Hip Impingement (femoral acetabular impingement FAI)

Hip impingement is often associated with a pain or pinching sensation in the front of the hip joint or groin. In cycling this is most commonly noticed at the top of the hip stroke (bringing the knee towards the chin). It is thought to develop from the pinching of soft tissue or bony compression within the hip joint.

Factors that increase the risk of developing FAI include:

  • Repetitive activities causing hip flexion (cycling)
  • A low saddle height causing excessive hip flexion
  • Anatomical abnormalities

Symptoms of FAI include:

  • Deep pian in the front of the hip/groin, in cycling noticed at the top of the pedal stroke. Initially noticed as a dull ache and may develop to a sharper catching sensation
  • Aching in the hip post cycle
  • Pain in the front of the hip during a gluteal stretch or when bringing the knee towards the chest

Management of FAI:

  • Activity modification – reduce training volume and/or intensity. Consider a different activity which doesn’t involve full hip flexion such as swimming.
  • If your symptoms are present when cycling, addressing your bike fit may have a significant benefit. Things to consider are crank length, saddle height and handlebar height.
  • Rehab exercises (which can be prescribed by your Osteopath or Physiotherapist)
  • Cortisone injection if there is no response to conservative care
  • In rarer circumstances,surgery is an option

Osteopathy in the management of hip impingement:

A detailed assessment screening the factors contributing to the individuals symptoms will be performed.

You will be provided with a clear recovery plan.

A combination of hands on techniques and rehab exercises will be utilised to work on joint mobility, reduce muscle spasms and strengthen muscle groups to reduce symptoms and reduce the risk of the symptoms returning.

Harry, one of our osteopaths has a special interest in cycling injuries and is happy to answer any of your questions.


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