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What is Hip Flexor Strain and How Do I Treat It?

Sitting squarely in the center of your body, your hips do a lot of work. Every time you lift your knees to walk, run, jump, or kick, every time you bend at the waist, you put stress on the muscles and tendons in your hips. When you overwork these muscles, known as hip flexors, they can strain and tear, leaving you in pain and limiting your mobility. If you are experiencing hip pain, you must address the issue quickly to avoid causing further damage and extending the time it will take for you to recover.

What Are Hip Flexors?

Your hip flexors connect the top of the femur, which is the largest bone in your body, to your lower back, hips, and groin. These muscles, which include the iliacus and psoas major muscles and the rectus femoris in the quadriceps, all work together to provide us with mobility and flexibility.

Causes and Symptoms of Hip Flexor Sprain

Overuse, overstretching, and hyperextension are the primary culprits behind most hip flexor strains, which involve tearing, pulling, or straining of those muscles. That is why folks who do a lot of kicking and bending of the knees, such as runners, soccer players, cyclists, martial artists, and dancers, are particularly prone to these injuries.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, there is a good chance that you have strained your hip flexor and need to take action to stop further damage, reduce pain, and start the healing process:

  • sudden, sharp hip or pelvis pain after injury or trauma to the area
  • a cramping or clenching feeling in the muscles of the upper leg area
  • tenderness and soreness in the upper leg
  • loss of strength and a tugging sensation in the front of the groin
  • hip or thigh muscle spasms
  • inability to kick, jump, or sprint
  • reduced mobility and discomfort when moving
  • constant pain or discomfort in the upper leg area
  • swelling or bruising around the hip or thigh
  • tightness or stiffness after being stationary, such as when waking up.

Hip Flexor Strain Treatment and When to Seek Medical Help

Not all hip flexor strains are created equal. They can range in severity and degree, with minor tears responsive to at-home care and treatment and other more serious injuries requiring professional medical attention.

For minor strains, you can reduce swelling and pain and allow the muscles to heal by taking some or all of the following steps:

  • Resting the muscles and avoiding activities that could cause further strain
  • Applying a compression wrap around the area
  • Applying an ice pack or heat pack to the area
  • Taking a hot shower or bath
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen sodium (Aleve).

If your hip pain is particularly severe or lasts for ten days or more despite your best home-care efforts, you should see an orthopedic or sports medicine doctor as soon as possible. Your physician may recommend one of several treatment approaches for your hip flexor strain, including crutches and braces, physical therapy and rehabilitation, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. If the muscle is completely torn, surgery may be necessary to fully repair the damage.

Schedule an Appointment at OrthoMiami Today For Your Hip Flexor Issues

As an all-inclusive orthopedic facility, OrthoMiami is truly a one-stop shop for all orthopedic issues, including hip flexor strains. Patients can get their essential imaging, required surgery, and critical follow-up care, including physical therapy, all in one convenient office. The OrthoMiami team always welcomes new patients and can generally schedule new patient appointments within a couple of days.

Please contact us today at (305) 596-2828 to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting you.

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