• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Causes and Treatment of Hip Impingement

One of the essential parts of your body is the hip joint. It is responsible for bearing the majority of your total body weight. You are able to perform activities like running, walking, jumping, or even sitting because of this joint. When your hip joint is unable to perform these activities, it is said to be suffering from an impingement.

A deformity of the hip joint that significantly restricts its usual range of motion is the hip impingement definition. Many sport persons and other people who experience hip impingement relate it with pain centered around the groin area. It especially becomes intense during any rotating movement. Apart from the front of the hips, this pain can also be felt along the sides of the thighs and the buttocks. In medical terms, this condition is called femoroacetabular impingement. Let’s explore what really causes this condition, and is there a way by which it can be treated.

What Are the Causes of Hip Impingement?

hip pain

Person experiencing hip pain while walking, Credit: Pixabay


Hip impingement, to a large extent, is related to the deformities in the hip joint. But it can also develop in persons who have a history of indulging in various athletic activities. According to doctors, the upper part of the thigh bone loses its usual range of motion in the socket in this condition. Thus, the ability to move effortlessly and smoothly is significantly reduced.

The two most common causes of hip impingement are:

  1. Femoral head deformity

  2. Socket deformity

1.   Femoral Head Deformity

When the top or ball of the femur is shaped abnormally, then it has the tendency to jam into the socket when the hip bends. It happens particularly during activities like cycling, bike riding, bending over to pick something become extremely painful.

2.   Socket Deformity

This deformity is characterised by the front rim of the socket sticking out unusually far. It causes the femur neck to bump into the socket rim during any normal hip movement.

Are You at Risk of Developing Hip Impingement?

hip impingement

Man engaged in strenuous physical activity, Credit: Pixabay


If you have abnormally shaped hip bones then you’re prone to developing hip impingement. Elder people who suffer from osteoarthritis are also at risk. Young athletes as well as those who engage in highly demanding sports activities can also suffer from this condition.

Symptoms of Hip Impingement

pain in hips

Person experiencing pain in hip while bending, Credit: Pixabay


Symptoms vary according to the severity of this injury. But the most common symptoms as experienced by a majority of the people include upper thigh, hip, and groin stiffness. Apart from stiffness, pain in these areas is also very common.

The pain of this condition has a tendency to become severe during any exercise or physical exertion that involves lower body movement. You may experience the following symptoms:

  1. A clicking sound from within the hip joint.

  2. Pain in the pelvis area

  3. Difficulty in doing activities that require you to bend like tying your shoelaces

  4. A constant dull pain

  5. Activities like squatting, turning, or twisting may become painful

  6. Lower back pain

Treatment of Hip Impingement

treatment

A person being examined by doctor, Credit: Pixabay


There are two major lines of treatment for this condition. They are

  1. Surgical treatment

  2. Non-surgical treatment

1.   Surgical Treatment

Those with severe impingement issues have to undergo a surgery, as without it they cannot manage the condition. Surgeries like arthroscopy and hip replacement surgery can be availed depending upon the intensity of your pain. They help in restoring the normal range of motion of your hip joint.

2.   Non-surgical treatment

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used if the damage in your hip joint is not very severe. Ice and heat therapy can help to reduce the pain and stiffness in the hip joint. Some strengthening hip exercises can be done under the guidance of an instructor.

Hip impingement, if left untreated, can severely disrupt your normal range of motion and make it difficult for you to perform daily activities. If you feel like you cannot manage the pain then it’s the right time to reach out for medical help.

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