for people with femoroacetabular impingement like mine (I have a mild case), and also read a fellow in my case who could run, if doing the lateral reclining abduction exercise by Asithi.

So I tried to do the same, and that exercise really works for me. I have been 30 kms/week with no problem, but be careful, every case is different.

I even do the exercise with little amplitude, because I don’t want to mess with my impingement, but with 2 kg. hanging on my foot, and feel that I’m working on my gluteus medius. Now I can rise 400 times in a session, (no need that from the beginning), and I can tell you that exercise REALLY RELIEVES PRESSURE from my hips.

Regards.

Reply

mike August 14, 2011 at 10:02 am

asithi is right. I woke today to find tennis ball in my bedroom..lol…it also has to do with having a positive frame of mind. You can never feel like there is no hope even though there will be days that nothing will work. The mind is very powerful and at time ur mind gets tired too. My wife also asked if we had frozen vegetables in the freezer…lol…asithi how did you know it was ok to get pregnant? And how was ur pain during the pregnancy? Lots of pain or did it remain the same? Pregnancy is very magical and an absolute wonderful experience for family. My wife had asthma and after or first born it is absolutely gone. We are just scared to have another. How would we cope with the pain from the hip? We ask ourselves many questions like that but doctors can’t seem to give us a straight anser as wether or not it is or isn’t a good idea….very frustrating but forums like this keep you going…

Reply

asithi August 15, 2011 at 6:55 am

Mike –
I get asked about the pregnancy question quite a bit. The answer is that I don’t know. And the doctors I asked don’t know either because pregnancy is different for every woman.

That said, the pain on my torn hip labrum peaked at about 20 weeks for my pregnancy (coinciding with the peak of the relaxin hormone in your body), then subsided for a while, and peaked again towards the last 2 months (but I think at that point most women are uncomfortable and experiencing some pain even without a torn hip labrum). I wrote all about my hip pain during my pregnancy in these two posts:

Torn hip labrum during pregnancy (my 1st & 2nd trimester)
Torn hip labrum after pregnancy

The first month 1.5 months after birth was painful. Typically my pain is about 2/10 (maybe 4/10 on a bad day). During pregnancy and afterwards, there was times when the pain was in the 7/10 or 8/10 range (those are the days when I iced, had ice cream, and sometimes Tylenol). Still manageable compared to when I first injured my hip. However, when I reminded myself that I was carrying our much longed for child, well, I would do it all over again. You just need to keep your eyes on the prize.

Now 5 months after the birth, my pain level is back to normal (1/10 or 2/10 some days). I don’t know whether my exercising up until I was 7 months pregnant contributed to my increase in pain. I suspected that it might since the relaxin hormone made my hip joint slightly more unstable than before (that and the 42 pounds I gained…. it’s the ice cream). However, exercising made it possible for me to climb up the side of levees 6 months pregnant looking for a pipeline (I’m an engineer) and gave me a shockingly easy and quick birth for a first time pregnancy (less than 10 hours of labor and 15 minutes of pushing).

And pregnancy is magical. I have no food allergies before. Now I lost pineapples and strawberries. Good luck.

Reply

Essa April 12, 2012 at 3:10 am

asithi can you tell if you hip is healed or not? or if you have chosen surgery

Reply

asithi April 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Essa, my hip pain is about the same after my pregnancy. There is no improvement, but neither has it gotten worst. As a matter of fact, if I avoid lunges and squats I only have to do a some of the hip exercises on this post once or twice a week to manage the hip pain.

So if you are asking whether the torn hip labrum healed itself, no it has not and cannot.

I want to finish growing my family before revisiting the idea of surgery. I spent my late 20s trying to figure what is wrong with my hip. If I don’t spend the next few years growing my family, I am going to run out of time. Besides I don’t want to change diapers in my 40s, if it is possible for me to have a baby that late in life.

Reply

Joe June 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Asithi,
Thank you for the great information. I’m learning a lot more from reading
blogs than talking to my Doctor. I was diagnosed with a labral tear and “moderate” arthritis following an MRI Arthogram last week. I asked my doctor about the extent of the tear, and he said it depends on the amount of pain I am experiencing. Does anybody know if the MRA is able to measure the size of the tear, so that a decision as to surgery or not can be made?

My doctor (orthopaedist) is prescribing a cortisone injection, but I would rather take a chance on this condition resolving itself. But I noticed that someone felt that not repairing the tear (surgically) might cause/aggravate the arthritis.

Reply

asithi June 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Joe,

A labral tear cannot heal itself. However, the inflammation around the tear might heal itself over time. Then, you have the problem of scar tissue that causes pain and inflammation again and again depending on the severity of your tear, what exercises you are doing or not doing, the weather, and whether or not you are wearing your lucky underwear. Icing, foam rolling, and stretching make a huge difference on managing my hip pain in the last 6 years.

I’ve read that in many cases that you cannot see the severity of tear until you are in the surgery room. Does anyone know differently?

To be honest, I am just as busy (or lazy) as anyone and there are times when my body tells me in advance that if I do not spend the 10 or 15 minutes to take care of my hip, I will hurt for a days afterwards (this usually comes after several days of inactivity or too much squating and lunges). And when it is really cold, my hip hurts too.

I’ve gotten two cortisone shots and the relief was almost immediate. But unfortunately, the pain comes back if you do not take the time to reduce your scar tissue with foam rolling.

Reply

Joe June 3, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Asithi,
Thanks for the reply. And thanks for all the informaition you have provided through this site. Also, does anyone know of a surgeon in the Pittsburgh area that has experience with labral tears, FAI, etc?
Joe

Reply

Letitia November 24, 2012 at 3:32 am

Hi asithi. I had a car crash a year ago and have had ongoing hip pain. They have finally diagnosed a label tear and some insertional tears however the insurance commission is saying I could not have suffered this injury in a car crash. I was hit from behind while stationary.did you have any problems linking this tear to your crash?

Reply

Asithi November 24, 2012 at 9:09 am

Letitia – When I mentioned hip pain during physical therapy at the time, they told me that it couldn’t have been from the car accident. I did not even get a diagnosis on the hip pain until years later because it did not show up on the MRI or x-ray the first time. Since I was able to walk and cross my legs when I sit, everyone thought my injury was minimal. And yet, I still suffer from hip pain 7 years later.

It seems like a lot of people get this injury either from running or a car accident. I don’t know how successful others were with linking it to their accident. I certainly was not success. The amount of money you get from insurance for this life changing injury is nothing. I would be willing to give them double or even triple the money back if they can magically take away the injury. I am just waiting until the medical procedure get better and my children are pass the needy toddler stage before I go back to the doctors yet again to find a solution to fix my torn hip labrum permanently. Good luck and I hope things turn out well for you.

Reply

Letitia michael November 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Thanks asthi. I hope they will continue to pay for treatment but looks like they are trying not to. I have a good physio who agrees its from the car crash and am seeing a surgeon soon. The pain has improved with physio and my hip feels stronger but the ache is still there. I can’t cross my legs and limp by the end of the day. I see lots if posts about this after car crashes so it amazes me they can get away with saying it couldn’t occur. Hope everyone out thre gets some relief from this pain. Mines only been year hopefully it improves.

Reply

{ 8 trackbacks }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: