Femoroacetabular Impingement

Femoroacetabular Impingement (or FAI) refers to a bony deformity at your hip joint that restricts range of motion and causes pain.  The bony deformity can be on your femur (Cam deformity), pelvis (Pincer deformity), or both (combined).  FAI is often found alongside and can be a cause of hip labral tears (link back).

– While we are not entirely sure what causes FAI, it is associated with high level athletes in sports like soccer, hockey, ballet, martial arts, rugby, lacrosse, and cycling, as well as activities requiring deep squatting like powerlifting.

– Genetics. 

– Intense sports requiring a large hip range of motion. 

– Hip weakness.

– Gradual loss of hip range of motion and onset of pain. 

– Hip weakness. 

– Pain radiating into the groin, low back, or buttock. 

– Pain with running, cutting, pivoting. 

– Pain with prolonged sitting.

At Home Diagnostic Tests

– None — see symptom checklist.


At Home Care

– Maintaining good mobility in the hip is key to conservative care. 

– Foam rolling, gentle stretching, and active mobility drills can reduce muscle tension, pain, and stress on the hip joint.

When to Seek Help

FAI is often misdiagnosed as a high hip flexor or groin strain, so proper assessment and diagnosis is key.  If you are experiencing hip pain, especially deep in your groin, see your physical therapist for a thorough assessment.  Many patients are able to manage FAI with conservative treatments, and your physical therapist can refer you for further medical assessment if you appear to be a surgical candidate.

Inspired Athletx Treatment

Conservative management of FAI centers around improving hip pain, mobility, strength, and lower body mechanics through a combination of soft tissue and joint mobilization, hip and core strengthening, and movement training.  Post-surgical treatment follows a similar pattern, with a slower timeline due to a period of non-weight bearing and tissue healing considerations.  If you are a surgical candidate, we encourage clients to undergo a round of “prehab” prior to surgery.  The stronger and more mobile you head into the OR, the easier your recovery is!