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Chiropractic Care for a Torn Hip Labrum

Published Date: 
November 4, 2022
A woman is in pain and having trouble standing because of a torn hip labrum.

If you have hip pain or an injury caused by a tear, chiropractic care for a torn hip labrum is one of the most effective ways to treat the problem.

How a Chiropractor Can Help You With Torn Hip Labrum

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint made up of the round head of your thigh bone (femur) and the cup-shaped socket of your pelvis (acetabulum). The socket is lined with smooth cartilage, and there’s a ring of tough cartilage — called the labrum — around the edge of the socket.

The labrum deepens the socket and gives the hip joint stability and strength. It also helps keep the head of your femur in the socket. A tear in your labrum can cause pain and weakness in your hip joint.

What Is Torn Hip Labrum or Hip Labral Tear?

The hip labrum is a ring of cartilage inside the hip joint socket. It deepens the socket to keep the ball of the joint in place. A hip labral tear is a tear in this ring of cartilage. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, and the labrum is the ring of cartilage that helps keep the ball in place. A hip labral tear can cause pain and instability in your hip joint.

Hip labral tears are fairly common, especially in athletes. They can be caused by a single injury or by repetitive stress on the joint. 

A variety of methods treat hip labral tears, including physical therapy, steroid injections, and arthroscopic surgery. Surgery is typically only recommended for severe or persistent cases that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment.


Symptoms of a hip labral tear include: 

  • Pain in the hip, groin, or buttock
  • Clicking, popping, or catching sensations in the joint
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Feeling of instability

What Should Be Avoided with a Hip Labral Tear?

You should avoid a few activities if you have a hip labral tear. These include:

  • Deep squatting
  • Lunging
  • Twisting motions
  • High-impact activities such as running or jumping

It is important to avoid these movements to prevent further damage to the hip joint and to allow the labral tear to heal.

Causes of Hip Pain

There are many potential causes of hip pain, and the precise cause can often be difficult to determine. However, some common causes tend to be associated with this type of pain.

One common cause of hip pain is arthritis, a condition leading to the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the joints and can cause inflammation, stiffness, and pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and affects millions worldwide. Another type of arthritis that can cause hip pain is rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory condition that can damage the joints.

Another potential cause of hip pain is a pinched nerve. This can occur when the nerves that run from the spine to the legs become compressed and can lead to pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area.

Another common cause of hip pain is muscle imbalance. This occurs when there is an imbalance between the muscles that support the hip joint. it can lead to instability and pain.

Finally, another potential cause of hip pain is a stress fracture. This is a small crack in the bone and can occur due to repetitive motions or overuse. If you think you may have a stress fracture, it is important to see a doctor so it can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Most people suffer a torn hip labrum due to one of the following causes:

  • Dislocation or subluxation of the hip joint
  • Falling onto your hip or a hard surface
  • Direct blow to your hip
  • Overuse of the hip joint, such as in certain sports activities

What Causes a Hip Labral Tear?

Several things can cause a hip labral tear, including:

  • A direct blow to the hip
  • Falling on an outstretched hand
  • Overuse or repetitive stress on the hip joint
  • Degenerative changes in the hip joint

Certain activities and sports can put you at a higher risk for a hip labral tear, such as football, hockey, golf, and ballet. People with hip dysplasia or other problems with the shape of their hip joint may also be at a higher risk.

Your doctor will likely start with a physical exam and review of your symptoms. They may also order X-rays, an MRI, or other imaging tests to diagnose a torn hip labrum.

Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitative Solutions

A torn hip labrum can be a debilitating injury that can cause significant pain and mobility problems. Chiropractic care and rehabilitative solutions can help provide relief from symptoms and improve quality of life.

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions like a torn hip labrum. They use a variety of techniques to relieve pain, improve range of motion, and help the body heal.

Chiropractic adjustment can help to realign the bones and joints, taking pressure off the irritated hip joint. Soft tissue therapies like massage and trigger point therapy can release tension in the muscles around the hip, providing relief from pain.

Rehabilitative exercises and stretches can help strengthen the muscles around the hip joint and improve the range of motion. You should perform these exercises under the guidance of a trained professional to avoid further injury.

Chiropractic treatment is generally safe for the hips. It is a drug-free, non-invasive treatment option for many musculoskeletal conditions. However, as with any medical treatment, there are always potential risks and side effects. Discuss any concerns you may have with your chiropractor before beginning treatment. 

Chiropractic care and rehabilitative solutions can provide significant relief from the symptoms of a torn hip labrum and help to improve quality of life. These solutions should be tailored to the needs of the patient to achieve the best possible results.

How do you know your chiropractic treatments are working?

  • Symptom Relief: One of the most obvious signs that your treatments are working is if you're experiencing relief from your symptoms. This could mean less pain, improved mobility, or other improvements.
  • Improved Function: Another sign that your treatments are working is if you're noticing improved function. This could mean doing things that you couldn't do before or doing them more easily.
  • Increased Energy Levels: Many people find that their energy levels increase after starting chiropractic treatment. This could be due to feeling better overall or simply from having less pain and discomfort.
  • Better Sleep: Improved sleep is another common sign that chiropractic treatments are working. This is often due to reduced pain levels but can also be from improved overall health.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Hip Labral Tear?

The average time for a torn hip labrum to heal is six to eight weeks. However, the actual time it takes to recover from this injury may vary depending on the severity of the tear and the individual's response to treatment. 

Treatment for a torn hip labrum may include:

  • Rest and ice
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce pain and inflammation
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the hip joint and improve the range of motion
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Surgery 

In some cases, you may need surgery to repair the damage. Recovery times following surgery can range from several months to a year or more. During the healing process, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions and refrain from activities that could aggravate the injury. With proper care and rehabilitation, most people can regain full hip joint function and return to their previous activity level.


Chiropractic techniques may be beneficial for a torn hip labrum for several reasons.

First, chiropractors are experts in musculoskeletal conditions and can provide specific treatments to help relieve pain and improve joint function. 

Second, chiropractic care is a drug-free and surgery-free approach to treating a torn hip labrum which can avoid the potential side effects associated with these interventions. 

Finally, chiropractors can guide exercises and stretches to help stabilize the hip joint and prevent further injury.

If you are considering seeing a chiropractor for a torn hip labrum, be sure to find one experienced in treating this condition. Chiropractors who have experience treating hip conditions can provide the most effective care.

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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