Does Hip Joint Pain Have You Grounded?

Chronic hip joint pain can result in significant limitations in daily activities including walking, sitting and work-related and fitness activities. Chronic hip joint pain may be due to bony abnormalities within the hip joint, muscle imbalances or may be due to repetitive activities that place continued stress the hip joint structures. Some of the common conditions associated with chronic hip joint pain include femoroacetabular impingement, hip dysplasia, acetabular labral tears and injury to the joint cartilage. Some of these conditions are believed to be prearthritic conditions that may actually progress to osteoarthritis if not managed appropriately.

Signs and symptoms include stiffness or aching pain felt deep in the groin or hip joint region. Sometimes the pain is described as sharp, stabbing pain during specific motions of the hip, such as rising from a chair or making a quick turn. Chronic hip joint pain is often aggravated with specific activities, which may vary from person to person. Some report their symptoms are worse with sitting or hip flexed positions, however others report worsening with activities such as running or climbing stairs. Treatment options for chronic hip joint pain include non-operative management including medications and physical therapy. Some people seek surgical management if non-operative management does not provide significant relief.


This study, led by the principal investigator Marcie Harris-Hayes, DPT, MSCI, was designed to compare two types of rehabilitation developed to improve daily function and reduce pain. Our goal is to better understand which treatment is better and why. You may qualify if you are 15-40 years old and have deep hip joint pain. If you qualify for the study, you will participate in laboratory testing and treatment. Laboratory testing will include completion of questionnaires, physical exam, an MRI and movement pattern assessment using highly sophisticated motion analysis equipment that you may have seen in movies and video game development. Participants will be randomly assigned to movement pattern training or standard rehabilitation. Participants in both groups will receive, free of charge, ten, 1 hour treatment visits led by a physical therapist and instruction in a home program that will be specific to the treatment group assigned to. Participants will be asked to return for laboratory testing after treatment completion. All study procedures will take place at Washington University School of Medicine. If you are interested in participating in this study, please call 314-286-1478 or e-mail:          

Written by: Marcie Harris-Hayes, DPT, MSCI, Washington University School of Medicine

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