Hip Flexor Strain
Hip flexors are a group of muscles in frontal part of the
hip; they include the rectus femoris and iliopsoas, which originate at the hip
and run down to the femur bone. They are used primarily during walking and
running. When the hip flexors contract, tension is placed through the
hip flexor muscle fibers. Too much tension may cause muscle fibers to tear,
resulting in hip flexor strain.
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Hip flexor strains are commonly seen in
running and kicking sports such as football and soccer. The muscle
fibers become injured either due to overuse from excessive training or when
used to compensate for another injury, such as Achilles tendonitis or plantar
The symptoms of hip flexor strain may develop suddenly due
to a pulled muscle or gradually due to wear and tear over time.
A sudden sharp pain or pulling
sensation in the front of the hip or groin at the time of injury
Pain is worse when raising the lower extremity
against resistance or during stretching
Tenderness when pressure is applied to the front
of the hip (not always present)
Pain and stiffness upon waking in the morning
(not always present)
Swelling or bruising in the case of severe
To diagnose flexor hip strain, pull the knee toward the
chest and have someone apply pressure to push it downwards against your
resistance. Pain with this maneuver indicates hip flexor strain.
Hip flexor strain is classified in Grades I-III according to
the number of muscle fibers torn. Grade I results in minor pain only. Grade II
is associated with moderate pain and some loss of leg function. Grade III is a
complete tear, with severe pain and major loss of function.
Rest or use of crutches
Ice application to reduce inflammation
Medication for pain relief
Physical therapy with stretching exercises
initially, later with the addition of strengthening exercises when the pain
Compression therapy (such as specially designed
Bio Skin compression shorts) to treat and prevent further injury during the
Minor hip flexor strain usually gets
better in one to three weeks. With larger tears, recovery may take four to
eight weeks – or even longer, depending on the severity of the injury.