• Judy Rossi PT, DPT, PHC

It's Hip to be Square

Ok, this is not a post about a Huey Lewis song from the 80's. Let's talk hip pain. Whether arthritis, or bursitis or even a labral tear, many people experience hip pain. The thing about hip pain is, it can be tricky. Sometimes it goes away quickly and other times no matter what you do, it is still there. What you may not know about is a certain little culprit in hip pain called the obturator internus (highlighted in the photo below in green). Most people have not heard of this muscle but it frequently is involved in persistent hip pain. Before becoming a pelvic health physical therapist, I attributed most pain in the hip to bursitis, or to muscle pain in the glutes or piriformis. Now I know that in many cases, the obturator internus muscle is more likely to be the problem. Its main function is hip rotation, however its home is inside the pelvis. Therefore it is considered to be a part of the pelvic floor, and can contribute to other symptoms like bladder pain, urinary frequency or urgency, as well as pain with intercourse.

Do you have unresolved hip pain? Have you tried PT, exercise or other medical intervention Nothing seems to be working? An internal exam by a pelvic floor therapist may the best course of action if you have tried these things without success and especially if the pain is accompanied by urinary symptoms or pelvic pain. Treating the obturator internus has been shown to improve or eliminate many cases of chronic and unresolved hip or pelvic pain.

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