Hip Labral Tears: Causes, Symptoms, & Exercises

woman suffering from hip pain Nov1st 2022

Are you experiencing random hip pain or groin pain? Is running and exercising painful? Maybe you can’t complete your daily activities like you used to because of a stiff hip.

The culprit could be a hip labral tear. 

Read on to learn more about this common injury and what you can do to help your body heal.

What Is a Hip Labral Tear? 

There is a ring of cartilage surrounding each hip joint called a labrum. The labrum cushions your hip joints and acts as a sort of seal to keep the bones in the socket.

When the labrum tears, it’s referred to as a hip labral tear. This type of injury is common in sports that involve twisting and turning. 

What Does a Hip Labral Tear Feel Like?

The severity of the tear affects the symptoms. Sometimes, no pain is felt; other times, people experience sharp pain when using or twisting their hip. 

Common symptoms of hip labral tears:

  • Hip pain
  • Groin pain 
  • A clicking or locking sensation in your hip joint
  • Your hip giving way
  • Limited range of motion in the hip 
  • Stiff hips 
  • Muscle weakness around your hip 

Read More: The Complete Guide to Muscle Strains & How to Treat Them

3 Common Causes of Hip Labral Tears

woman with hip labral tear

These tears are usually caused by repeated movements that involve the hips. Causes include:

  1. Sports that require repetitive twists
    • Long-distance running
    • Golf
    • Baseball and softball
    • Soccer
  2. Wear & tear
    • Muscles wear down throughout the years; a hip labral tear can be the result
  3. Trauma
    • Physical injury or a dislocation of the hip joint

3 Hip Labral Tear Exercises

To help your hip labral tear heal, participate in physical therapy and muscle strengthening.  

Here are some hip labral tear exercises that may help your healing:

1. Side-Stepping With a Resistance Band

Side steps, or hip abductions, help strengthen your outer hip muscles.


  • Place a resistance band around both ankles
  • Tighten your core and stand up straight
  • Lift your leg to the side as far out as possible
  • Repeat with the other leg for 3 sets of 10 reps
woman doing side stepping physical therapy exercises

2. Side Planks

Although this targets the abs, it also targets and helps your hips


  • Lay on your side 
  • Stack your legs one on top of the other
  • Lift onto your forearm 
  • Push your hips off the floor by pressing into your forearm
  • Hold the pose and repeat

3. Bridges

Bridges can also help manage your hip labral tear


  • Lay on your back 
  • Bent your knees at a 90-degree angle to the floor
  • Lift your butt and lower back up as you squeeze your core
  • Slowly shift back down
  • Repeat

Read More: How Physical Therapy Can Heal Your Lower Back

How Long Does It Take for a Hip Labral Tear To Heal? 

Healing a torn hip labrum can take up to six weeks. Additionally, it can be up to six months before returning to activities like competitive sports. 

Healing time depends on:

  • How bad the tear was 
  • The type of treatment you receive
  • How often you have physical therapy sessions

Physical Therapy for Hip Pain & More

Noticing hip pain or discomfort? Worried that you have a torn hip labrum?

No matter the case, OSR Physical Therapy can help you get back to normal. It all starts with requesting an appointment to see one of our experienced physical therapists.