Hip Impingement – What Is It?

Hip Impingement – What Is It? hover background

Mar 06

Hip impingement can lead to damage to the hip joint, so recognizing symptoms of it early is important. It is also believed to be one of the causes of osteoarthritis of the hip, can damage the cartilage and can cause labral tears. It may also be referred to as femoroacetabular impingement or FAI.

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint, meaning, the ball of your hip (also known as the femoral head) fits into the socket of the hip. Another important component in your hip joint is the cartilage that serves to stabilize it and also allow it to function in the range of motion that it does.

If you are experiencing pain in your hip, a physical therapist can help you determine the cause. If it is hip impingement, you may notice these symptoms:

Symptoms of Hip Impingement

  • Stiffness in the area of the hip or front thigh
  • Pain in the groin
  • Pain after flexing the hip joint or pain while resting
  • Lower back pain
  • Loss of range of motion in hip

Even though you may experience these symptoms, many patients with this condition may not know it for several years before finally experiencing pain, as symptoms do not show up in the early stages.

Causes & Types of Hip Impingement

Hip impingement is typically caused by a deformity in either the ball or the socket of the joint.

There are three different types that can occur. They are:

  • Cam (excessive bone growth at the femoral head)
  • Pincer (excessive bone growth at the edge of the socket)
  • Combined (both cam and pincer)

A physical therapist can help with the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of your hip impingement pain and may be able to offer hip pain relief. Enlisting the help of a physical therapist may help to ease any pain you may be experiencing caused by this condition and prevent further damage from occurring.

[Related Article: Physical Therapy That Works For You]

If you are concerned that hip impingement might be a cause of your hip pain, contact us for an evaluation today.


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Queen Creek, AZ 85142
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