Unlocking Hip Freedom: Understanding and Overcoming Hip Impingement

  • July 18, 2022

What is hip impingement (other than painful)?  Hip impingement is when extra bone grows along the acetabulum (socket), the femoral head (ball) or both. This changes the shape of the hip joint and causes a lot of friction and thus irritation to the joint. Pain, decreased mobility and problems with activity are all caused by hip impingement. For a detailed list of other causes of hip pain, refer to our general hip pain blog.

How many kinds of hip impingements are there?

There are three kinds of hip impingement, based upon where the bone growth occurs:

Pincer: Extra bone growth on the rim of the acetabulum. The labrum can be impacted.
Cam: Extra bone growth on the femoral head, changing shape of the ball.
Combined: both types of impingement are present.

You can not do anything to cause the hip to be impinged. It occurs during childhood. There are plenty of people walking around with hip impingement who do not know it yet. Those who are very active will see symptoms earlier than those that aren't.

How can physical therapy help hip impingement?

We can help improve hip joint range of motion through various exercises and manual therapy. One of our favorite exercises is free the ball! By increasing strength in the muscles that surround the joint, we can offload it, taking pressure off the joint. We want to move in the most biomechanically advantageous way possible so that we don't create any secondary issues either.

Manual therapy can help decreased tension in surrounding muscles that may be causing pain as well as limiting ROM, and making it harder to activate your muscles. Manual therapy can look like joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage and even dry needling.;

Physiotherapist working on the leg of young man

Physical therapy won't get rid of the extra bony growth. If you are still experiencing pain, your ortho may opt to perform an arthroscopic surgery to remove the bone growth and repair any damage to the labrum.

Man using tablet pc against medical interface on xray-1

Sports physical therapy and physical therapy for hip impingement in Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland.

Hip impingement can result in symptoms that feel debilitating, but physical therapy can help! If you're an athlete, our sports physical therapists at Glackin Physiotherapy can assist you with your orthopedic rehabilitation!  If you have hip pain related to impingement reach out to our office today!

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