Hip flexor strains are a common injury among athletes. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our Northern New Jersey pain management team, led by Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, offers a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic tools to help people suffering from this muscle injury recover as quickly and as completely as possible.
What are your hip flexors, and how might you injure them?
Your hip flexors are a group of muscle that, as the name implies, flexes the hip (brings the thigh closer to the trunk). They include the iliacus muscle and psoas muscle (often known collectively as the iliopsoas), the rectus femoris (a part of your quads), the sartorius muscle (the longest muscle in your body!) and a few other muscles located near your upper leg. These muscles have attachments on your lower spine, your pelvis, and your femur.
An injury to the hip flexor may occur due to poor technique in sport or an acute event such as a slip, trip, or fall. A common method of injury may also be forcefully kicking (such as kicking a ball), overextending the leg, or pivoting.
A person may be more at risk for injuring their hip flexor if he or she has tightness in these muscles, which is common among our industrialized, chair-sitting society.
Muscle strains, including those of the hip flexors, can range in severity, from small microscopic tears and inflammation in the muscle fibers to significant tears.
How can I tell if I have a hip flexor strain?
The exact nature and location of your pain will depend on which hip flexor muscle and which part of the muscle was injured. However, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Sudden pain at the front of the hip
- Pain that worsens when the thigh is raised against resistance
- Pain that worsens when the hip flexors are stretched
- Tenderness, bruising, and/or swelling at the front of the hip
A person with a hip flexor injury may also have back pain and difficulty walking.
What treatment is available for my hip flexor strain injury?
People who see us for help with a hip flexor injury will be thoroughly evaluated by our team. We’ll look for underlying factors that may have contributed to your injury, including your posture, your body mechanics, and your foot alignment/footwear.
Based on our findings, we’ll devise a customized treatment plan to facilitate your healing. Techniques may include:
- Physical therapy, including gentle tissue healing exercises and stretches
- Acupuncture, Botox injections, electrical stimulation, and other pain management modalities
- Osteopathic manipulations (if there are underlying mobility issues within your spine and pelvis)
Additionally, we may recommend that you rest and ice your leg within the first few days to control inflammation and assist with healing.
Are you experiencing hip pain? Call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine today to schedule an appointment at our state-of-the-art facility. We offer a complete range of non-surgical orthopedic and therapeutic services to help you recover from a hip flexor strain or other injury. To schedule an appointment, call (201) 962-9199 today.