What is hip rehabilitation?

Hip rehabilitation focuses on physical therapy and strengthening exercises to improve hip mobility and reduce hip pain. Hip rehabilitation is best recommended when recovering from hip replacement surgery, bursitis, hip fractures, sports injuries affecting the hip, snapping hip, osteoarthritis and hip dislocations.

What does hip rehabilitation consist of?

Usually, physical therapy begins directly after hip surgery or a debilitating hip injury. Prescribed hip exercises reinforce the strength of the hips, encouraging the joints to move more frequently. Normally, within a few days or weeks, while recovering at home, your physical therapist will schedule sessions with you to help regain the function of your hip.

During the first session with your physical therapist, they will evaluate your hip strength, range of motion, gait and hip functionality. The exercise program, specifically designed to meet your needs, targets and strengthens the bones, tissues and muscles surrounding the hip joint. Gentle exercises involving lifting light weights and walking can reduce the risk of blood clots forming. Typically, your physical therapist will recommend exercises such as ball squeezes, hip flexion exercises, hip abduction and hip adduction and heel slides.

Recovery is progressive, which is why you will require several sessions with your physical therapist to heal completely. In addition, your physical therapist will teach you how to get in and out of your car and bathtub safely. Finally, once hip pain and stiffness in the joint subside, your physical therapist will give you the go-ahead to ride a bike or swim.

What should I remember to do when recovering from a hip injury or hip-related procedure?

During rehabilitation after recovering from hip surgery or a related injury, it is best advised not to lift heavy objects. You should also limit any physically strenuous activities such as jumping or jogging. The motions involved during these cardiac activities can aggravate your condition and intensify the pressure placed on the hip. Furthermore, immediate stop-and-start motions can irritate the recovering hip even more. Dr van Niekerk will advise on what to avoid doing after recovering from hip surgery or a serious injury involving the hips.


What does hip rehabilitation aim to achieve?

Hip rehabilitation promotes strength, flexibility and mobility of the hip. As a result, the prescribed exercises will improve lower back movements and gait.

How many times a week do I need physical therapy?

Physical therapy is required twice a week for at least a month.

When will Dr van Niekerk refer me to a physical therapist?

Usually, physical therapy is best recommended after hip surgery or a serious hip injury.