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Preventing Labral Tears: Strategies and Exercises for Hip Health
Preventing Labral Tears: Strategies and Exercises for Hip Health

Is an unexplained pain or locking sensation in the hip restricting your activities? Labral tears are common but often overlooked sources of hip dysfunction. The hip labrum is a type of fibrocartilage that covers the rim of the hip socket and helps to stabilize and cushion the hip joint. Explore effective strategies and exercises to maintain optimal hip health and prevent labral tears.

Strategies for Prevention

Labral tears can occur due to trauma, repetitive movements, or structural abnormalities in the hip joint. Here are some strategies to help you prevent labral tears:

  • Warm Up and Stretch before Strenuous Activity: This can help increase blood flow, lubricate the joint, and prepare the muscles and ligaments for movement.
  • Practice Proper Body Mechanics: Pay attention to your posture and movement patterns to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your hips. Use proper lifting techniques and avoid activities that involve repetitive twisting or bending of the hip joint.
  • Wear Appropriate Footwear: Supportive footwear with cushioning and stability can help absorb shock and reduce impact on the hips during weight-bearing activities.

Strengthen your Hip and Core Muscles

Strong hip and core muscles can help improve your posture, balance, and alignment, and reduce the stress and strain on your joint. Some exercises to strengthen your hip and core muscles include:

  • Side-lying leg raises: Lie on your side with your legs straight and your head resting on your arm. Lift your top leg up to about 45 degrees, keeping your toes pointed forward and your hips stacked. Lower your leg and repeat 10 times on each side.
  • Donkey kicks: Get on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keeping your back flat and your core engaged, lift one leg up and back, bending your knee to 90 degrees and pointing your foot to the ceiling. Lower your leg and repeat 10 times on each side.
  • Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes and your core, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for a few seconds and lower your hips. Repeat 10 times.
  • Planks: Get into a push-up position, with your elbows under your shoulders and your feet together. Keep your body in a straight line, engaging your core and your glutes. Hold for as long as you can, up to 60 seconds.

By adopting these preventive strategies and doing these hip-focused exercises 2-3 times a week, you can reduce the risk of labral tears and maintain optimal hip health for years to come. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have existing hip pain or injuries.

AUTHOR: Srino Bharam MD, MBA is a board-certified, fellowship-trained sports medicine orthopedic surgeon and professor of orthopedic surgery specializing in the treatment of athletic injuries of the hip and groin. Dr. Bharam has over 30 years of experience in treating injuries and conditions of the hip to restore athletes and patients to an active lifestyle.



  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Ambra Health