Hip flexor strains happen when any of your muscles that lift your knees and bend at your waist (hip flexors) is stretched or torn causing symptoms of pain and swelling, among others. Athletes who perform repeated combination of bending of the knees and hips and high kicking are at risk for developing hip flexor strains. A hip flexor strain is sometimes called pulled hip flexor.
The most common cause of hip flexor strains is overuse of the hip flexors. In other cases, it may be caused by forceful kicking. A hip flexor strain can occur in sprinters or other running events, bicyclists, martial artists, and those participating in ball games, such as basketball, football, baseball, and soccer players.
Symptoms of a hip flexor strain vary and depend on the severity of your muscle strain. Symptoms may include
- Pain over the site of your injured muscle (front hip or groin area)
- Tenderness on the site of your injury
- Hip flexor weakness
- Difficulty moving your hip or pain worsens with hip movement
The type of treatment that you receive depends on the severity of your injury. Treatments may include
- Modified rest
- Properly applying ice pack for 20 minutes at a time every 3to 4 hours, during the first 2 to 3 days following your injury and hot pack application after or when swelling has subsided.
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications to help relieve your symptoms
- Physical therapy / rehabilitation
A hip flexor injury takes time to heal. In the mean time, you may have to modify your activities during your recovery period. Your physical therapist can help you with relieving your symptoms, modifying your home or work activities, and improving or maintaining your overall fitness during your recovery.
If you experience severe or incapacitating pain or are unsure of the severity of your injury, don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider.
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