Ignoring the pain
Your hip muscles are subjected to a lot of load during a normal day – walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of the car. So much more if you run or cycle. We often see that patients carry on through their hip muscle pain: “No pain, no gain”? Pain is the brain’s way of telling you that something is wrong, so if you have pain that isn’t just normal “stiffness” after training you should call us for an assessment. Especially if you only have pain on one side!
Stretching and foam rolling
Muscles are not tight for no reason. With a hip muscle injury you will notice that stretching just makes your pain worse and the stiffness doesn’t get better when you stretch. This tightness is part of your body’s protective mechanism – trying to keep your muscle from working so that it can heal. If you keep on stretching the injured hip muscle this healing process has to start all over again.
Stopping treatment too soon
The normal healing process of a muscle takes 4-6 weeks, but the pain generally improves within a week or two. Just because the pain goes away doesn’t mean the problem is gone! Some patients stop their treatment and go back to training etc when their pain improves, so their hip muscles start acting up again soon after. It’s important to complete the rehabilitation process and that we clear your movements before we stop your treatment. At your last session your physiotherapist will use tests to make sure that your hip muscle injury has healed completely and the muscle strength and length are restored.
Poorly designed rehabilitation protocols
Exercises that emphasize single plane (one direction) movement or low load only can be done diligently, but not yield the results that you were looking for. You rely on your hip to move in three dimensions, front to back, side to side, in a circle or a combination of all these movements. Like kicking a ball on the run, the muscles work in all the different directions. Giving up is not the answer. Consider a full rounded treatment option to beat your hip muscle pain.
Medication or injections
Medication or injections will definitely give you symptomatic relief, where the triggering movement is done with ease or no pain at all. It is like mopping up water and not fixing the burst pipe. Ideally you should address the root cause during this time of pain free movement. Or you risk your pain returning once the medication has worn off, with some nasty side effects maybe (constipation, peptic ulcers, etc.).