What Is That Hip Pinch?

hip physical therapy

Have you ever experienced an annoying “pinchy” sensation in the front of your hip? Many patients are referred to physical therapy for other regions of the body (back pain being the most common) and mention this uncomfortable sensation in passing.

Typically this occurs with movements like deep squatting. This “pinch” occurs as the ball of the hip (the femoral head) glides forward excessively and presses against the soft tissues located in the front of the joint.

This forward movement is normal however it is important be mindful of where the socket of the joint (acetabulum) is positioned as well.

Often times, pinching occurs in the front of the hip due to a poorly positioned hip socket.

The good news is that we can reposition the hip socket so that your hip does not pinch as easily!

There are many great drills that help with this however the Shifted Single Leg 90/90 Hip Lift is a great one to start with (this is also a great movement to get the hips/pelvis moving before running). In this video, the left hip socket is being oriented into a position that will result in less pinching.

  1. Start by lying on your back with hips/knees bent at 90 degrees and feet on a wall
  2. Slowly pull your heels down towards the ground as you reach your knees towards the ceiling. Your tailbone will slowly lift off of the ground and you should begin feeling your hamstrings working.
  3. Without moving your feet, shift 1 hip/knee down as the other hip/knee shifts up. As you shift one hip/knee down, ensure that you are pulling towards the ground with that heel. You should feel that specific hamstring cooking at this point!
  4. Pick the opposite foot up off the wall while maintaining the hip shift
  5. Hold this position while taking a relaxed breath in through the nose, followed by a long exhale out through the mouth before pausing for 5 seconds. Perform this for 5 cycles.

As with all exercises, they should be specifically tailored to your particular needs and unique physical qualities. Schedule a FREE phone consultation with a member of our physical therapy team on our website to determine how to most effectively implement an exercise like this into your program!

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