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Hip Flexor Strain


 What is a hip flexor strain?
 What is the cause?
 What are the symptoms?
 How is it diagnosed?
 How is it treated?
 How can I take care of myself?
 How can I prevent a hip flexor strain?

Hip Flexor Strain: Illustration
Hip Flexor Strain: IllustrationClick here to view a full size picture.

What is a hip flexor strain?

A hip flexor strain is a stretch or tear of a muscle in your hip. You use the hip flexor muscles when you flex or lift your knee, do high kicks, or bend at the waist.

What is the cause?

Your muscles can get strained from overuse. You may be more likely to have hip flexor strain if you are a cyclist, an athlete who jumps or runs with high knee kicks, or an athlete who does forceful kicking activities, like in soccer or the martial arts.

What are the symptoms?

You have pain in the place where your thigh meets your hip.

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and activities and examine your hip and thigh.

How is it treated?

You will need to change or stop doing the activities that cause pain until your muscles have healed. For example, you may need to swim instead of cycle or run.

Your healthcare provider may recommend stretching and strengthening exercises and other types of physical therapy to help you heal.

A mild strain may heal within a few weeks. A more severe strain may take 6 weeks or longer.

How can I take care of myself?

To help relieve pain:

Moist heat may help relax your muscles. Put moist heat on the sore area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time before you do warm-up and stretching exercises. Moist heat includes heat patches or moist heating pads that you can buy at most drugstores, a wet washcloth or towel that has been heated in a microwave or the dryer, or a hot shower. Don’t use heat if you have swelling.

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions, including any exercises recommended by your provider. Ask your provider:

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.

How can I prevent a hip flexor strain?

Warm-up exercises and stretching before activities can help prevent injuries. If your hip or thigh hurts after exercise, putting ice on it may help keep it from getting injured. When you ride a bicycle, make sure the seat is at the right height for you.

healthinformatics info

Reference Sources:

DeLee, Jesse C., David Drez, and Mark D. Miller, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice, Saunders; 3rd ed. 2009.

Greene, Walter B., M.D., and Griffin, Letha Y. (Ed), Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed. Amer Academy of Orthopaedic. 2010.

Kisner, Carol, and Lynn Colby, Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques, F. A. Davis Company; 6th ed, 2012.

Mellion, Morris B., W. Michael Walsh, Christopher Madden, Margot Putukian, and Guy L. Shelton, The Team Physician's Handbook, Hanley & Belfus; 3 ed, 2001.

Micheli, Lyle J. and Mark Jenkins, The Sports Medicine Bible: Prevent, Detect, and Treat Your Sports Injuries Through the Latest Medical Techniques, HarperCollins, 1995.

O’Connor, F., et al. ACSM’s Sports Medicine: A Comprehensive Review. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2012.


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Last Modified: 2013-08-05

Last Reviewed: 2013-07-19

Website Updated: March 2014

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Published by RelayHealth. © 2014 RelayHealth and/or one of its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.


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