It has been suggested that up to 79% of runners will sustain lower limb injuries. The patients with these pathologies frequently present with identifiable biomechanical faults associated with either deficits in pelvic strength or neuromuscular function. Thus, physiotherapists and physical therapists the world over implement rehabilitation programs aimed at strengthening the lateral hip abductors and external rotators. However, when it comes to exercise prescription for this musculature we require EMG studies to ensure that we are operating from a strong evidence basis. This article discusses such research.
The sports physiotherapists reading this would be aware of the challenge of accurate diagnosis of hip pathology. The hip/groin area is an area with incredibly complex anatomy and biomechanics (Feeley et al., 2008). To quote a former anatomy lecturer of mine; “It is real tiger country!”. This means to improve clinical reasoning and diagnosis clinicians (and/or diagnosticians) must be acutely aware of the diagnostic accuracy of the clinical tests in their arsenal.
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is, as the name suggests, an impingement or abutment of the chondro-labral structures between the femur and acetabulum. Whilst the diagnosis of femoroacetabular impingement has only recently gained attention, it is known that the presentation is more common in the athletic population. High activity athletes are at increased risk; particularly athletes who participate in sports which require them to frequently move into a position of internal rotation and flexion. This makes it an important diagnosis for the sports physiotherapist to be aware of current research and the best practice.