Hip (Acetabular) Labral Tear
The hip joint is the largest ball and socket joint in the body. This joint is surrounded by and lined with soft tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and labrum) that helps to stabilize the femoral head (ball) within the acetabular fossa (socket).
The acetabular labrum is a cup-like rim of fibrocartilage that surrounds the ball (femoral head) of the joint and deepens the socket (acetabular fossa) for the femoral head to sit in. It's depth creates a suction effect providing stability in the joint by holding the femoral head in the socket.
A hip labral tear most often occurs in the lip of the fibrocartilage along the rim of the labrum. Although it is not common, if there's a loose piece of cartilage from the tear, it may catch within the joint and cause a snapping sensation known snapping hip syndrome. Injury to the labrum, or any of the other stabilizing tissues, can cause the joint to weaken, misalign and/or become unstable. This leaves the hip at further risk of injury and/or dislocation.
Symptoms of a Labral Tear of the Hip
Hip labral tear symptoms are similar to other conditions such as groin strain, sports hernia, and snapping hip syndrome making it difficult to diagnose. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms we recommend you see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
- A snapping or clicking in the hip joint
- A sharp catching pain in the hip that may be felt in the front (anterior) thigh
- Pain deep in the groin
- An unstable feeling in the hip, like it may give way
- The pain may become worse when the hip is flexed or internally rotated
- A limited range of motion in the hip
- Difficulty sleeping on the injured side
Causes of Acetabular Labral Tears
A labral tear in the hip joint can be a result of degeneration of the tissue over time or from a traumatic (acute) injury.
People with extremely flexible hip joints, such as dancers, gymnasts, and yoga enthusiast are at greater risk of a degenerative tear. A degenerative tear occurs with repetitive use and activity wearing down the tissue. Without proper healing time, the worn tissue eventually weakens and tears. A degenerative labral tear is often an early sign of hip arthritis.
An acute labral tear happens immediately during an accident, fall or sports injury. A sudden twist or blow to the hip joint may cause the hip to dislocate (subluxation) and the labrum to tear.
Treating Your Torn Labrum
Initial treatment of a torn labrum in the hip should focus on resting your hip and reducing inflammation to help relieve pain. Minor labral tears are often treated with non-invasive conservative treatment therapies such as cold compression and Deep Tissue Therapy.
- the use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack will control pain and reduce swelling.
- Deep Tissue Therapy through use of a T•Shellz Wrap® will heal your labrum faster, increase the length and elasticity of soft tissue and improve the overall health of all the tissue in the joint by delivering an abundance of nutrients to the area.
During your recovery, you will have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your hip joint and leg until your pain and inflammation settle, and you gain more mobility and strength in your acetabular joint. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
To decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of a labral tear doctor's recommend cold therapy within the first 72 hours of an injury. This is an effective way to relieve pain and swelling while limiting the amount of damage done to your recently injured soft tissue.
Cold compression therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygen and nutrients to your labrum and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold therapy, cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your soft tissue, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is an important step in healing your labral tear faster and with less pain!
T•Shellz Wrap®: Deep Tissue Therapy for a Labral Tear
After severe inflammation and swelling is reduced, it is time to take the next step in your soft tissue tear treatment. Use a Back/Hip T•Shellz Wrap® to improve blood flow while simultaneously helping surrounding soft tissue to become elongated and more elastic. What this means is that not only is increased blood flow helping speed the repair of soft tissue tears, the tendons/muscles/ligaments are now longer and more elastic due to the deep heat side effect from the application of Electromagnetic Energy. The T•Shellz Wrap® is the perfect soft tissue home treatment - helping to increase flexibility while simultaneously boosting the body's own soft tissue healing process via stimulated blood flow.
In addition, the improved blood flow obtained by using the TShellz Wrap helps reduce the risk of atrophy in your muscles. When you stop moving your leg and hip due to pain, your muscles and other tissue become weaker, and dead cells and toxins in the area build up due to lack of circulation. This can cause further tissue deterioration and lead to atrophy in your quadriceps, hamstrings and other leg muscles. By clearing the area of toxins and increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your labrum and other tissue, the risk of atrophy(muscle weakness and/or deterioration) is greatly reduced.
Keeping your upper leg and hip joint tissue as healthy and limber as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to improve hip strength again once your pain has gone and your labral tear has healed. Dedicated use of a T•Shellz Wrap® will help you achieve this.
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Rehabilitation Exercise for Soft Tissue Tears
Physical therapy is a beneficial way to restore atrophied muscles and improve strength and mobility after significant periods of reduced mobility (usually due to a soft tissue tear or injury). The type of physical therapy and the duration will be dependent on the tissue damage and your symptoms. When you are treating or recovering from tears in muscles, tendons or ligaments, it is important to adhere to the instructions of the physical therapist to ensure you are doing exercises properly and not under-doing it or overdoing it, as this will increase your risk of soft tissue re-injury.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist will set up an individualized strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return
to performing your normal routines.
Individuals will often lift weights on their own, to try and build up their strength. However, in doing so, they can do more damage to their joint. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is appropriate and effective. For best, long term results use T•Shellz Wraps at home, in conjunction with physical therapy and an exercise program.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!