What is a Hip Pointer and How Can Physiotherapy Cure it?

What is a Hip Pointer and How Can Physiotherapy Cure it?


A condition of bruise that occurs at the upper part of the hip is called as a Hip Pointer or Iliac Crest Contusion. The part of the hip bone, i.e. the top curve of the pelvis located near the front side of the body is known as iliac crest. Injury to soft tissue and bone usually results from a pointer. Several muscles including the abdominal muscles are attached to the hip bone.

A Hip Pointer or Iliac Crest Contusion is very common in contact sports like American Football, Rugby, Ice Hockey etc. and usually it is the result of a direct blow to the pelvic brim or the iliac crest. A fall directly onto the hip may also result to hip pointer injury, when the muscles are bruised and they can have a lot of bleeding which is the source of pain.

How is a Hip Pointer Diagnosed?
A Hip Pointer may be diagnosed clinically, but in certain instances, additional information may be garnered from imaging. MRI and ultrasound may be used to determine the extent of the contusion, while radiographs help to ensure if no fracture have occurred.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hip Pointer?
Athletes who participate in contact sports, especially those who wear little or no protective padding, are at highest risk. Various symptoms include:
Pain on the upper, outside part of the iliac crest caused by a blow or a fall
Limited range of motion at the hip joint
Hip pain that gets worse with activities such as running, jumping, twisting or bending
Tenderness in the top part of the hip joint
Swelling and / or bruising
Possible muscle spasms in the hip area
You may experience severe pain and soreness on the outside part of the hip pointer

How Can You Remedy a Hip Pointer Injury?
Initial therapy of a hip pointer consists of ice, rest, pain medication and compression of the affected hip until symptoms improve. Avoid activities that aggravate the symptoms of pain. Aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications should be avoided because they tend to thin the blood and make the bleeding increase in the initial days after the injury. Crutches can be used in the initial treatment phase if walking or bearing weight on the affected leg is painful.

As the pain reduces, resistance exercises for the hip may be initiated. Slowly and steadily, your physiotherapist will prescribe certain strengthening exercises along with aerobic conditioning, as tolerated. On an average, one can expect full recovery within two to four weeks with conservative treatment and physical therapy.

If you have experienced an impactful blow on your hip pointer, it is crucial to start the treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to heal. Most hip pointers are caused due to accidental events and therefore, cannot be prevented. The only way to avoid this injury is by wearing protective hip padding that is appropriate for your sport. In case you are suffering from a hip pointer and you want a professional physiotherapist to help you recover well and fast, book an appointment with HCR in Edmonton.