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I fell on my hip and it hurts to walk: What should I do?

I Fell on My Hip and It Hurts to Walk
4 minutes, 4 seconds

Falls can be a painful, yet relatively normal occurrence for older adults. As you grow older, your muscles become weaker and your bones frailer. Your balance slowly starts to become worse. Your joints, tendons and ligaments may be more prone to tears or sprains. Muscle weakness may make you more vulnerable to falls and subsequent injuries. Your chances of sustaining a hip injury after a fall go up significantly as you age. 

If you’ve recently fallen on your hip and now it hurts to walk or even lie down, here are some ways you can recover and reduce your risk of future injury and falls.

What are the types of hip injuries that can make it hurt to walk after falling?

  • Bone fracture.
  • Dislocation.
  • Torn labrum.
  • Torn or strained muscle.
  • Torn or sprained ligament.
  • Torn or sprained tendon.

How long should it take for my hip to heal?

The length of time it may take for your hip to heal before you can walk again without it hurting depends on the type of injury you sustained from your fall. The amount of time it takes for a dislocated joint to heal versus the amount of time it takes for a broken bone to heal may be very different. Your recovery time is also uniquely dependent on several other factors, like your age, health and physical activity level. Older people, people in poor health, and sedentary individuals are more likely to take longer to recover. However, making an effort to remain physically active and in good health can help reduce the amount of time you may be unable to walk without hurting after falling on your hip.

What are some treatment options for people who fall on their hip and can’t walk without hurting?

  • Physical therapy.
  • Pain medication.
  • Rest.
  • Surgery (in extreme cases).

Which of these treatment options will be the best for my hip in the long term?

Physical therapy is the treatment option that provides the most robust benefits to its recipients. It has been shown to be effective at rehabilitating patients with injuries in the long term. PT improves pain, range of motion and overall function when consistently followed through. It can help in a variety of ways, particularly these:

  • Preventing future injuries after falls — If you’re prone to falls, PT can help you build up your muscle strength so your bones, ligaments, tendons and joints are better protected for the next time you take a spill. 
  • Preventing future falls — While building muscle to prevent future injuries, you’ll also be building that strength to prevent more falls. You may be better prepared to catch yourself in the future if you have stronger muscles, which is what your PT specialist will help you work toward. They’ll also be able to show you ways to improve your safety at home, like installing metal support bars near showers, toilets and other areas.
  • Providing some relief from pain — PT can help reduce some of that hip pain that is making walking hurt so badly after your fall. They can show you what you can do to reduce weight or pressure on the injury and help you work toward a smoother recovery within your pain threshold. PT specialists can reduce some of the inflammation surrounding an injury and teach you how to avoid aggravating your injury. 
  • Reducing stiffness in hips and body — Physical therapy is known to reduce stiffness and limited range of motion in the body. An experienced physical therapist can guide you through a series of stretches and exercises that can relax any tightened muscles and stiff joints that might be contributing to your hip pain.
  • Providing treatment in a gentle manner — Another reason why physical therapy is one of the best treatment options is that it can get you appropriate treatment without causing you more pain than you’re already in. If you were to undergo surgery, you might experience additional pain during and after your procedure. However, physical therapy remains gentle at every stage of the process. 
  • Giving patients tools to maintain hip health — PT is also a great option because you walk away with the tools you need to maintain good hip health in the future. You’ll learn a variety of movements and exercises that can strengthen the muscle in your hips, keep your hips more flexible, and protect you from future falls.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT if you fell on your hip and it hurts to walk

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you when walking hurts too much after you’ve fallen on your hip. You don’t have to suffer alone or remain in pain. A physical therapist can offer effective and compassionate care for your hip pain. 

If you’re dealing with more than just hip pain, you can receive treatment for that too. We can put you in touch with a physical therapy clinic that specializes in treating a large number of conditions. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


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