How to Treat a Hip Labral Tear

How to Treat a Hip Labral Tear

Hip pain characterized by soreness when crouching and walking or moving, tight hamstrings, joint stiffness, and limited range of motion are signs of a hip labral tear. Delaying treatment will cause the condition to get worse. When you feel your hip is clicking from time to time, you might suffer from a hip labral tear. Symptoms indicate that surgery is likely necessary to reduce the accumulated tension in the tissue around the iliopsoas tendons where they attach to the pelvis (Gunnemark et al., 2014). Here's some information on treating this condition and what symptoms warrant immediate surgery.

Treatment for Minor Tears

Your labrum is what protects the hip joint. It's a ring around your hip socket, like the gasket on the kitchen sink. Treating a minor tear can start conservatively with rest, pain meds, or cold packs. While non-surgical treatment may not fully heal the labrum, it's the place to start in helping get an injured athlete back in action quickly!

Rest from Activity

You should put down those crutches and come inside when you have a hip labral tear. Step away from that workbench or the computer because your hip could be in grave danger if you don't. Do not listen to the voices of reason when they tell you that it's going to take a while before you heal up because we're looking at some serious problems here - and what's more, if you don't choose rest over work, then that'll only make your recovery time longer.

Hot & Cold Application

A hip labral tear is bad enough! Applying heat and cold therapy can help soothe that pain and make everyday activities more bearable. Cold therapy using a cold therapy pack or another source numbs pain and reduces swelling. The cold interrupts the pain signal to minimize pain. It also constricts the area's blood vessels, which discourages fluid build-up that leads to swelling.

Heat and Cold are alike in that they serve complementary roles to one another in healing injuries. Heat therapy with the Everywhere Versatile herbal heating pad brings circulation to an injury site, which can be helpful because it brings more oxygen and nutrients where they're needed most following injury. However, heat may result in further swelling, so if you don't want to risk developing even more problems at the injured site, steer clear of heat until the first 24 hours post-injury have passed. Similarly, although heat and cold aren't as adequate immediately after an injury, Cold provides an excellent complement to heat when blood is no longer rushing to the injured site as quickly – this enables increased healing capabilities by minimizing swelling.


When you have regained your hip's range of motion and lessened the amount of pain in the region, it might be advisable to start exercising again. Before you get back into your usual routine, make sure you speak with your physical therapist or doctor first to get their approval because there are different types of exercise for different cases. Exercise is designed to focus primarily on balancing your muscle strength and supporting your hip joint while promoting blood flow to the area. It's usually a good idea to not push yourself too hard physically when exercising before you have had time to rest enough, but if you begin feeling pain during that time, stop engaging in said activity immediately!

Physical Therapy

There are three leading causes of hip labral tears: FAI, trauma, and osteoarthritis. A therapist can help guide you in the right direction of treatment because they will develop a method focused on strengthening specific muscle groups, increasing hip stability and learning which movements to avoid. Recovery from any cause takes time, so if surgery is required for a hip labral tear, it's best to employ the services of a physical therapist during rehab as well to ensure strength is regained as quickly and safely as possible after surgery.

Compression & Support

Another option for non-invasive treatments to consider when relieving hip pain from this injury is to utilize compression and support with an elastic sports wrap or brace. It will help you keep things supported where they need to be and get some relief from any discomfort that might be bugging you. You will also want to go for one that is fully adjustable to account for any swelling that may occur after your injury.


A torn labrum is an injury that ranges from minimal to severe pain. If you have some pain, taking medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can help alleviate the pain. These are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and do not require a prescription in most cases. Always talk with your doctor or pharmacist to avoid unintended side effects since not all medications may be safe for specific individuals or situations.

More Severe Labrum Tears

Unfortunately, many people have severe labrum tears that require medical intervention to treat and rehabilitate. The silver lining is that very successful procedure are available to treat the tear, so you can get back to doing all the activities you love!

Injections for Pain

Doctors may suggest a local anesthetic called an intra-articular injection that goes into the hip joint to block out any pain you may be feeling. Sometimes, if the problem is severe, they suggest adding a steroid injection, reducing the joint's swelling without eliminating your pain. Yet both injections won't cure your labrum tear completely but given enough time, you'll start noticing their positive effects, and symptoms will improve over time.

Arthroscopic Surgery

The only way to truly repair a hip labral tear is through surgery. Several types of surgical procedures can be performed: Yours will depend upon the severity of your tear. Thankfully, most surgeries are done arthroscopically, which involves small incisions that allow the orthopedic surgeon to view your hip while performing the surgery. Recovery will depend upon how much damage there is to your labrum, how healthy you are otherwise, and your age. Bearing weight is usually restricted during the first 4 to 6 weeks after surgery, with lessened restrictions. Follow your doctor's orders regarding recovery.

The Right Recovery Plan

A hip labral tear is a condition more people are likely to face than you might imagine. It is where the soft tissue around your bony hip joint becomes damaged, leading to loss of mobility and soreness in general. In some cases, it may get worse to needing surgery or repair. Still, in most cases, if caught early enough, it is possible to heal the injury with physical therapy such as exercises or massaging techniques provided by your trusted physician. It allows you not only relief from discomfort and severe hip pain but also strengthens your hip muscles to help prevent it from happening again!

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