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Hip impingement. What is it and how do you fix it?


Hip impingement. What is it and how do you fix it?

Hip impingement

Hip impingement pain is something that has been coming into clinic a lot lately, so we just wanted to break it down a little bit.

Hip impingement is when the ball joint of the femur (leg bone) “pinches” against the socket joint of the acetabulum (pelvis bone).  This can happen for a few reasons.  Anatomically, there are a few variations of shape of the ball or the socket joint that can predispose people to increased pinching in the hips.  We call these abnormalities cam or pincer or mixed impingement types and they can be easily diagnosed on xray or MRI scan.  They can be due to hip issues at birth, previous injuries or altered biomechanics of the hip over time.     


However, if it is not genetic, it is acquired, meaning that the extra bone formation is produced over time as you learnt to walk and loaded that hip joint.  If it is acquired and you believe in epigenetics, then movement patterns and movement quality are of utmost importance to address.

A hip becomes compressed for a number of reasons.  Tightness through the hip flexors or the hip capsule can cause hip compression.  It can also occur due to tightness through the ‘short hip external rotators’ (we usually blame the piriformis but there are actually 6 different muscles here that could all be contributing).  These short hip external rotators run from the pelvis to the thigh bone and cup it like a hammock.  Therefore, when they are tight they wedge the thighbone up into its socket, causing a compressed, impinged hip.  Both of these are tightened up with prolonged sitting, which is why sitting is like smoking for your hip health

They may also be overworking if other muscles aren’t doing their job properly.  Very often, we find that either the lower abdominals or the gluteus maximus will be inhibited.  If the lower abdominals are inhibited, then the hip is not able to move freely, as it does not have a stable pelvis to move on, and so the low back becomes unstable whilst the hip tightens up even further.  This is why, in so many patients with low back pain, their hips also need to be addressed.  Clinically, this presents as a lack of core stability of the lower abdominals with extremely tight hip flexors and quads, also known as ‘quad dominance’. 

If the gluteus maximus is underactive, then the short hip external rotators or hamstrings will try and take over to produce hip extension and become extremely tight.  Ever done a glute bridge and cramped in the hamstring? Yeah, your hamstring is doing the work for two people because your gluteus maximus isn’t doing enough!  This is why so many people with hip issues have extremely tight hamstrings and piriformis muscles.  And as said before, tightening through the hip rotators only compounds the issue as it compresses the hip even further into the socket.

There is LOADS we can do to decompress that hip without needing surgery. Even big scary labral tears and bony impingements do NOT always need to be treated surgically.  There’s a reason why hip replacements and knee replacements STILL need to be replaced after a few years: they rarely fix the underlying issue.  They are a band-aid solution to give some relief for a few years.  Even if the joint is never completely repaired on imaging, that doesn’t mean that it has to be painful.  Studies have shown that nearly ¾ of the population will have hip conditions on imaging and yet have ZERO pain. 

We believe function is MUCH more important than structure.  The ability to differentiate hip movement from pelvis and low back movement is extremely difficult but crucial to rehabilitating anyone with hip impingement. 


At Kinetic Healthcare, our Chiropractors from our CBD and Narellan practice may also look at how your shoulders are functioning.  This is because the opposite shoulder may also be driving your hip issue.  A tight pec on the left will mess up your hips on the right, as the oblique sling (the muscle chain connecting one hip to the opposite shoulder) loses its ability to lengthen through the abdominals, and the shoulder and hip are pulled towards one another.  This is why so often patients will have a sore right hip and left shoulder or vice versa AT THE SAME TIME.  Fixing your shoulder first may be crucial to fixing your hip. 

You do NOT have to live with hip pain.  Don’t wait.  Come get assessed.  Fix it before it leads to a low back issue, a knee issue, a foot issue or a shoulder issue.  Figure out what needs to be done and then stick to the plan.  Our team of Chiropractors from our CBD and Narellan office are only too happy to help

Feel better. Move better. Perform.



Debunking the top 5 Chiropractic myths


Debunking the top 5 Chiropractic myths

The most common statement I hear from patients is “I never knew that chiropractors do this”. Unfortunately, for the most part, the perception of Chiropractic is not well understood and because of this it causes many misconceptions, fears and ill-informed advice. As a proud sports chiropractor I believe the best way to dispel these fears is via education.


1.  Chiropractors only treat the spine – While we specialize in treating back and neck pain, we have a thorough understanding of the whole mechanics of how the human bodies works. Treating injuries involving the upper body, lower body and even jaw is one of the many things we do.


2.  Chiropractic is unsafe – Like any medical intervention has its own risks, adjustments/manipulations/western acupuncture also have their risks albeit small. The key is in making sure your chiropractor takes a thorough history to fully appreciate what is going on with you. Then they can make a sound decision which technique (soft tissue, manipulation, acupuncture) will be the most safe and effective or if you need to be referred to another practitioner.


3.  Once you see a chiropractor you have to see them forever – Absolutely not. Our primary objective is to get you back doing what you love to do – fast. If people wish to continue treatment to allow their bodies perform at their best that is totally up to them.


4.  I have been told by previous chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths to stop my training or exercise - The question I always ask these people is why? Squats, deadlifts or running did not cause your pain although it may hurt when doing it. More so, it is your body telling you something, somewhere is not working correctly and it is your practitioner’s job to fix it. The only way to do that is to test the waters.


5.  Chiropractors only use ‘adjustments/manipulations’ as treatment’- Traditionally this is how Chiropractic was first founded, nowadays many Chiropractors utilize many varied treatment approaches. At Kinetic Healthcare we utilize Active release technique A.R.T (soft tissue technique), dry needling/western acupuncture, exercise rehabilitation, and many others to deal with your bodily complaints.



If you would like to finally resolve your body pain we would love to help you.

We at Kinetic Healthcare are offering all Alternative foot solution clients a free movement assessment for the next month. Bookings are strictly limited to the first 10 people (Please mention at the time of booking).

To make an appointment contact the clinic on (02)9262-6473 or 


Diagnosed with a slipped disc?


Diagnosed with a slipped disc?

Most people have had or know someone that has been told that they have a ‘Slipped Disc’. 

Lots of  health and medical professionals explain to patients that this has happened but actually don’t explain that its just old terminology. That is,  you physically CANNOT slip the disc in your back. The main two reasons for this are:

1. There is a ligament in the front of your spine (anterior longitudinal ligament) that helps to maintain the structural integrity of your spine. 

2. Another ligament is positioned at the back of your spine (posterior longitudinal ligament) that also maintains the structural integrity of your spin, therefor you disc will never actually slip. 

These two ligaments work with each other to support the spine in forward and backward movements, they prevent the disc slipping out of their positions and popping out. 

What actually can happen is that your disc can get inflamed and in more severe cases get a bulge or even rupture. This  can affect the nerve associated with the disc and cause pain - but remember your disc isn’t slipped!

The key is to work out if it is a disc issue and what caused the the disc issue in the first place. 

It could be because some part of your body is trying to do the job that your unstable back is not doing,  creating an imbalance and compensation. 

Treating the site of pain will work initially however having someone take a 'whole body approach’ will in work out your underlying problem. 

Have been told you have a ‘Slipped Disc'? Book online below and we would be more than happy in checking it out.


Is Your Big Toe Getting Too Big For It's Boots?


Is Your Big Toe Getting Too Big For It's Boots?

How the Big Toe May Contribute To YOUR Back Pain


If you have been following our blogs, you know that is not all about treating the site of pain – it is always about look for the underlying cause.


The Role Of Our Toes 

Our foot and toes plays a major part in getting us walking correctly. Your heel hits the ground and transfers your body weight to your pinky toe, your midfoot unlocks and your foot goes flat, extending your big toe to make contact with the ground – and off you go taking you taking a big steps into the world!

Sometimes your big toe doesn’t have a good extension and your body uses the incorrect parts of your body to help get you walking. For example instead of using your big toe extension it uses your knee, pushing it inwards to help your foot make contact with the ground. Your hip then turns inwards – making your back favour one side of your hip, causing muscle shortening, joint restrictions, wear and tear etc.

After months and years of walking like this the end result, you guessed it, is back pain!


Why Your Big Toe Can Get Too Big For It’s Boots?

Lot of things can cause poor extension in your big toe - old injuries, poor footwear, those expensive high heels. Majority of the time its two particular foot muscles that have become weakened and limit big toe extension - The Flexor Digitorum longus (FHL). if the FHL is tight say goodbye to your big toe able to lift off. The other is the Peroneus Longus (your outer calf muscle), this guy is super important in transferring weight from your pinky toe to your big toe when walking. If it is weak, it will have trouble pushing off your big toe causing changes upstream.

If you are having back pain that is not resolving with conservative treatment, stretching, releasing, activating your glutes it might be a good idea to see what your big toe is doing.

Still not sure if this is the problem or how to check? Ask us. We would love to help any way we can. Send us an email on the link below and we will get back to you pronto.


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