Groin Pain (FAI)

September 9, 2019

Groin Pain

Do you have pain in your groin with squatting or prolonged sitting ?  You may have FAI ??

FAI – Femoroacetabular, (Hip) Impingement is a condition where extra bone grows along one or both of the bones that form the hip joint. this causes the bones to rub against each other during movement of the hip joint.

ANATOMY – the hip is a ball and socket joint. The acetabulum being the socket, which is made of smooth cartilage designed to let bones slide easily against each other. The top of the femur (more specifically the femoral head or ‘thigh bone’), makes up the ball.

FAI can be a painful condition and there are 3 different types.


Pincer: occurs due to extra bone extending over the rim of the socket.

Cam: in this case the femoral head isn’t round and can’t glide smoothly in the socket. A lump forms on the edge of the femoral head which grinds into the cartilage of the acetabulum.

Combined: Both cam and pincer types occur.


The cause of this condition starts with the bones not forming correctly during childhood. Therefore little can be done to prevent FAI.


DIAGNOSIS of FAI is not always straight forward. Signs of FAI can be found in a large percentage of the general population on scans e.g x-ray, MRI. Several other conditions can mimic the symptoms, such as, labral tears, loose bodies, bursitis, inner thigh or abdominal muscle tears.


SYMPTOMS include a deep seated pain in the groin, pain at the side of the hip, stiffness, and limping. Twisting, pivoting and deep squatting can reproduce sharp pain and even cause catching/locking and popping. Prolonged sitting may also aggravate.


Sports people prevent with this condition more frequently due to high demands on the joint, (e.g footballers). It’s also commonly seen in young adults.


At Warana Sportscare your physiotherapist will preform an individual assessment to help determine whether FAI may be the cause of your pain. An MRI or CT scan are useful to define the morphology and you can be referred for this if needed.


Physiotherapy  treatment would include appropriate exercise advice, joint mobility techniques, a graduated return to sport program and soft tissue therapy. Inter-articular injections is another treatment pathway to consider, however there is currently no  high quality evidence that this is beneficial. Based on current evidence a combined approach with anti-inflammatory medication, physiotherapy  and injections into the joint is the best way to combat FAI.

If you do need an individual assessment and treatment plan for groin pain you can book online with one of our Sportscare physiotherapists today.



Adam McKenzie

Adam has worked in private practice for the past 14 years and is now full time at Warana Sportscare. Adam has extensive experience in orthopedic rehabilitation and was involved with office/workstation assessment for office workers when working in London.