FAI And Groin Pain

FAI And Groin Pain

FAI Is A Common Cause Of Hip Pain In Young Adults

FAI is an abbreviation for femoroacetabular impingement, FAI typically impacts young to middle-aged active adults and is a potential source hip and groin pain in this demographic. The presence of bony changes indicating a CAM, Pincer or combination hip impingement are not always symptomatic. However, when individuals are symptomatic these bony changes are likely to causing some degree of irritation and potentially damage to either the fibrocartilage lining around the rim of the joint, known as the labrum, or the articular cartilage of the hip joint. Symptoms reported by individuals with hip impingement include pain and stiffness that can lead to the presence of an intermittent, or persistent limp. Damage to joint tissue associated with FAI can progress over time if appropriate measures aren’t taken to manage it, there is a strong association between hip impingement and osteoarthritis of the hip.

Hip Impingement A Condition Set In Motion In The Developmental Years

Highly active individuals depending on their chosen athletic pursuits, will “work” their hip joint more vigorously when compared to a sedentary population of similar age. The development of bony Cam and Pincer deformities at the hip can lead to pain, stiffness, reduced function, and ultimately joint damage in these active individuals. “Sporty” individuals placing significant loads through their hips from a young age are more at risk of developing said bone changes and once these changes have set in and the bones of the hip joint are shaped abnormally, then associated symptoms are common. And furthermore, people with bony changes like Cam deformities who are athletically inclined are likely to experience pain earlier in life than individuals less so.

FAI Symptoms

As alluded to above FAI is a condition that presents more commonly in highly active individuals and the onset of symptoms is often triggered around involvement in their athletic pursuits, with pain either being felt during or shortly activity. For many who suffer with hip impingement pain some seemingly simple daily activities including, getting in and out of a car or rising from a chair may cause discomfort. As with other sources of hip joint pain, like hip osteoarthritis the pain associated with hip impingement is most often experienced in the groin region, However, some will report feeling discomfort in the lateral hip area and even the lower back region, in my experience at least most often people will present with groin pain as their dominant symptom. The nature of the pain is that it may be a dull ache in and around the groin area, a dull ache that can become more of a sharp or stabbing pain when performing actions in life or sport including turning, twisting, and squatting motions. It is worth mentioning here that potentially the longer any painful symptoms go untreated, the more damage these bony changes can cause to joint structures, therefore if symptoms are persisting then investigating to determine their cause and assist in management could be what stands between you and a life of potential hip discomfort.

Early Detection Is Useful In Achieving Better Outcomes

It all sounds a bit dramatic and this by no way means that at the first sign of groin pain you suspect you have impingement and will need a hip replacement by 40… It is simply suggesting that as with many medical conditions early detection can help achieve much better outcomes and if you are experience some groin pain or sensation of stiffness in the hip associated with sport or activities like getting in and out of a car then it has reached the point that seeing your GP or physiotherapist to get their professional opinion is better than blindly kicking on.
Disclaimer: The Movement Centre provides this information as an educational service. The information contained on this website and in this blog is not intended to serve as or replace actual medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult their local Randwick Physio, general practitioner, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.