Pulled Hip Flexor
Dealing With A Pulled Hip Flexor
A pulled hip flexor can lead to a great deal of swelling and pain. It is very important that you seek medical attention immediately when symptoms initially appear to prevent worsening the injury. Only a doctor can determine the exact cause of the pain as well as the severity of the injury.
Hip flexors are the group of muscles that are found in the top, front part of your thigh and they extend into your hip. They serve the important purpose of moving your thigh forward or bringing it up toward your chest. There are a few different causes of a pulled hip flexor such as:
- Overuse – Individuals who actively participate in repetitive sports such as running, kicking or jumping are prone to these types of injuries. Repetitive movement causes the muscles or tendon to become sore and inflamed. If your injury is minor and there is no tear, rest, ice and inflammatory medication will usually take care of it. Depending on how severe the injury is, this could take several weeks to heal.
- Forceful Movements – Many sports and activities such as sprinting, soccer and baseball can cause a pulled hip flexor due to the constant start and stop movements. These actions pull quite forcefully and inflict a great deal of stress on your hip flexor. Additionally, a blow to the area is often responsible for injury as well. When an injury is due to a forceful cause, pain is generally immediate and severe and if treatment is not received right away, the tendons and muscles can tear either partially or completely. Once a tear is present, it may take months to heal and surgery may even be required.
- Hip Replacement – Individuals who suffer from a severe hip injury or hip arthritis may need to have surgery so that the hip joint can be replaced with a prosthesis. However, in some cases, residual hip flexor pain remains and may get worse when the knee is pulled toward the chest. If this happens, steroid injections may be necessary or additional surgery could be required to release pressure to the nerves or muscles in the area.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
To reduce your risk for a pulled hip flexor, it is imperative that you stretch the area out completely before engaging in any type of physical activity.
- Begin by kneeling with your right knee either on a carpeted surface or an exercise mat. Your left foot will be on the ground with your knee facing the sky.
- Place both of your hands on your left knee and lunge your body forward slightly so you feel a good solid stretch in your right thigh and hip.
- Hold this stretch steady for 10 seconds. Do not bounce around!
- Switch your legs so that you are kneeling on your left knee and your right foot is on the mat. Repeat the same stretch.
- If your hip flexor still feels tight, take the time to stretch both sides out again.
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
This is a stretch that you should perform at the end of your workout. It may be tempting to just sit (or lay) down after you get done exercising but your muscles need to be stretched out and cooled down.
- Begin in a standing position with your hands placed on your hips and your feet together. Lunge your left leg back behind you and really squeeze the left side of the glutes. This will intensify the stretch. Check your alignment and make sure that you feel the stretch and your hip flexor is open.
- Reach your arms forward and clasp your fingers together at chest level. Flip your hands inside out so your palms are facing forward, drop your head and round your back.
- Hold this stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds and then return to your starting position with your feet together and hands on your hips. Switch sides and then repeat two more times on each side. If you still feel as though your hip flexors are tight, repeat again.