Pinching Hips

3 May 2018

Do your hips pinch when taken into a lot of hip flexion (eg. during a deep squat, kicking a ball or swimming breaststroke)? It may indicate some form of femoral acetabular impingement (FAI). FAI typically involves irregularities between the ball (femur) and socket (acetabulum) creating irritation in those end ranges of motion - we divide these into 'cam' or 'pincer' type issues.

A physiotherapy assessment may indicate some form of FAI, and can be confirmed  by imaging if needed. But here is where it gets interesting; several studies of asymptomatic individuals show an extremely high incidence of FAI and conversely it's also possible to have FAI symptoms and no pathology or findings on scans (send us a message if you'd like to have a read of these articles)!

The more pressing issue is usually in looking at dynamic hip control and what happens when the aggravating activity is performed. Take the squatting motion for example. We want to avoid extreme internal or external rotation of thighs - instead, we should aim for somewhere in between, that which allows mobility (and more importantly control) of the ball within the socket. Check out our previous post here about what happens when we have too much mechanical stability versus dynamic stability.

If in doubt or you are continuing to struggle with pinching sensations around the hip or groin, give us a call or send us a DM and we'll happily answer your questions and get you on your way to deeper squats, more powerful kicks and more efficient breaststroking.


Child SquatHip

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