How to Prevent a Labral Tear

How to Prevent a Labral Tear

When you have hip pain, it can be because of a number of different issues, including arthritis and fractures. But there’s another type of injury that can strike in your hip, and it’s known as a labral tear. This type of injury isn’t just painful, but it can greatly affect your mobility as well. 

At Commonwealth Musculoskeletal Medicine, our team has the tools and skills to help you prevent injuries in your hip, including labral tears. Dr. Mark Conliffe is our in-house neuromusculoskeletal medicine specialist who helps you deal with hip pain and prevent further injury with his expert approach.

What is your labrum?

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint that allows you to move your legs around. The ball is the head of your femur, and the socket lies in your acetabulum, which is part of your pelvis. But without protective cartilage, your hip joint would be bone-on-bone. This is where your labrum comes in.

Your labrum is a strong band of cartilage that runs along the outer part of your acetabulum, or hip socket. This not only provides your joint with a layer of cushioning, but also helps to keep your femoral head in place within your hip joint.

Although your labrum is quite strong, it’s subjected to constant wear-and-tear every time you move your legs, making it prone to injury and tears. Although a labral tear can happen to anyone, it’s more prevalent if you’re an athlete in the following sports:

However, labral injuries and tears aren’t only related to being active in sports. In some cases, labral tears can be caused by an abnormality in your hip joint itself. Degeneration of the cartilage from wear-and-tear, or conditions like arthritis can also lead to hip labral tears.

Symptoms of a labral tear

Your symptoms may vary when you have a labral tear in your hip. If your tear is more severe, you may have more noticeable symptoms, whereas a more minor tear may not exhibit many symptoms at all.

However, there are a number of signs and symptoms that are typical for a labral tear, and they include:

In some cases, especially with a mild tear, you may have no symptoms at all. However, if you’re an athlete or very active, you’ll likely notice a change in the injured hip, even if it’s only slight discomfort or pain with certain movements.

Labral tears have the ability to make life difficult and can require weeks to months of recovery. It’s important to understand how you can possibly prevent a labral tear to keep up with your normal activities and avoid being laid up for months.

Prevention strategies for labral tears

At our facility, Dr. Conliffe not only treats you when you’re injured, but also helps you prevent injuries through physical medicine. He determines if you’re at risk for hip injuries, including labral tears, and helps you with prevention strategies to keep your hips healthy.

Proper training is one of the best ways to prevent tearing your labrum when you’re an athlete. Dr. Conliffe helps you work on stretches and strength exercises specifically for your hip joints to keep them strong enough to hopefully prevent an injury from occurring.

Physical therapy is another way that our team helps you keep your hips in good shape. Although this type of treatment is commonly used after an injury or surgery, it can also be utilized as an injury prevention measure. 

Dr. Conliffe uses physical therapy to help you both strengthen your hips and the other parts of your body that are used in conjunction with your hip joint. Strengthening your muscles around your joint helps to keep the joint stable and secure. Physical therapy also hones in on flexibility and stretching as well, which can also help you prevent injuries down the road.

Wearing the proper footwear in your daily activities is another way you can prevent a tear in your labrum. Improper fitting shoes or shoes that place too much pressure on one area of your foot can, in turn, do damage to your hip. Orthotics may be able to help if you can’t seem to find the proper fit.

Your posture is another way you can keep your labrum from getting torn. Improper posture puts strain on your entire body, including your hip joint. Over time, this wears down the labrum and other supporting structures, making you more prone to injuries like a labral tear.

If you’re dealing with hip pain and need expert treatment, don't hesitate to call our office at 502-771-1012, or book an appointment online with Dr. Conliffe on our website today.

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