A hip flexor strain occurs when your hip flexor muscles become injured through various activities that cause the muscles to overstretch or hyperextend. Such strains can vary in severity, from minor injuries which can be treated at home to severe strains that need medical attention.
Where are your hip flexors located and how can they become injured?
Your hip flexors are the group of muscles that connect your femur in your upper leg to your hips, groin and lower back. This set of muscles works together to help you move around and stabilize yourself.
Through overuse or overstretching, the muscles and tendons that make up your hip flexors can become injured. Because your hip flexors are most engaged when you bring your knees up, activities that involve this motion such as running, dancing and martial arts are most likely to result in hip flexor strain.
What are the typical signs of a hip flexor strain?
Sharp pain in the pelvis or hip area is the most common symptom of a hip flexor strain and usually appears suddenly after the injury has occurred. You may also experience cramping in your upper leg muscles, tenderness or swelling in the area, muscle spasms in your thighs or hips, and overall reduced mobility and strength in your hips and upper legs.
How should you treat a hip flexor strain?
Minor hip flexor strains can typically be treated at home. Resting the muscles and avoiding activities that can aggravate the injury can help encourage healing. To deal with the pain associated with such an injury, you can apply a compression wrap, use ice or heat on the injured area, or take over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen.
If you continue to experience pain in your hip flexors after 10 days, medical attention may be needed; in severe cases, physical therapy or even surgery may be necessary. Contact the orthopedic doctors at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists to learn more about your treatment options and our orthopedic services.Return to Blog