Hip Impingement

What is the condition?

Hip impingement is a condition where there is abnormal and wearing contact between the ball and socket of the hip joint. The result is increased friction during hip movements that may damage the joint.

How do get it?

Many “normal” people have the potential to get hip impingement. This is because one of its biggest contributing factors to hip impingement is the shape of ball and socket joint. However, for this to be a problem, there needs to be something that provokes the irritation at the joint. Therefore, this condition is more commonly seen in active individuals who do sports. Also, a certain weakness in their hip stability or core muscle stability is usually present, which also explains why their hip gets irritated.

What problems does it cause?

The most common problem that comes with a hip impingement is usually a restriction of movement in the hip. Together with the restricted range of motion, there can be pain, especially around the hip and groin area. These problems can be acute as well as insidious.

What is this treatment

Conservative treatment with physiotherapy can be very effective in treating hip impingement. Treatments may include:

  • Mobilization of the hip joint structures
  • Improve flexibility and muscle length of the hip
  • Improve hip muscle strength
  • Strengthen dynamic hip stability

Your physiotherapist will assess your movement as well as ask about your activity level to ascertain the individualized exercises that will help with the causes.

What result to expect?

With conservative treatment and the involvement of muscle strengthening, it takes time to strengthen your muscles. Thus,  you would need at least 4 weeks of therapy to see the results.


Because of the mechanical nature of the condition, physiotherapy may not be effective if the shape of the ball and socket joint is overly deep. In this case, surgery may be the better option for you. Recovery from the surgery usually take about 4 months or more depending on the type of surgery and technique that was used. During this rehabilitation period, it is important that patients remain committed to doing their rehabilitation exercises at physiotherapy.