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Hip Pain? You May Have an Impingement

Hip pain can be nagging, frustrating, and even downright debilitating. This pain can stop you from playing your favorite sports because it hurts during or afterwards, it can hurt during housework or yardwork, getting in and out of the car, or even just rolling over in bed. What’s worse, is there are so many causes and reasons for hip pain, that it is difficult to know why your hip hurts and how to get it to stop!

Although we do not have the time in this blog to address all types of hip pain, we will address one in particular that we are seeing more and more in our clinic: Femoroacetabular Impingement, or simply known as FAI or a hip impingement for short.


What is FAI and what causes the pain?

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, where a ball (femoral head) at the top of the femur (your thigh bone) sits inside the a socket, aka  the acetabulum. This allows for a wide range of motion at the hip allowing us to move our leg in multiple directions as needed for activities such as walking, running, squatting, bridging and so forth.

A FAI occurs when there is an abnormal structure to the hip joint and basically comes in 3 types:

Due to the dysfunctional joint mechanics caused by the misshapen femoral head or acetabulum, labral tears can be quite common in those with FAIs.  


What are some common signs and symptoms of FAI?

Those with FAIs may experience one or many of the following symptoms, ranging from mild to severe:


How can you manage the symptoms of FAI and get back to normal activities?

Symptoms of FAI do not mean the end of doing the activities that you love and may be treated in the following ways depending on presentation and severity:

A Physical Therapist can perform a thorough examination to identify the FAI and the correct treatment approaches to manage the condition based on the individual. Management strategies may include:

Speaking with your Physical Therapist and/or Physician about methods to reduce inflammation may also help with acute or chronic pain.

If all else fails, surgery may be an option as a last resort.


If you are experiencing hip pain contacting your local physical therapist for an individualized examination and program should be your first step.

Click here to contact us today to schedule your initial visit!


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