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Chiropractic Care for Hip Impingement

Published Date: 
July 6, 2023
Woman with hip pain from hip impingement.

Chiropractors help treat a variety of painful conditions, including hip impingement. They start by identifying the underlying cause and treating the root of the problem instead of just masking symptoms. Chiropractic care is safe and effective and offers long-term hip pain relief and prevention of complications from joint issues. 

Understanding Hip Impingement

The hip is a ball and socket joint. Hip impingement, or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), happens when the ball pushes up against the socket. Femoroacetabular impingement is painful and damages the cartilage surrounding the acetabulum. For many, the condition eventually leads to arthritis, especially when not properly treated.

There are two types of hip impingement.

The first type occurs when a deformity causes the hip joint ball to be more oval than round. This causes friction because the ball does not fit within the cup of the joint as it should.

The second type occurs when the hip joint cup is abnormally shaped, making it difficult for the normal-shaped ball to fit within the cup. In some cases, the cup covers too much of the femoral head, which creates friction.

Some people have a combination of the two types: an abnormally shaped ball and an abnormally shaped cup.

Causes and Risk Factors 

People can be born with abnormally shaped ball and socket joints. It’s also possible that the abnormal shape develops over time due to wear and tear. Many athletes develop problems with the shape of the joint due to bending, twisting, and squatting. It’s especially common among people who play baseball, football, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, golf, hockey, and dancers. Over time, repeated friction or bumping causes cartilage and labral damage.

People with the following diseases also have an increased risk of developing hip impingement:

Symptoms and Challenges Faced by Individuals With Hip Impingement

Early-stage hip impingement might not cause any symptoms. Over time, as the condition worsens, symptoms include:

  • Stiffness in the hip, as well as the thigh and groin
  • Inability to flex the hip more than 90 degrees
  • Groin pain when flexing the hip, especially when running or jumping
  • Pain after sitting for long periods, especially in the lower back, hip, and groin

People most often experience pain in the front of their thighs.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Alleviate Hip Impingement Symptoms

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective tools available for treating hip impingement.

Chiropractors use a variety of therapies to treat patients, including:

  • Mobilization of the joints 
  • Manipulative therapies that move the joints and muscles
  • Physical therapy
  • At-home exercises
  • Soft tissue treatment, including massage therapy

Chiropractic treatment restores mobility, brings the body into balance, and helps the patient manage hip pain without turning to medications or other invasive treatments.

The chiropractic approach to treating hip impingement includes:

Chiropractic Adjustments for Improving Hip Joint Function

Chiropractic adjustment focuses on the hip joint and helps reduce hip pain, restore alignment, and improve range of motion. Chiropractic adjustment uses gentle force that pushes the joint back into alignment. This reduces strain on the surrounding muscles and ligaments.

Soft Tissue Techniques & Manual Therapy for Pain Relief and Improved Mobility

Manual therapies allow the chiropractor to evaluate your current condition and then align your body. Manual therapies increase muscle flexibility, relaxation, and range of motion. These therapies are effective for correcting the problem, reducing pain, and preventing the progression and recurrence of the condition.

Manual or hands-on therapies include:

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Joint mobilization
  • Joint manipulation
  • Friction massage
  • Passive stretching

Chiropractors use these techniques alone or in combination with each other to achieve optimal results. 

Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Exercises

Exercises that can help with hip impingement include:

  • Hip flexor stretches
  • Groin stretch
  • Piriformis stretch
  • Hip strengthening exercises
  • Core strengthening exercises
  • Balance exercises
  • Functional training

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatments for Hip Impingement

Chiropractic care offers a variety of benefits when it comes to treating hip impingement.

It’s an all-natural, drug-free approach that is safe and effective. For many, it’s a preferred alternative to surgery and other more invasive treatments with moderate to severe risks.

Chiropractic care treats the body holistically and supports its natural healing ability. Treatments improve the range of motion, increase blood flow, and release tight muscles. These things help to reduce pain and stimulate healing.

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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