Although usually not serious, when overdoing it, pain can become present in the hip flexor. If left untreated, hip pain can increase so it is imperative to seek the proper treatment to avoid further injury.
What Are Hip Flexors?
The hip flexor is located near the top of your thigh and is flexible muscle tissue in the pelvic region. This muscle tissue allows for the hips and knees to bend, and when overstretched, these muscles may become strained, ultimately hindering your overall mobility.
Stretching or tearing occurs within the hip flexor when the muscles and tendons are overused. Depending on your level of activity, some may be more likely to endure this type of injury. Those who are more active are more susceptible to sustain this type of injury, such as those who engage in:
- Martial artists
When a hip flexor strain occurs, it can be classified into three grades:
- Grade I tear: Minor tears with minimal fibers damaged.
- Grade II tears: Loss of hip flexor function can cause the hip to give out and result in several damaged muscle fibers.
- Grade III tears: Due to the extensive damage, the hip can no longer bear weight and the muscle is completely torn.
Most times, these tears begin microscopically, and with repetitive activity, the tear increases in size. When the tear is addressed quickly and effectively, the risk of severe injury decreases.
Have I Strained My Hip Flexor?
When detecting a hip flexor strain, pain occurs where the thigh meets the hips. Other symptoms associated with this injury are:
- Sharp pain in the hip or pelvis
- Cramping in the upper leg muscles
- The upper leg feels tender or sore
- Tugging sensation in the front of the groin
- Difficulty kicking, jumping or sprinting
- Tightness or stiffness after being stationary
- Pain or tenderness when walking up the stairs
Hip flexor strains are most commonly sustained when engaging in physical sports; however, overuse, poor posture, and arthritis can also cause these types of strains as well.
At AICA Orthopedics, our Atlanta orthopedic doctors will not only diagnose but help to treat and manage your symptoms. Identifying and discussing all your symptoms will help us to develop the best course of treatment as well as to pinpoint what may have caused your hip pain to occur in the first place.
Treating Hip Flexor Strains
The good news with hip flexor injuries is that most can be treated at home without invasive procedures and prescription medications. Applying ice within 10-15 minute increments will help to decrease the pain and manage the swelling. Aside from ice, implementing light stretches will help to reduce tension as well as preventing future injuries from occurring.
Physical therapy is often recommended for those with larger muscle tears and in some cases, surgery may be required to repair a ruptured muscle.
Recovery times all vary dependent upon the severity of the injury. With mild strains, recovery can take a few weeks, where severe strains may take up to six weeks or more. Resting is a critical part of successful recovery, as jumping into strenuous physical activity too soon can injure or worsen the hip flexor.
When hip pain surfaces, it can hinder your ability to function at the level you desire. At AICA Orthopedics, our hip specialists work with you to increase your mobility and alleviate your pain. Contact our team of experts today at (404) 855-2141.