STAY IN THE GAME: Addressing Hip Pain with Physical Therapy

Posted on Posted in All Posts, Fitness, Let's Get Technical, Stay in the Game


Hello to the Thrive Community,

I’d like to bring some attention to one of my favorite parts of the body: the hip. The hips are a ball and socket joint that consist of the pelvis and femur, which is your thigh bone. As New Yorkers, your hips carry the responsibility of weight bearing during many of our daily activities, such as walking, running, or climbing stairs when taking the subway. Much like the other 250+ joints in our body, the hips are well supported by a number of ligaments and muscles to provide stability and mobility, respectively as we move.

treating hip pain and dysfunction in NYC with physical therapyEven with ligamentous and muscular support in place, the hip is a common area that is susceptible to pain and irritation. While there is no singular explanation for hip pain aside from direct trauma, we can point to a myriad of different causes associated with pain, such as faulty movement patterns, imbalances within the body due to underlying muscle weaknesses, or abnormal joint motion within the hip or neighboring areas of the body, such as the low back.

Hip pain or dysfunction can develop gradually over time, at times without awareness of our own deficiencies, until it starts to affect or alter the way we move. Case in point, over the course of the past year, I opted to use my time at home to partake in online high intensity interval training, which included different variations of squats. Within the exercise routine, I’d notice some discomfort along the front of my hip and an unsteadiness between my right and left leg, especially when performing high dynamic movements like a split squat. Following self analysis and a breakdown of my movements, it was apparent that I was experiencing possible hip impingement due to a lack of hip rotation range of motion and inefficient hip stability. I pivoted from my HIIT exercises to focus on restoring mobility in my hips while also retraining weakened hip muscles responsible for stability. A few weeks later, with improved joint motion and stronger supporting musculature, I felt more balanced and painfree when restarting my HIIT exercises.

As a physical therapist at Thrive, I see individuals with varying degrees of hip issues, such as hip bursitis, hip impingement, tendinitis, or arthritis. When it comes to treating some of these common diagnoses, much like I did on myself, it is essential to see how people move through movement analysis. With this initial step, I look for uncontrolled motions that are occurring, and the possible “driver” of your symptoms. The “driver” is the root cause of your hip issue that could stem from inflamed nerves, joint or soft tissue restrictions, or possibly poor muscle recruitment that is essential for optimal movement. Once we find the underlying cause, it will direct the treatment approach designed specifically for you. We can implement a combination of manual techniques, in the form of joint mobilizations or soft tissue release, and follow-up with specific exercises to strengthen underutilized musculature to retrain the body in order to re-establish a sound and efficient movement pattern.

For more information on scheduling and insurance, you can email or submit your insurance information through our online portal HERE.


Donny Chan Physical Therapist New York CityDonny Chan, PT, DPT, MSCS, CKTP, LSVT BIG Certified Clinician, utilizes a biomechanical assessment along with functional movement analysis to uncover faulty movement patterns in order to determine the root-cause of a client’s symptoms. His treatment approach incorporates manual therapy techniques and neuromuscular re-education to retrain areas of injury to restore optimal health and function to each client…(read more)