The labrum is a ring of cartilage that provides stability to the hip’s ball and socket joint for everyday function. Unfortunately, with overuse, trauma, or muscle imbalances, this type of injury is most common in athletes but can happen to anyone. If you’re dealing with a hip labral tear, exercises designed to promote circulation and healing are vital for recovery, whether surgery is necessary or not. Keep reading to learn about the best exercises for a hip labral tear.
Most often, the primary indicator of a hip acetabular labrum tear is pain ranging from dull and achy to sharp in nature. It also includes groin pain, buttocks pain, and occasionally back pain. Start with these foam rolling exercises to address pain in larger muscle groups.
The glutes are often stiff with a hip injury like a labral tear. The pressure of the foam roller will require some adjustment at first, but you can always reduce the pressure on your sore muscles by getting more support from your free limbs. Keep in mind that you should be able to stay relaxed. Make sure you are only putting pressure on the muscles themselves and avoid direct pressure on bones and joints.
Another common problem area is the groin and the hip adductor muscles that run along the inside of the thigh. Be gentle with this area to prevent aggravation and adjust your pressure or positioning as needed.
Finally, the quad and hip flexor muscles are also commonly tight with hip pain. Make sure you stay off the knees and pelvis as you roll up and down.
Additionally, you can roll out the back of the legs (hamstrings) or even the side of the hips (iliotibial band).
Outside of a foam roller, you can use other massage tools to maximize your pain relief too. This can range from a massage roller ball or vibrating tool to even just your hands.
Appropriate movement is crucial for keeping the hip joint as healthy as possible. The right moves will promote muscular balance, hip range of motion, and boost circulation to injured areas. While stretching can be a great tool for general hip pain, it should only be implemented for a labral tear if your hip flexibility or range of motion is limited. Otherwise, stretches have found to provide little relief for this particular injury. Instead, combination moves that provide hip range of motion and strength together are ideal.
This move stretches the inner thigh and groin area while also building lower leg and core strength. It’s a great combination move to get you back on track with your hip recovery.
Working the inner thigh muscles, the hip adductors, while actively moving the hip is a great way to boost the recovery process. Since this exercise works the groin directly, start gently and slowly to ensure that your hip can tolerate the exercise well before proceeding.
If this movement is too hard or straining on your groin, sit in a chair or lie on your back and squeeze a ball between your knees instead. While you’re lying on your side, you can also work the top hip with hip abduction leg lifts too (lifting the top straight leg straight up toward the ground).
This exercise requires a foam roller or sturdy step to get started. While a bridge is traditionally done with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor, doing it with straight legs instead will help you strengthen the glutes and hamstrings while also providing a great hip extension stretch.
Strengthening the hips and core is the most essential part of a home exercise program for a hip labral tear. It’s what will restore function and balance to the hips to allow you to get back to your daily activities and sports as soon as possible. Always focus on keeping good form and keeping the core activated with each of the exercises below.
This awesome and functional hip stabilizing exercise hits almost every major muscle group around the hip. Tune in and notice if one direction out of the three is more difficult or tiring than the others- then make sure to be extra diligent with your form with that one.
If you are making progress with this exercise and want to make it harder, doing the moves without balance assistance or even standing on a foam pad is possible. Additionally, you can add more functional movement with your band such as side-ways walking or exaggerated forward walking (known as monster walks).
Keeping the core strong is an essential part of hip recovery, especially since most hip muscles play multiple roles in stabilizing the hip in addition to the pelvis and low back. This exercise addresses core and hip strength at once while minimizing hip aggravation.
Since a squat is a move we all do everyday to get up and down from chairs and other low surfaces, being able to squat with adequate hip strength and coordination is important. This move also incorporates the hip abductors and rotators too for a great combo move. Don’t force any range of motion that causes hip pinching or pain.
Balancing on one leg is a great way to strengthen the hips. It is also a very functional move since single leg balance is required for basic everyday moves like walking and running.
When recovering from a hip labrum tear, there are a few certain moves that may exacerbate your symptoms or even cause a bigger tear. Try to avoid these movements as much as possible while you are in the healing process to prevent any unnecessary setbacks. As you recover, talk to your doctor about clearance for higher level activities.
Now that you have a good idea of where to start with your exercise program, here are some tips for optimizing it to minimize downtime and feel your best.
Pair your exercise program with other activities that promote healing and pain relief- such as massage, heat, and electrical stimulation
Having an understanding of what to expect and what exercises will help you stay on track as you heal will give you the best results. Plus, properly treating your labrum tear from the start will reduce your risk of future problems like articular joint damage and hip arthritis. Always talk to your sports medicine doctor or physical therapist about any concerns you have about your hip. If your symptoms aren't getting better, suddenly get worse, or are limiting your daily activities, get in touch with your trusted medical professional immediately for further medical advice.
Sources:Shop Hip Products
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