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Appalachian Physical Therapy helps patients with many different conditions. Please see the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

About Hip Pain and Thigh Pain
Hip pain is typically felt in 3 places, the groin, outer hip or deep buttock. Depending on where the pain is focused corresponds to the dysfunction around that area. The hip joint is incredible as it moves through a large range of motion, while bearing the weight of the body and providing stability.

Most hip pain stems from limited motion of the hip causing abnormal pressures to different muscles, tendons or ligaments around the area. With acute pain, it can be felt deep in the groin or outer hip. However, with more severe irritation, radiating pain can even be felt into the thigh or knee.

Having flexible hip joints with strong muscular support is key to a healthy back. When the hips don’t move like they should, the normal forces of walking, bending and squatting are transferred to the spine instead of the hips.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy can quickly relieve hip and thigh pain. Our physical therapists perform a thorough evaluation to determine exactly where your pain is coming from. By assessing your hip range of motion, strength and joint mobility, we determine where your limitations are and formulate a treatment plan that will take care of the root cause.

By improving your joint mobility, strength and range of motion, we help you restore normal pain free walking and activities. Give us a call today to discover how we can help you quickly relieve hip pain and thigh pain.

About Osteoarthritis of the hip
Osteoarthritis of the hip can be painful as the hip is needed to move with sit to stand, walking, squatting and bending. The hips take a lot of wear and tear over the years leading to a degeneration of the cartilage that lines the joint. As the cartilage wears over time, the joint becomes stiffer and the muscles of the buttocks generally weaken over time. This compounds the effects on the hip causing grinding and wearing. In advanced stages, bony spurs can form around the joint and even change the shape of the joint.

Most minor to moderate cases of hip osteoarthritis can highly benefit from physical therapy. In advanced stages a total or partial hip replacement may be needed to repair the damaged joint. Physical therapy in the hospital and outpatient facilities is highly important in the recovery from a hip replacement surgery.

How physical therapy helps
The pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip comes from inflammation in and around the joint from wear and tear. Tight muscles, tendons, ligaments and tissues occur with osteoarthritis further limiting joint movement. In addition, weakness of the buttock muscles and hip rotators generally occurs because of the loss of movement.

Physical therapy can improve joint mobility, range of motion and muscle strength. Our hands-on therapy and specialized exercises normally achieve a marked improvement in your hip range of motion. First we thoroughly evaluate the mechanics of your hip joint, walking and hip muscle coordination. By pinpointing the specific areas that need attention, we formulate a plan to quickly relieve your pain, improve your motion and walking. Call us today to find out more how we can help your osteoarthritis hip pain and walking.

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?
The ending of the word “itis” is defined as inflammation. Therefore, bursitis is inflammation of a bursa and tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that sits between muscles or tissues to cushion and reduce friction. In the hip there is a rather large bursa on the outside between the bony area (tronchanter) and the thick band of tissue stretching from your hip to your knee (iliotibial band). This is called the tronchanteric bursa.

This bursa can often become inflamed due to abnormal joint movements, poor posture and weakness of the surrounding musculature. This causes strain to the tissues and excessive friction on the bursa. People tend to feel pain with prolonged walking or standing. It is often, very tender to touch on the outer hip and thigh.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is the first line in conservative treatment for trochanteric bursitis. Since most bursitis is due to underlying abnormal movement and weakness, our trained physical therapists evaluate your movement to pinpoint the source of the trouble. Modalities may be used to alleviate pain and discomfort, while hands-on therapy improves joint mechanics and range of motion.

Finally, gentle strengthening exercises and joint coordination exercises help to restore stability to the affected area and prevent re-occurrence of the symptoms. To find out more on how we can help your hip bursitis call today!

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is one of the most common causes of knee pain, particularly in individuals involved in endurance sports. It accounts for up to 12% of running injuries and up to 24% of cycling injuries. ITBS is typically managed conservatively through physical therapy and temporary activity modification.

What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)?

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) occurs when excessive irritation causes pain at the outside (or lateral) part of the knee. The iliotibial band (ITB), often referred to as the “IT band” is a type of soft tissue that runs along the side of the thigh from the pelvis to the knee. As it approaches the knee, its shape thickens as it crosses a prominent area of the thigh (femur) bone, called the lateral femoral condyle. Near the pelvis, it attaches to 2 important hip muscles, the tensor fascia latae (TFL) and the gluteus maximus.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

Your physical therapist will use treatment strategies to focus on:

Range of motion

Often, abnormal motion of the hip and knee and foot joint can cause ITBS because of how the band attaches to hip muscles. Your therapist will assess the motion of your injury leg compared with expected normal motion and the motion of the hip on your uninvolved leg.

Muscle strength

Hip and core weakness can contribute to ITBS. The “core” refers to the muscles of the abdomen, low back, and pelvis. Core strength is important, as a strong midsection will allow greater stability through the body as the arms and legs go through various motions. For athletes performing endurance sports, it is important to have a strong core to stabilize the hip and knee joints during repetitive leg motions. Your physical therapist will be able to determine which muscles are weak and provide specific exercises to target these areas.

Manual therapy

Many physical therapists are trained in manual therapy, which means they use their hands to move and manipulate muscles and joints to improve motion and strength. These techniques can target areas that are difficult to treat on your own.

Functional training

Even when an individual has normal motion and strength, it is important to teach the body how to perform controlled and coordinated movements so there is no longer excessive stress at the previously injured structures. Your physical therapist will develop a functional training program specific to your desired activity. This means creating exercises that will replicate your activities and challenge your body to learn the correct way to move.

Your physical therapist will also work with you to develop an individualized treatment program specific to your personal goals. He or she will offer tips to help you prevent your injury from reoccurring.

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What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe radiating pain into the buttock that may travel down the back of the thigh. Often this pain is achy and spread out along the buttock and back of the thigh.

Sciatica typically comes from irritation to the sciatic nerve, which travels deep in the buttock and down the back of the leg. In about 20% of people, the sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle deep in the buttock, instead of underneath it. This muscle helps guide hip movement, but can become very tight with prolonged sitting. This tightens causes pressure and irritation to the sciatic nerve causing pain.

Radiating pain to the leg doesn’t necessarily mean you have sciatica, but it does tell you that something is wrong. Irritated muscles and tissue often can radiate pain. Spread-out, achy pain is often indicative of this type of problem. Sharp, stabbing pain with numbness or tingling is more nerve irritation or compression occurring in the back or leg. This typically occurs more to specific parts of the leg.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the best treatments for sciatica and radiating pain into the leg. It first takes a thorough evaluation to determine where your problem is stemming from. Our physical therapists take time to examine the movement of your spine, hips and legs. Range of motion, strength, joint mobility and muscle condition are assessed by our medically trained physical therapists.

After we determine the root cause of your problem, we generate a comprehensive treatment plan to quickly relieve your pain, radiating symptoms, improve range of motion, improve strength and help you to prevent future episodes.

With gentle, specialized hands-on techniques we improve your spinal and hip mobility, reducing pressure on your sciatic nerve. In addition, modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation and ultrasound may be used to reduce inflammation and resolve you pain quickly. We also perform gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to restore your normal motion and strength, resulting in lasting effects that will stop your pain from returning. Call us today to find out how we can help relieve your sciatica and leg pain, returning you to the activities you love.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?
The piriformis muscle is deep in the buttocks and helps with rotating the hip. The sciatic nerve typically dives underneath the piriformis muscle as it makes it way down to the leg. With excessive sitting, loss of movement in the hips or trauma, the piriformis muscle can press down onto the sciatic nerve. Typically, mild symptoms cause aching deep into the buttock and often radiating pain to the outer thigh. With more severe cases, tingling, numbness or severe pain can radiate down the thigh.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very effective in treating piriformis syndrome. By analyzing your hip range of motion, muscle function, walking and posture we can determine the right approach to treating the affected area. With specialized hands-on therapy and specific exercises we help regain lost range of motion, reduce pain quickly and improve symptoms into the leg.

We teach you easy to do exercises and modified activities you can do at home to prevent the reoccurrence of the symptoms. Call us today to learn more how we can help you relieve the pain and symptoms from piriformis syndrome.

Information coming soon!