I just finished reading a guest editorial by Robert Wainner, PT, PhD and Julie Whitman, PT, DSc regarding first line interventions for hip pain in the most recent Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Their discussion points to the trend that hip pain, especially OA, is treated in the order of 1. Drugs, 2. Surgery/invasive procedure, 3. Physical Therapy.
Why is PT last? Especially when there are known PT interventions for hip pain that work well. The authors point our that research on exercise for hip pain is not as broad as the knee; but some recent hight quality studies (which include those published by the authors) lend us the ability to form a practice guideline as to treat hip pain. This includes manual physical therapy (mobilization/manipulation) and exercise as the primary exercises.The general public reading this should also demand (yes, demand, lol) from their primary care doctors that PT is the first line intervention for their hip pain. On our end, we (as PT's) must stay abreast the on current best evidence for treating hip pain - again, mobs and exercise as primary treatment - and APPLY this treatment. We must change and adapt as clinicians.
If you have questions about your hip pain, please as your doctor to refer you to a PT, use the APTA's "Find a PT" tool, or I can try to answer any comments you leave.