Pericapsular hip muscle activity in people with and without femoroacetabular impingement. A comparison in dynamic tasks Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES:Compare anterior pericapsular muscle activity between individuals with and without femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) during dynamic tasks, to investigate whether muscle activity is consistent with a role in retracting the capsule to prevent impingement and active restraint of the femoral head in walking. DESIGN:Cross-sectional. SETTING:University-laboratory. PARTICIPANTS:Thirteen athletes with FAIS and 13 pain-free controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Muscle activity was recorded using fine-wire (Iliocapsularis, iliacus and anterior gluteus minimus) and surface (rectus femoris) electromyography (EMG), during three hip flexion tasks (active and assisted hip flexion; squatting) and four walking trials. RESULTS:Iliocapsularis EMG amplitude was no different between active and assisted hip flexion tasks around 90° of hip flexion in FAIS. There was no difference in EMG between groups in squatting. The pattern of burst activity preceding peak hip extension in iliacus, iliocapsularis, and anterior gluteus minimus was similar in both groups during walking. CONCLUSION:In FAIS, similar activation of iliocapsularis during active and assisted hip flexion, despite reduced flexion torque demand in the latter, suggests a role in capsular retraction or enhanced hip joint protection. Pericapsular muscle activity in advance of peak hip extension during walking is consistent with a proposed contribution to femoral head control.

publication date

  • 2020