Why does my hip hurt?

Why does my hip hurt?


FAI Syndrome is a common cause of hip pain in young and middle-aged adults. We believe nobody should have to suffer from hip pain and stop doing the activities they love. If this resonates with you, keep reading as we are going to teach you how to take control and not let a common cause of hip pain stop you!

Aiming to help as many people as we can we have create a handy guide to allow you to start your journey to ridding yourself of hip pain. You can access the guide here: ACCESS GUIDE

What is FAI syndrome?

FAI syndrome or femoro-acetabular impingement syndrome is a often a pain provoking condition of the hip. The hip is a ball (femoral head) and socket (acetabulum) joint and the FAI syndrome occurs when there is an abnormal contact between the ball and the socket during hip movements leading to compression (impingement) of the cartilage tissue (labrum) inside the hip joint. Degenerative changes and osteoarthritis may develop in the long term as a result of this abnormal contact.

This abnormal contact between the ball and the socket is due to a different shape of one or both of the bones. However, it is also very common in asymtomatic people to have a different morphology of the hip joint, therefore this shouldn’t be considered the only factor to diagnose FAI syndrome. A trained Professional such as a Physiotherapist can effectively diagnosis with an array of tests.

What kind of pain is experienced?

Pain usually develops progressively and often is not associated to a trauma and gets worse over the time.

The groin and the front of the thigh is the most common location of pain, but some people can experience pain or discomfort in the lateral hip, the buttock, the thigh and the lower back region and sometimes there might be a feeling of instability associated with the pain.

Pain can be experienced at rest and aggravated by certain activities like acceleration with running in sporting activities, squatting, climbing stairs, prolonged sitting and movement where bending and twisting of the hip are involved. Some people affected by FAI syndrome report also pain at night due to the inflammation that often presents in the joint alongside the condition.

All of these symptoms are horrible and can have a dramatic impact on one’s quality of life and their ability to perform the activities they love. It is of the utmost importance that anyone presenting with these symptoms be assessed by a trained professional such as a Physiotherapist and given an accurate diagnosis. From here a guided and evidenced based plan can be provided, giving the best chance of one being able to do the activities they desire, PAIN FREE!

Which are the contributing factors?

Different factors can contribute to FAI syndrome. Some of them can be modified such as Strength and the type and the amount of physical activity. Being overweight can increase the load on the hip joint, and doing too much high impact activity or also not enough physical activity can overload or under load the hip joint and contribute to the development of FAI syndrome. Many people see themselves gaining weight and decreasing their physical activity level because of the symptoms experienced in fear of making their hip worse. This often places them in a spiral of worsening symptoms and an inability to see improvement.

What physiotherapy can do to help?

In people with FAI syndrome it is important that we address some of the contributing factors by finding opportunities to improve strength and flexibility of the hip and trunk muscles. After a thorough assessment a physiotherapist will help by decreasing symptoms with the use of manual therapy techniques and by providing targeted exercises for weaker muscles.

Exercises will help to enhance strength and flexibility and increase daily functional activity levels. It is important to be consistent with the program and that the exercises are progressively reviewed and progressed to reach a higher level of pain free function.

Sometimes while or after doing exercises, some level of pain can be experienced. That shouldn’t be considered as damaging or worsening the condition. The pain experienced is a normal process of adaptation.


How long will it take to recover?

It depends on every individual situation. As a general guideline, a strengthening program lasts between 12-14 weeks, during which pain and functional level will improve.

Is surgery needed?

From the latest research, surgery is not recommended as a first choice as it is not cost effective, there is a risk of co-morbidities and complications .The average improvement after surgery is around 20% and doesn’t result in going back to the pre-condition state. Therefore, the surgical option has to be considered carefully and is only appropriate in certain situations and when conservative management has failed.

If this has resonated with you and you are someone suffering from hip pain and are uncertain about what might be going on, then we have create a handy guide to allow you to start your to ridding yourself of hip pain. You can access the guide here: ACCESS GUIDE




If you would like our help to keep active & happy, give us a call