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The hip joint is one of the largest joints in the body. It is composed of one osseous joint. The hip is built for weight bearing and movement in several different planes. Most of the stability of the hip is derived from the deep joint socket made even more stable from the joint capsule, ligaments, surrounding muscles, and a cartilaginous rim called the labrum.

About the Hip

Bone and Joint

The hip, like the shoulder, is considered a ball-and-socket joint. It is formed by the head of the femur (thigh bone) which sits in called the acetabulum, a part of the pelvis. The head of the femur is large (ball) and the acetabulum (socket) is deep. This makes the hip joint relatively stable when compared to the shoulder but simultaneously not the mobility. If these components are damaged, a hip condition or hip injury can occur.

The bony joint surfaces of the head of the femur and acetabulum are covered with articular cartilage. The articular cartilage has a smooth and shiny surface that allows the ends of the bones to slide freely over each other.

Common conditions of the hip joint are hip osteoarthritis, hip rheumatoid arthritis, hip fractures, aseptic necrosis of the hip, and hip dislocation, slipped femoral epiphysis and degenerative hip disease.

If you would like to learn more about treatment for a hip condition in New Jersey, you can find a physical therapist at one of our convenient Twin Boro locations. One of our therapists will assess your hip injury and create a personalized treatment plan to fit your needs.


The muscles and tendons in the hip provide stability and active movement. . The anterior muscles (iliopsoas, rectus femoris) move the hip forward, flexion. The posterior muscles, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus, move the hip backward, extension. The lateral muscles, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and tensor fascia latae, move the hip out to the side or abduct the leg. These muscles also stabilize the hip and pelvis when walking and running.

The muscles of the inner thigh, or adductors, function to bring the hip and leg toward the opposite leg. They include the adductor magnus and adductor longus. The deeper muscles of the hip, or rotators, function to rotate the hip in and out. The hip rotators include the piriformis, gemellus superior, gemellus inferior, obturator internus, obturator externus, and quadratus femoris.

Common conditions of the hip muscles include hamstring strain, hamstring tear, psoas strain, adductor strain, muscle tear and piriformis syndrome.

Ligaments and Labrum

The hip joint is protected and surrounded by a soft tissue sleeve called the hip joint capsule. Ligaments, soft tissue structures that connect bone to bone, reinforce the capsule. The capsule and ligaments provide passive stability to the hip joint but allow movements in different planes. The labrum of the hip is a fibrocartilaginous structure that is located at the level of the acetabulum. It provides added depth and stability to the joint.

Common conditions of the ligaments and labrum include labral tear, hip dislocation and capsulitis.


A burse is a fluid filled sac that decreases friction between a tendon and underlying bone. Bursae for frictionless joint movement between these structures. The primary burse of the hip is the greater trochanter burse. It is located between the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius and the greater trochanter of the femur. It can become inflamed because of direct trauma or overuse.

This condition is referred to as hip bursitis or trochanteric bursitis.

For many patients, bursitis causes the greatest amount of discomfort at night, especially if the individual is lying on the hip. Pain can also become worse with extended periods of walking or sitting. Treatment strategies focus on alleviating pain and swelling, as well as preventing future bursitis attacks and hip joint damage.

Ease the Pain of Hip Conditions

Your specific hip condition or injury will contribute to the severity of your symptoms. Primarily, the most common symptom of hip problems is pain, which can be either dull, achy, or even sharp. Pain can be centralized or may radiate to the buttocks, thighs or even the knees.

Other common hip symptoms include:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness at the hip joint
  • Locking of the joint
  • Popping sensation
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Dull, burning sensation
  • Sharp pain
  • Chronic swelling of the hip

Whatever the cause of your pain, physical therapy, when used as part of your treatment plan, can have a dramatic affect on your long-term recovery. In fact, physical therapy has been successful in reducing the need for surgery in many patients, decreasing pain, and even improving mobility in pre- and post-surgery patients.

Feeling Painful in Your Hip Joint? Hands-On Physical Therapy Can Help

You may be visiting our website because a hip condition or injury has been limiting your daily activities, causing pain or affecting your quality of life. Maybe you or a loved one is unable to rest comfortably at night or even walk normally without feeling a continuous snapping sensation in one of your hips.

Luckily, with the help of hands-on physical therapy, you can find relief for your hip pain. At Twin Boro, our team treats many hip conditions and offers complete care for all types of hip injuries. Our highly-trained therapists will help you every step of the way, so you can get back to living a pain-free life.

Twin Boro Physical Therapy accepts referrals from all physicians and the majority of insurance plans. With 27 convenient New Jersey locations to choose from and the convenient option of telehealth, patients can receive treatment close to – or even right at – home. For more information or to make an appointment, call 877-304-3000 to find a clinic near you.

Schedule an

After submitting the form, a Twin Boro specialist will contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your symptoms and schedule your evaluation appointment.

After submitting the form, a Twin Boro specialist will contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your symptoms and schedule your evaluation appointment.

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