How to Treat a Hip Flexor Strain

Runner athlete stretching legs
A young woman is stretching her hip flexors and leg muscles. (Image: lzf/iStock/Getty Images)

The hip flexor is the group of muscles located in the front portion of your hip that allows for forward motion when your run or walk. When kicking or sprinting, large amounts of stress are applied to the hip flexor. This stress can result in a hip flexor strain. A hip flexor strain is the tearing or stretching of a muscle or a tendon, according to Kapi'Olani Orthopaedic Associates. The hip flexor may become inflamed and painful. A hip flexor strain requires treatment.

Hip Flexor Strain Treatment

Step 1

Visit your family doctor. If you suspect you have a hip flexor strain, a trip to your family doctor can help to determine exactly what is wrong. An examination of your hip and thigh will allow your doctor to come to a diagnosis. Further testing may be required if your doctor suspects a severe strain or further injury.

Step 2

Ice your hip flexor muscles. Place ice packs on your injury for 30 minutes at a time. You should ice your hip flexor every three to four hours. Continue this treatment for the next two to three days or until you are pain-free.

Step 3

Take anti-inflammatory medications. During your doctor visit, it is likely that your doctor prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine. Take your medications as directed.

Step 4

Rest your hip flexor muscles. Avoid engaging in the activity that caused your hip flexor strain. Avoid sports and exercise until you are pain free. Returning to your normal activities too quickly can turn your hip sprain into a chronic problem if you do not take the time to recovery.

Step 5

Stretch your hip flexor muscles. Gradual stretching can help to improve the strength and flexibility of your hip. You can engage in hip flexor stretches. In a hip flexor stretch you kneel on both of your knees. Your unaffected leg should be placed forward with your foot flat on the floor. Slowly lean forward at your hip as your slightly arch your back. You will feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Hold this position for a count of 30 seconds and repeat a set of three repetitions.

Step 6

Stretch your quadriceps gor thigh muscles. Stand with your hands on a counter or wall for support. Grasp the top portion of your foot and ankle on your injured leg. Pull your foot up so that you are approaching your buttock. When you feel a stretch on the front of your thigh, hold this position for a count of 30. Repeat one set of three repetitions.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice

  • Anti-Inflammatory Medication

Tip

Prevention is key in preventing hip flexor strains and other hip injuries. You should address mobility, flexibility, balance and strength during your regular workouts.

Warning

You should never complete any stretching exercise to the point where you feel pain. If you experience pain, discontinue your stretching program. If your condition does not improve, contact your doctor.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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