Your hip flexors are the muscles that comprise the front of your hip; you use them when you bend your hip, run or kick. Your hip flexors are susceptible to pain or injury if you place excessive or repetitive stress on them.
Hip flexor pain often comes from strains that occur when your hip flexor muscles sustain tears. Tight muscles, which can result from prolonged sitting, a direct blow to your hip, or poor conditioning can lead to a hip flexor strain. While hip flexor pain should be examined by a physician, there are actions you can take to help get rid of hip flexor pain.
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To avoid hip flexor injury and muscle tightness, always stretch your hips prior to exercising or participating in sports.
Get Rest and Apply Ice
Rest your hip. Sore hip flexor muscles can benefit from rest. Avoid the activities that caused your pain or that will contribute to the over-use and stress on your hip flexors. For mild to moderate strain, 10 to 14 days of rest may be required, according to Healthline. Ice your affected hip for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
Keep the leg of your affected hip elevated as much as possible for the first 48 hours from the onset of pain. You can also take over-the-counter pain medications to help control pain, if approved by your doctor.
Seek Medical Attention
Visit your doctor. Pain that persists for more than two to three days should be examined by a physician. Your doctor will conduct a medical history and physical exam, and may order imaging studies to help make a diagnosis. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. The treatment may include rest, use of crutches, physical therapy, stretching or anti-inflammatory medications.
Do Stretches for Hip Pain
Stretching your hips can help alleviate hip flexor pain and keep it from recurring. Perform a standing hip flexor stretch:
Stand up straight with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. Your knees should be straight but not locked. Stand beside a table or chair for support. Slowly lift the knee of the affected leg off the ground and as high in the air as you can comfortably go. Keep your back straight and tighten your hip muscles as you perform this stretch. Hold this position for a count of two seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times, twice a day.
WebMD describes hip flexor stretches that can be done from a standing, sitting, kneeling or supine position. Perform these exercises carefully and slowly. Try the different positions and use the ones that give you a reasonable stretch without pain.
Read more: Exercises for Hip Flexor Strain
Continue With Low-Impact Workouts
Modify your exercise routine as you recover. Avoid activities that cause you pain and focus on low-impact exercises. Low-impact exercises avoid jarring movements and minimize the stress placed on your hips. Consider walking on a treadmill, swimming, low-impact aerobics, using an elliptical machine or riding a stationary bike.
If pain continues during stretching or exercise, discontinue the exercise sessions and contact your doctor.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.