What is a hip flexor strain?

A hip flexor strain triggers hip pain especially in the front region. The hip flexors are a group of muscles that lift the thigh upwards as well as help lift the trunk when in a lying position.

What are the indications?

  • Pain or discomfort in the front part of the hip
  • Hip pain that abruptly develops
    Hip flexor strain
    Adequate rest is vital especially from any aggravating movements until the pain has completely settled.
  • Pain is aggravated by elevating the thigh against resistance
  • If the affected muscles are stretched, pain is produced.
  • The affected area is tender to the touch specifically the front of the hip.
  • There is swelling and bruising in severe cases

Possible causes

A hip flexor strain involves a tear in the muscle. The damage ranges from minor to a full rupture. Even though a tear to the rectus femoris is considered uncommon, the damage is often localized in the belly of the muscle or on the attachment point at the knee.

As for the iliopsoas muscle, it is positioned higher within the pelvis and typically involved during a hip flexor strain. Nevertheless, this is also an uncommon injury. The injuries frequently occur due to strenuous hip flexion especially when kicking a ball. It can also occur if the muscle is overly stretched that might involve backward movement of the thigh.

Management of a hip flexor strain

  • Adequate rest is vital especially from any aggravating movements until the pain has completely settled.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area.
  • Gentle hip flexor stretches should be started once free from pain.
  • The strengthening exercises can be started after 2-7 days depending on the pain level and severity of the injury.
  • Isometric contractions must be utilized initially in which the muscles are moved against resistance without movement.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on a hip flexor strain is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly care for a strain, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Mississauga, Surrey, Victoria, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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