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Hip Injury or Impingement

Hip injuries and impingement are very common conditions among active youth and adults, but can happen to anyone. If you or someone you love is experiencing pain in the hip, lower back, and groin, or are having difficulty bending the hip at a right angle, impingement may be to blame. Hip injuries also cause similar pain in this area, as well as redness or swelling. As the hips are involved in lots of our everyday movement, this type of problem may greatly affect your daily life in addition to being painful. Advance Health and Wellness has treatments and therapies available that could provide lasting relief and healing.

Hip Impingement is not always a hip injury, per se. Also known as Femoroacetabular impingement in the medical field, this condition is a structural or mechanical problem. It can occur at any age, even adolescence or young adulthood. When you have a healthy hip, the round shaped top of the thigh bone, or the “ball” joint, fits snugly into the hip “socket”, so that the ball moves smoothly inside it. Both pieces of this connection are lined with a thin layer of cartilage that protects the bones by cushioning their movements. This prevents them from grinding against one other. Hip impingement occurs when the smooth and painless movement of the ball-and-socket joint is prevented.

While there are a few possible causes, hip impingement may be caused by a malformed femoral head, unusual femoral neck, or a hip socket that is too large and surrounds too much of the socket, (or femoral head). Over time, repetitive hitting of these bones together causes damage. These deformities may have been present at birth or have happened during development.

Activities that involve repetitive leg movement beyond what is considered normal range of motion may also cause hip impingement. This type of damage has been seen in athletes, particularly football, baseball, soccer, hockey, or tennis players. Dancers and golfers may also experience an impingement of the hip.

Hip impingement can result from an injury or aging, as well, most often affecting those over the age of 60 in age-related cases. Ignoring the problem for too long can actually make it far worse.

Other common hip injuries include:

  • Stress fractures, caused by too much pressure on the hip. Stress fractures are common among athletes who play contact sports such as football, and also sports such as cheerleading or gymnastics.
  • Hip flexor strain, caused by a tear in the muscle or inflamed tendon. The flexor muscle lifts your leg as you run, making runners at high risk for this type of injury.
  • Bursitis caused by inflammation the “bursa”, or the fluid filled sac, in the hip. Anyone who increases their activity level too quickly can cause this injury.

Though you can receive temporary relief by taking pain medication, those often prescribed for pain can cause stomach irritation and bleeding. A consultation from our practice has no negative side effects, however. We can attempt to determine the cause of your pain, and hopefully help heal your injury and relieve your pain.