Hip pain might prevent you from engaging in various activities, including your favorite sports, kid’s games, and even working out hard at the gym. The first step to treating your hip discomfort is identifying its cause. Add hip impingement exercises to your regimen if you believe (or are certain) that your discomfort is caused by hip impingement to address and treat your pain.
Hip Impingement Syndrome:
Hip impingement syndrome, also known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), occurs when the ball and socket that make up the hip joint experience abnormal wear and tear. Technically speaking, it is a structural or mechanical condition that affects the hip joint specifically.
It is owing to increased friction on the joint structure. Overuse, bad exercise technique, tight hip flexor muscles, or an odd hip shape could cause extra friction.
In a healthy, fully functioning hip, the top of the thigh bone (the femoral head) is rounded to fit exactly into the hip socket (the acetabular socket). The femoral head can move without resistance when this is a seamless fit.
A layer of smooth cartilage ds these bones at their attachment point and a labrum around the rim of the hip socket, forming a protective ridge of cartilage for increased security during femoral head movement.
Bone Form, Tight Muscles, And Hip Impingement Pain
When we think about hips and hip problems, we often presume everyone’s hip is the same. But just like we all have diverse body shapes, our hip bone shapes and hip joints are distinct, too.
Awareness of your unique hip bone shape might be one of the most effective methods to set reasonable expectations for your body, especially if you’re an athlete. For example, one person may have an abnormally shallow hip socket. Shallow hip sockets will allow for better mobility and flexibility, but they may also generate instability and a higher possibility of labrum damage, hip labrum tears, and pain from hip impingement.
The human body has a remarkable way of working extra hard to correct wounded areas. So once hip impingement sets in for most people, the iliopsoas muscles begin to stiffen.
Types Of Hip Impingement
The specific form of hip impingement you’re experiencing has much to do with the shape of your hip joint bones. Doctors will typically refer to two basic types of hip impingement.
Cam impingement occurs when the femur’s ball-shaped end is not exactly spherical. Since the femoral head is irregular, the way it rubs as it travels in the socket creates extra friction to the cartilage and labrum.
Pincer impingement arises when the femoral head is covered too much by the acetabulum or socket. This excess covering might cause the femur’s neck to touch and influence the rim of the hip socket. Over time, this produces cartilage and labral injury.
Just because you have one form of impingement in your hip doesn’t mean you can’t have the other. Plus, there are many more types of impingements than these two.
Hip impingement induced by hypermobility or a shallow hip socket is also possible.
Let’s look at some signs of this syndrome to understand if you have hip impingement and possibly benefit from hip impingement exercises.
Hip Impingement Symptoms
Hip impingement symptoms frequently SThe most common symptom is pain in the groin area. However, pain may not exist in the early stages of hip impingement, or you may link it with other concerns.
Pain will normally be more obvious when walking, running, or undertaking an exercise that flexes the hip. Other than hip pain, you may have a restricted range of motion and tightness in the iliopsoas muscles.
When hip impingement symptoms initially start, you may only feel resistance, pain, or limited range of motion when engaged in stretching, running, leaping, or other activities that stress the hip joint. So, if you are an athlete who often pushes your body past its limits, you may feel hip impingement pain much sooner.
The simplest activities could become uncomfortable. They are doing things like walking upstairs or standing up from sitting after driving to the market are likely to induce pain in the groin area.
When beginning physical therapy for hip impingement, it is necessary to realize that strength training and stretching are equally important. If you try to rely entirely on stretching, it is possible to overstretch your hip muscles.
Still, if some of your hip’s misalignment is from overly tight muscles, some hip stretching could be therapeutic. Knowing the reason and kind of your hip impingement will assist your physical therapist in developing hip impingement exercises that will not be detrimental to your joints.
Some regularly used stretches that a physical therapist may have you complete include:
- Hip flexor stretches like lunges
- Piriformis stretches to stretch the back hip
- Groin expands like a delicate butterfly stretch
- Be mindful to listen to your body as you engage with these hip impingement exercises. Happy muscles shouldn’t hurt.
2. Core Strengthening
Besides stretching the muscles, strength training will often be used to support the hip structure further and keep it in normal alignment. Getting stronger in your hips may seem like a good idea, but what about getting stronger in your core?
Your muscles are a part of your core and play a big role in the stability of your hips and whole body. So, balancing out the muscle strength in and around your hips brings additional stability to the hip joint.
Core strengthening activities excellent for hip impingement patients: As with stretching exercises, if core strengthening workouts cause pain at any time, STOP. Remember to tell your physical therapist about these things so that they can change your hip impingement exercises to fit your needs better.
3. Hip Strengthening
Since your hip area has pain, it’s necessary to strengthen your hip region. Of course, finding hip-strengthening workouts that don’t hurt may take trial and error. You may also need to work with your therapist to relax your muscles and get your hip joint in the best position before you can do exercises or movements to strengthen it.
4. Balance Exercises
Many balance exercises seem like strength training and stimulate your leg, hip, glutes, and core muscles. Working on balance is a strategy to target small muscle groups around the hip joint to improve the joint’s stability. As your balance improves, you will have more control of your pelvis and lower extremities and take some pressure off the hip joint.
Remember that you will have to push yourself a bit when completing balance hip impingement exercises. If it’s easy to balance, proceed to the next movement level, or adjust the location of your eyes. Feeling shaky is normal!