Treatment of Myofascial Hip Pain in Patients with Acetabular Labral Tears: A Single Subject Research Study

Glenn E Cashman

Purpose: To assess whether soft tissue therapy, stretching and strengthening of the gluteus medius, external rotator and tensor fascia latae (TFL) muscles reduces pain and improves self-reported hip function in patients with acetabular labral tears (ALTs) and postero-lateral hip pain.

Methods: This single-subject ABA design used repeated measures of the Hip Outcome Score and Visual Analog Scale for pain. Four subjects were treated for 6-8 weeks each. Data were assessed visually, statistically and by comparing mean differences before and after intervention.

Findings: All four subjects experienced statistically and clinically significant improvement in pain and hip-related function.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that patients with ALTs and postero-lateral hip pain may benefit from soft-tissue therapy combined with stretch and strength exercises targeting the gluteus medius, TFL and hip external rotator muscles. Further research is recommended to confirm these findings.

Cashman, G. E., Mortenson, W. B., & Gilbart, M. K. (2014). Myofascial treatment for patients with acetabular labral tears – A single subject research design study. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 44(8), 604-614. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2014.5095