Have an Achy Hip? It Could Be a Hip Impingement
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), or hip impingement, is a condition that causes hip and groin pain and reduced range of motion in the hip. While anyone can develop hip impingement, athletes under the age of 40 are most affected. For sufferers of FAI, conservative treatments, such as those provided by the doctors at Irondequoit Chiropractic Center, can improve range of motion, alleviate hip pain and help them return to their day-to-day activities.
The hip is the joint where the thigh bone, or femur, meets the pelvis. When there’s abnormal contact between the ball and socket of the hip joint, it leads to increased friction in the socket, or acetabulum. Over time, this rubbing motion can damage the joint’s cartilage – more specifically the articular or labral cartilage. Because of this anatomical mismatch between the ball and socket, the hip’s normal range of motion will be limited.
Most FAI sufferers are young and physically active. Certain motions, including repetitive flexion, adduction and internal rotation, and occupations, like carpet installation, can increase the risk of developing a hip impingement.
Many sufferers of FAI have it for years and don’t even realize it. That’s because symptoms are typically not overtly painful in the early stages. Initially, prolonged activities, like stair climbing or swimming breast-stroke, may exacerbate pain. Stiffness in the groin and dull, achy hip pain are also early symptoms of hip impingement. Many sufferers report clicking or popping and demonstrate abnormal hip movement patterns when walking or squatting. More effective care for long term relief the doctors at Irondequoit Chiropractic Center don’t just treat your symptoms but analyze why the problem is occurring.
If left untreated, pain may radiate toward the outer thigh, and where pain was only experienced during provocative activities, it may lead to significant discomfort that affects all activities of daily living. Eventually, simple day-to-day actions, like sitting for long periods of time at work or getting out of the car, can become difficult.
To prevent premature degenerative change – hip impingement is thought to be a major cause of osteoarthritis of the hip before age 40 – early identification and treatment is imperative. When seeking treatment, the patient will most likely undergo an impingement test. The doctor will bring the knee up toward the chest and rotate it inward toward the opposite shoulder in an attempt to recreate the hip pain. Imaging tests, including X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, can also help determine if the patient has FAI.
Treatment for hip impingement usually consists of chiropractic care, massage therapy, and activity restriction. By avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms, such as squats, the patient can maintain physical conditioning while utilizing targeted exercises that strengthen the muscles that support the joint. Other conservative management techniques include proprioceptive, or balance, training and manual therapy. It’s important to balance in-office care with at-home maintenance, because what you do at home is a big part of treatment, including exercise, nutrition and other factors.
The chiropractors at Irondequoit Chiropractic Center in Rochester, NY have years of experience treating patients with hip impingement, offering sufferers an effective alternative to arthroscopic surgery. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at 585-467-7070.