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Can Physical Therapy Help You Avoid Hip Surgery?

Can Physical Therapy Help You Avoid Hip Surgery?

by Paige Gibbens, PT, DPTLeave a Comment

Hip pain and treatment recommendations continue to be a highly researched topic. While hip surgery can be a successful option to manage hip pain, can physical therapy help you avoid hip surgery in the long run? The answer is yes! Physical therapy can help provide relief in the hip, and in turn, avoid or prolong potential surgery. Physical therapy aims to reduce pain, improve strength, improve mobility, and improve function to perform all prior activities of daily living. Here are four ways physical therapy can help to avoid surgery.

Improved Mobility And Range Of Motion

Mobility is a very broad term that can be defined in various ways. Today, we will use it to define flexibility and range of motion. Flexibility is the ability something has to change length. In the case of the human body, this would be a muscle, tendon, ligament, etc. Making sure a muscle is at a normal resting length and can move is critical to ensure optimal movement patterns. This can be addressed with soft tissue mobilization, dry needling, instrument-assisted soft tissue technique, etc.

Range of motion refers specifically to the joint in question. For our sake, the hip joint, SI joint, mid and lower back, and the ankle joints should be assessed. A joint being able to move through the range of motion is essential for performing day to day tasks, recreational activities, exercise, and more.

Assessing Strength, Balance, And Movement Patterns

Strength is important, as it gives the joint or the body part the ability to sustain the demand that is placed on it during activities. Strength is built utilizing 3–6 sets of 6–12 repetitions. Strength should be performed in all planes the joint is utilized in to ensure success with loads it may encounter daily. Endurance is also critical, specifically for smaller stabilizing muscles, as they are required to work all day long. Endurance is achieved by doing 3–4 sets of 20–30 repetitions.

Balance not only helps to prevent falls but also helps to improve the stability of a joint in the place that it is in. This helps the joint to function at an optimal state. Ensuring you are moving with proper movement patterns prevents further injury or need for surgery, as well as improves function.

Hip Surgery Prevention

To help with differential diagnosis of hip and to improve outcomes for functional independence, Athletico offers a Hip Preservation Program. All hip surgeries cannot be prevented, but Athletico’s Hip Preservation Program can help individuals improve mobility and function to reduce the risk of these injuries and continue recreational/professional activities.

Do you have hip pain? Contact Athletico for a free assessment. The Athletico team assesses your condition and recommends the best treatment plan for your needs. If you are interested in learning more about Athletico’s Hip Preservation Program, including hip arthroscopy risk assessment, please email

Schedule a Free Assessment

*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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About the Author:
Paige Gibbens is a physical therapist specializing in lower extremity treatments and is certified in dry needling and Graston. She is also the Missouri & Southern Illinois regional coordinator for Athletico's Endurance Program.

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