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Hip Impingement

What is Hip Impingement?

The hip is a ball and socket joint and provides a platform for all of our lower limb movements. It is a stable joint containing cartilage (acetabula labrum) and also has surrounding soft tissues to hold it in place.  The hip can have some ‘design’ differences which result in the ball (femoral head) not moving fully or fluently in the socket (acetabulum). As a result the hip can ‘pinch’ surrounding tissue, bone or its labrum resulting in Hip Impingent or Femoro-acetabula Impingement. This can occur in all age groups from those who are very mobile, to those that have stiffness in their hips.

How long will it last?

Hip impingement can ‘niggle’ along for years if undiagnosed and eventually lead to degeneration in the hip if left untreated. Hip impingement can settle over 6 – 12 weeks with a specifically targeted management program. Diagnosis is essential for a good long term outcome.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Hip Impingement are:

  • Groin pain sometimes referring into the thigh.
  • Pain on weight bearing, putting on shoes & socks, crossing legs.
  • Pain with running, twisting on the hip.
  • Weakness or decreased balance on that leg.
  • Increasing ‘tightness’ at the front of the hip.

Suggestions for managing Hip Impingement

  • Commencing a good pain management plan. A painful hip will have less chance of responding to exercise.
  • Hip/Gluteal stability exercises to strengthen the hip and pelvic muscles. These need specific and careful instruction. We recommend an individual assessment of how to perform the correct hip strengthening exercises.
  • If you have been injured at work or in sport, our practitioners have approved conditioning programs for your Hip Impingement Injury that will get you back on track sooner. This may need management for your whole season of sport and your Physiotherapist will give you guidelines for training porgession.  Your physiotherapist may also recommend Pilates, Massage Therapy or Acupuncture to assist in reducing pain and improving movement and balance as often your hip tendons and muscles become painful with Hip Impingment.
  • Your practitioner may refer you to a Sports Physician for further investigations if your Hip Impingement does not respond in our suggested time frames. Sometimes surgery is necessary for a functional recovery.
  • Walking with a limp is not advised and you must consult a Professional Immediately.

Professional treatment options

Contact us now for immediate advice regarding Hip Impingement.

Click here for some Hip Impingement tips designed by Physiotherapists at The Sports Injury Clinic.