- Sprint or kick: This is more common in athletes such as runners, soccer players, martial artists, and dancers. It can also happen in those who are involved in other sports such as cycling, running, swimming, hockey, and baseball. Other activities such as spin classes and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and activities involving kicking, squatting, and jumping can also cause hip flexor injury. These people are more prone to hip flexor injuries due to overuse and overstretching of hip flexors that give rise to hip flexor pain.
- Running to catch a bus, train, or plane: If you are involved in jobs that require you to sit at one place continuously for longer periods, you stay in a position where the hip flexors shorten and become stiff due to disuse. If you suddenly stretch the stiff muscle while running or when you trip and fall while running, you may experience hip flexor strain or pain.
What are the signs and symptoms of a hip flexor strain?
You will feel sudden hip pain as soon as you get hip flexor strain or tear. Other symptoms of a hip flexor tear or strain include:
What is the fastest way to heal hip flexor strain?
The fastest way for muscle healing is following the acronym RICE, in which each letter specifies a special action—R: Rest, I: Ice pack, C: Compression, and E: Elevation.
Rest: Getting rest for 7-10 days is one of the most important ways to help heal your muscle strain.
Ice pack: Applying cold packs such as ice packs for 20 minutes at a time several times a day helps resolve the swelling and resulting pain. You can find many options at the drugstore or supermarket.
Compression: Wrap a tight bandage known as compression wrap (available in the market) around the hip area.
Other steps include:
- Applying heat: Use hot packs such as electric belts or hot water bags that will help resolve swellings.
- Painkillers medications: Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers such as acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen can help relieve your pain. Do not take them for more than 7 days.
Other conditions that can cause flexor hip pain include tendonitis, muscle tear, and hip fracture. These are conditions that need immediate medical attention. Do not forget to seek medical help if your hip pain does not go away within a week after using the above at-home measures.
How to prevent hip flexor strain?
You just need to stretch your muscles every day and stay flexible to avoid hip flexor strain.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends two easy stretching exercises for stretching the hip flexors. People of any age can do these exercises.
- Bridges: Lie down on your back with your arms at your sides and feet on the floor with your knees bent. Press into your heels and lift your hips off the floor while squeezing your glutes. Keep your shoulders as close together under your body as possible. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the original position, then repeat several times.
- Stand straight: Lift your right knee as high as you can, bringing it toward your chest. Then, bring it down slowly. Repeat the same for the left leg. The exercise looks like slow marching in place. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the entire exercise.
A physical therapist can suggest the best stretches for you. Consider seeking an expert opinion from them for recovering from hip flexor strain.
Avoid sitting for long periods. Get up after every 45 minutes, move around, or stretch your legs.
Remember to warm up before doing any type of exercise, even something like jogging. This especially applies to moderate-intensity and high-intensity exercises.
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The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Hip strains. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/hip-strains/
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