Hip Impingement

Hip impingement is caused by a structural mismatch between the ball and socket of the hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. With the help of Harris & Ross, the symptoms of hip impingement can be alleviated. Find out more about the condition and how we treat it here-


Hip impingement (Femoro-Acetabular Impingement or FAI) is a condition occurring where there is a structural mismatch between the ball and socket of the hip joint. This commonly causes groin pain and stiffness of the hip particularly with positions such as sitting, squatting, or rotational movements.

What causes it?

The presence of this bony mismatch may be present in a large population of people. The issues may only flag up due to activity and lifestyle. A number of potential causes include:

  • Sport. Activities like football, which place repetitive twisting stress through the hip joint, can cause cumulative damage to the joint and cartilage
  • Traumatic Accident. Road Traffic Accident or a large fall on the hip when the hip is in the position of impingement
  • Genetics. A family history of impingement means an increased chance of developing it


Types of Impingement:

There are 3 types of Impingment:

  • Pincer – bony changes resulting in a deeper socket
  • Cam Lesion. An additional bony bump is seen on the ball of the hip
  • Mixed. Most people present with a combination of Cam and Pincer


Signs and symptoms

Common symptoms of hip impingement include:

  • Pain at the front of the hip, but sometimes the side or into the buttock
  • Groin pain
  • Reduced movement of the hip
  • Pain commonly aggravated by sport and exercise, sitting, squatting, and crossing the legs
  • Pain may refer into the thigh


For most people a course of physiotherapy is the first option. Physiotherapy can help impingement through using a number of techniques to:

  • Strengthen muscles of the hip
  • Mobilise the joint capsule
  • Progress to strength and control work to more functional exercises and dynamic control of the hip
  • Graded return to running / sport program

If symptoms do not resolve through physiotherapy then surgery may be advocated. Largely arthroscopic debridement is performed to improve the shape of the ball and socket. Following surgery physiotherapy is essential to regain movement and strength of the hip, with a graded return to sport /activity.

To make an appointment for an initial physio assessment at our Manchester, Wilmslow, Altrincham or Wigan clinics, and discuss a treatment plan for your hip issue call Harris & Ross on 0161 832 9000 or click the book now icon below.