Experience Pain While Tying Your Shoes?

Jan 16

Has tying your shoes become an arduous task? Here’s a test to check:  Kick off your shoes and sit down on a chair. Now reach down and put your shoes back on.

Did you have to rotate your foot up when you reached down to tie your shoe?

Did you hold your breath when reaching, or release a groan while grabbing your shoe?

Did you have to lean back in the chair to get your shoe on, or did you experience hip or back pain while reaching down?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a hip impingement syndrome, also known as Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI). Hip impingement seems to recently be the hot diagnosis in the orthopedic world, most likely due to the amount of time many people spend sitting in a desk chair.

There are three common presentations of FAI:

  1. Cam Impingement – The round shape of the femur’s head (where the thigh bone inserts into the hip socket) changes shape and becomes more oblong. This change makes it difficult for the femur’s head to fit into the acetabulum, which is the hole in the pelvis that forms the hip joint.

  2. Pincer Impingement
    – As opposed to changes in the femur, a pincer impingement indicates that the acetabulum changed shape, which prevents the hip bone from sitting properly within the joint.
  3. Mixed Impingement – This is a combination of both Cam and Pincer Impingements, and may result in the most limited of motion.



There are many theories of why impingements occur.  They can result from years of playing sports on hard surfaces (basketball, tennis, running,etc), or it may be a result of a developmental problem that you could have had since childbirth.  The impingement could also be related to poor foot mechanics, ankle instability, weak core strength, or just from sitting at a computer for extended hours.

FAI is diagnosed by X-Ray, so if you are experiencing hip or back pain, you should get evaluated by an experienced medical professional.

If you do not have pain, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear.

Here’s another test to check for impingements:  While laying on your back, pull your knees to your chest. Can you touch your knee to your chest? If
By getting evaluated by a medical professional, you may catch and treat a current hip impingement and avoid future hip issues or episodes of lower back pain. not, do you experience groin, hip or back pain when trying?  If you can touch your knee to your chest, gently pull your knee towards your opposite shoulder.  Any pain now? If so, get your hips checked out.

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