A muscle tear can happen at any time while you work out, play sports, and do physically demanding activities. Your muscles work hard to strengthen and rebuild as you exercise, growing stronger to handle more intense work. Minor injuries or even complete tears in the tissue are common with overuse or excess strain.
Slow, gradual aches and stiffness often follow a muscle tear, and while nearly one-third of the population don’t seek the medical help they need, this may worsen and lead to a longer recovery —in some cases, surgery.
So what about a labral tear? Will it heal on its own if left untreated?
What is a labral tear?
The labrum is cartilage surrounding the hip joint and is similarly found in the joint of the shoulder. The cartilage runs along the rim of the socket, absorbing shock and impact when walking, running, or putting pressure on the joints. When torn or the cartilage pulls away from the socket, the resulting weakness and dysfunction limit movement, balance, and stability.
What happens if a labral tear goes untreated?
When you ignore a muscle injury, tear, or sprain, the muscles won’t heal properly and are at a higher risk of reinjury or not healing at all. Your body must compensate for improper function and will be vulnerable to worse injuries in other areas.
Labral tears aren’t always accompanied by pain or obvious symptoms, but they still require immediate medical attention. They will not heal on their own and — if left untreated — develop persistent pain, arthritis of the joint, and worsening instability.
Here are a few symptoms to look out for in a hip labral tear:
- Pain in the hip that worsens with prolonged standing, walking, or running
- Locking or clicking sensation in the joint
- Limited range of motion and stiffness in the hip
The symptoms of a shoulder labral tear include:
- Gradual, deep ache in the shoulder
- Pain accompanied by overhead motions
- Decreased flexibility and shoulder weakness
- Clicking or grinding sensation in the joint
Skip the surgery with pain-free physical therapy
As often as you use your shoulders and hip joints for daily function, you won’t want to prolong treatment for a labral tear. Your treatment plan and surgical needs will depend on the severity of the muscle injury, but physical therapy should be your first line of defense.
With help from a physical therapist, patients can rehabilitate the joint, improve their range of motion, and strengthen the muscles surrounding the injured area. By seeking proper medical help to restore the pain-free function of the joint, you can get back to doing what you love and won’t be stuck on the sidelines watching the game.
You shouldn’t have to feel excess discomfort while healing, which is why Luna offers a better way for patients to recover. With the ease and convenience of in-home physical therapy delivered right to you, we make the healing process comfortable and effective.
Find a Luna Therapist in your area to evaluate your injury and create a treatment plan specific to your needs.