Guide to Accelerating Hip & Groin Recovery

Recover as quickly as possible from your hip or groin injury 

Introduction

A hip or groin injury can impede your ability to walk, run, climb stairs, and possibly even drive a car. Fortunately, there are steps you can take in order to help reduce pain and swelling while recovering as quickly as possible.

If you are experiencing hip or groin pain, have a hip flexor injury, or have undergone hip surgery, this guide will show you how to help reduce pain, control swelling, and speed up the recovery process. After reading this guide, you should have a better understanding of what causes hip and groin pain, the various treatment methods you can employ, and the best way to quickly recover from hip and groin injuries.

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Chapter 1

What Causes Hip & Groin Pain?

Hip injuries can result from athletic activity, overuse, or trauma. In some cases, surgery might be required in order to repair damage to tissues surrounding the hip joint. Hip replacement surgery may also be recommended for certain hip injuries and disorders.

It is always important to seek the advice of a medical professional if you think you have a hip or groin injury that requires treatment. Following are some of the most common types of hip and groin injuries:

STRAINS

Although they can happen to anybody, groin strain injuries are most common among athletes, particularly those who participate in swimming, skating, and soccer. The injury occurs when one of the five adductor muscles, located in the inner thigh, is ruptured or torn.

Symptoms of a groin strain injury include:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the groin area
  • Swelling in the groin area
  • Limited range of motion

Treatment of groin strain injuries typically includes, rest, ice, compression, and physical therapy. 

OSTEOARTHRITIS

Arthritis in the hip is the most common cause of hip pain. In fact, one in every four people may develop hip arthritis in their lifetime, and more than half a million of the hip replacements that occur each year are due to pain from hip arthritis.

Arthritis simply means “joint inflammation,” and it results in discomfort, pain, and swelling in the affected areas. As arthritis progresses, cartilage in the joints begins to break down. Because the body cannot regrow damaged cartilage, the pain typically worsens as the disease progresses.

The symptoms associated with hip arthritis include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain in the groin, thigh, buttocks, or knee
  • Stiffness in the hip when getting out of bed or after sitting for a long time
  • Sharp, stabbing, or dull pain
  • A crunching sound in the hip

Treatment for hip arthritis varies depending on the severity of the condition, but can include joint care, using a cane, weight loss, medication, surgery, alternative therapies using different modalities, and physical therapy.

BURSITIS

In addition to arthritis, bursitis is one of the most common causes of hip pain. The hip joint has two major bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that help reduce friction between moving parts in the body. When a bursa becomes inflamed, it results in hip pain, either in the outer hip (trochanteric bursitis) or the upper buttock area (ischial bursitis).

Bursitis can be caused by a traumatic injury, overuse of the hip joint, poor posture due to spinal problems, leg length differences, bone spurs, previous hip surgery, or other various diseases and conditions.

Trochanteric bursitis is the most common type of hip bursitis and includes symptoms such as:

  • Tenderness in the outer hip
  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Pain when walking up stairs
  • Pain when moving the leg away from the body

Bursitis is typically treated with a combination of pain medication, cortisone injections, and physical therapy.

DISLOCATIONS

Hip dislocation can occur after hip replacement surgery, but is more commonly a congenital condition also known as hip dysplasia. Congenital hip dysplasia results in the femoral head (the “ball” of the ball-and-socket joint) not fitting properly in the socket, causing the surrounding ligaments in the hip to become stretched. Hip dysplasia can often be diagnosed at birth, but it might also be recognized later in life.

Some of the symptoms of hip dysplasia in teens and adults are:

  • Pain deep in the front of the groin
  • Pain in the side or back of the hip
  • Limping
  • Clicking or popping in the hip joint

Hip dysplasia is often surgically treated, either with hip replacement or an osteotomy, which is a procedure that changes the shape of the hip joint.

FRACTURES

Hip fractures are most common among the older population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, at least a quarter million people aged 65 or older experience a hip fracture.

At a rate of 95 percent, the most common cause of hip fractures in this population is falling down.

The symptoms of a hip fracture include:

  • Inability to move the hip joint after a fall
  • Extreme pain in the hip and groin area
  • Inability to bear weight on the injured leg
  • Swelling and discoloration
  • The leg turning outward after the injury

Treatment for a hip fracture almost always includes surgery followed by physical therapy. Depending on the scope of the injury, surgery could include full replacement, partial replacement, or the placement of metal screws in order to realign and stabilize the joint.

 

Chapter 2

Treatment Methods for Hip & Groin Pain

There are multiple treatment methods available for hip and groin pain or recovery from hip surgery. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations with respect to medication and returning to activity.

MEDICATION

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used in order to help alleviate hip pain and reduce swelling. These are available in both prescription and over-the-counter options depending on how much relief is required. Many patients prefer to avoid extended use of NSAIDs because of the potential side effects associated with them.

Analgesic medication provides only pain relief and does not have an impact on inflammation in the hip joint. These medications are typically recommended for patients who cannot take NSAIDs or who want to lower the risk of side effects.

Corticosteroids can be injected into the hip in order to help reduce the inflammation typically associated with bursitis. Although cortisone injections can provide long-lasting pain relief, they do not cure any conditions associated with hip pain and are not a permanent solution.

There are several other types of condition-specific medications that might be used in order to address hip pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory diseases.

NATURAL REMEDIES

Some patients choose to rely on natural remedies for relieving hip pain. Reasons for using natural remedies might include the desire to avoid medication or simply a preference for this type of treatment approach.

WEIGHT LOSS can help relieve pressure on the hip joints and surrounding muscles and help ensure that the hip structure bears only the amount of weight for which it was intended. A balanced combination of diet and exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and possibly relieve hip pain, especially for patients with arthritis.

NUTRITION can also play a role in the management of hip pain, particularly for patients with inflammatory conditions. Avoiding certain ingredients, such as aspartame, pepper, paprika, and eggplant can help reduce discomfort because they can contribute to inflammation.

VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS are often used in order to help reduce hip pain and promote healthy cartilage. The two most common supplements for healthy joints are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. It’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before taking any type of supplement in order to see if there are any potential contraindications or to determine if they recommend any particular brands. Other supplements that might be recommended for hip and groin pain include MSM (methyl-sulfonylmethane), shark cartilage, and gelatin.

ACUPRESSURE, ACUPUNCTURE, AND MASSAGE are methods that have been relied upon for centuries to help alleviate pain and increase blood flow. It is important to seek out a qualified, experienced practitioner in order to ensure that the procedure is done safely and effectively.

SMOKING CESSATION is known to improve overall health, but it can also improve joint and bone health. Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis and has a detrimental effect on fracture and wound healing. For patients recovering from surgery, quitting smoking is a good step toward accelerating the healing process. Smokers are also 1.5 times more likely to suffer from conditions such as bursitis and tendonitis, so even active smokers increase their risk of injury.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Physical therapy is often recommended after hip surgery or after incurring a hip or groin injury. It can also help alleviate pain caused by arthritis, bursitis, and other inflammatory conditions. Physical therapy might also be prescribed for patients who want to delay hip replacement surgery.

By performing various exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles in the hips, physical therapy can help improve range of motion, reduce pain, improve balance and gait, and improve blood flow in order to promote the healing process. After surgery, physical therapy can also help patients return to normal activity as quickly as possible.

COLD AND COMPRESSION THERAPY

RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is a tried-and-true method for reducing pain and swelling after an injury or surgery. Although there is not much room for improvement in the rest and elevation categories, scientists have found ways to optimize cold therapy and compression. Cold therapy helps control inflammation by slowing down cellular metabolism and helps reduce the sensation of pain by temporarily numbing nerve endings and slowing nerve impulses. Compression helps reduce swelling by removing edema, or excess fluid, from the injured area.

Cold therapy has been improved by creating a system that continuously circulates cold water so that the temperature remains consistent throughout the treatment session. This has been shown to allow cold to penetrate deeper into the damaged tissues, allowing the therapeutic effects to last longer. Compression has been improved by making it active instead of static. The healing process is aided by the compression actively pumping cellular debris away from the injury and bringing freshly oxygenated blood and nutrients to the damaged tissues.

Chapter 3

Accelerating Recovery from Hip or Groin Surgery

Healing will always take time, but there are ways to help accelerate the process so that you can safely return to normal activity as quickly as possible.

CONSERVE ENERGY

Getting ample rest is important for a number of reasons. Immediately after an injury, resting helps ensure that you don’t exacerbate the tissue damage and cause additional inflammation. During the recovery process, resting gives the body the energy it needs to heal damaged tissues. However, it is important to note that getting ample rest is not the same as being sedentary. In most cases, some activity is actually recommended in order to help maintain muscle mass and range of motion.

MAINTAIN GOOD NUTRITION

Along with sufficient energy, the body also needs nutrients in order to heal as quickly as possible. Eating a balanced diet with foods rich with vitamins and minerals may help contribute to your recovery. Some of the dietary components that are believed to have a positive effect on injury recovery are vitamin C, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. 

WORK WITH A PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Do physical therapy as recommended. This means performing all of the exercises for the recommended period of time and typically continuing for four to six weeks. It’s easy to stop doing physical therapy when the pain subsides, but completing the course as recommended may help reduce the risk of reinjury. It is also important not to exceed the physical therapist’s recommendations. After the pain decreases, it might be tempting to do more exercises or return to athletic activity, but doing too much too soon often results in setbacks that may actually prolong the recovery process.

IF YOU SMOKE, QUIT

Numerous studies have shown that smoking has a negative impact on healing. Factors that contribute to slower healing include lower blood flow to damaged tissues, less available oxygen to cells, and decreased new tissue formation. If you are a smoker, quitting may help speed up the recovery process after a hip or groin injury or surgery, in addition to a long list of other health benefits.

USE A COLD AND COMPRESSION MACHINE

Take advantage of the scientific advancements available to you. Rather than relying on ice packs and static compression bandages for cold and compression therapy, use a cold therapy machine in order to get the most benefits from continuous cold and active compression.

Chapter 4

Use Game Ready to Relieve Your Hip or Groin Pain

Game Ready is a cold therapy machine that provides simultaneous cold therapy and active compression.

The patented system employs specialized wraps with two chambers: one for continuously circulating cold water and one for active pneumatic compression. The water circulates through an ice reservoir in order to maintain a consistent therapeutic temperature, delivering better results than an ice pack that will warm up during the treatment session.

Some of the benefits of Game Ready may include:

  • Reduces pain
  • Reduces patient narcotic consumption
  • Controls swelling
  • Promotes lymphatic function
  • Reduces metabolic activity and secondary tissue damage
  • Increases blood flow
  • Encourages cellular oxygen supply
  • Stimulates tissue repair
  • Provides deeper, longer-lasting cooling than ice packs
  • Improves key, measurable physical therapy milestones

Game Ready is easy to use for hip and groin pain. The flexible, adjustable wrap can fit to any body size and conforms to the contours of the body for optimal coverage. Unlike an ice pack, Game Ready enables hands-free treatment and provides significantly more coverage as it wraps around both the outer hip and inner groin. Unlike a static compression bandage, Game Ready actively pumps excess fluids away from the injury and brings oxygenated blood and nutrients toward the damaged tissues.

Thousands of athletic programs and physical therapy centers use Game Ready for injury recovery because they know it works better than ice packs and compression bandages. Many orthopedic surgeons also recommend Game Ready immediately after surgery in order to help reduce pain and swelling.

Game Ready is not just available to athletes and doctors; it is also accessible to individuals who are recovering from an injury or surgery. After obtaining a prescription from a physician, contact Game Ready in order to rent a system for home use or locate a provider in order to get treatment in a physical therapy environment.

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