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Understanding Hip Flexor Pain and How to fix it?

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Hip Flexor Pain

Do you feel discomfort within the top of your thighs, have a sore lower back, or feel higher leg muscle tightness?

When you think about Hip Flexors, it is not hard to understand why Hip Flexor Pain can be a problem. Hip flexors are muscles in the front of your hip that attach from the top of your pelvic bone and run down to the top of your femur bone.

What are hip flexors and what do they do? 

Hip Flexor Pain

Hip flexor muscles are a group of muscles that allow the hip to move. They include the iliac and psoas major muscles, also known as your iliopsoas the rectus femoris, which is part of your quadriceps 

The main function of the hip flexor muscles is to bring your knee toward your chest and to bend at the waist. Hip flexors also rotate the hip to allow us to walk in a curved manner. Hip flexors can be injured if you have weak abdominal muscles or tight hamstrings and glutes. This is because these muscle groups help support your posture as well as balance during the movement of your body.

Hip flexor strain plays an important role in keeping you upright and you have to work harder when you bend forward or raise up on tip-toe. These muscle group also works with other groups such as hamstrings, quads, and adductors giving them hand in movement flexibility. 

Hip flexors muscles attach to your pelvis which then connects them to your femur bone (upper leg) which allows you to bend at the hip joint when walking or running. 

Certain groups of people are more likely to experience hip flexor tear or strain including people who have muscle imbalances, people who have weak muscles or are not properly conditioned, and athletes who run, jump and perform high knee kicks.

This article will go over the definition of hip flexor pain, symptoms, and the best way to fix it. And how to do the exercises at home.  

What are the causes of hip flexors?

Hip flexors are a group of muscles that help us lift our knees and move our hips. There are several causes of hip flexor pain, including:

  • Sitting for long periods of time: when we sit for long periods of time, our hip flexors become tight and can cause pain.
  • Running: repetitive motions, such as running, can also lead to hip flexor pain.
  • Pregnancy: the hormones released during pregnancy can loosen the ligaments around the hips and lead to sharp pain.
  • Straining the muscles: by doing too much activity too soon after an injury.
  • Overuse: if you are doing exercises that involve too much hip flexor movement, this can cause the muscles to become sore and painful.
  • Injury: due to trauma or falls on your hips/legs.
  • A tear: in the hip flexor muscles.
  • Overweight and obesity: excess weight puts pressure on hip flexors and then the hip can no longer bear weight which increases chances of injury. Most hip strain injuries begin as microscopic tear that gradually increases in size with repetitive hip movement. Addressing a minor tear early on is the best way to prevent the condition from worsening. Symptoms of Hip Flexor Strain The primary symptom of a hip flexor strain is pain where your thigh meets your hip. 
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Hip Flexor muscles are not used to sitting for long periods. If you do a lot of desk jobs, observe good posture while sitting and get up regularly so that Hip flexors don’t become stiff.
  • Muscle strain or injury: (especially the psoas muscle) is the most common cause of hip flexor pain. Hip flexors can be injured when they are overused, (such as strenuous activity seen in athletes, gym workouts, or lifting) or from too much sitting or when they are suddenly stretched beyond their normal range of motion, such as when you jump.
  • Hip arthritis: which is a type of arthritis that affects the hip joint
  • Hip bursitis: Hip bursitis is inflammation in one of the small fluid-filled (bursa) near a joint caused by overuse or injury.  
  • Hip fractures: Hip fracture surgery involves using screws and plates to repair fractured bones around your pelvis. The procedure usually requires general anesthesia; you will be completely asleep and unable to feel pain.
  • Hip labral tear: This is a tear in the cartilage that lines the hip socket. Hip labral tears are common in athletes who play sports that involve a lot of pivoting and quick starts and stops.
  • Hip muscle strain: it can be strained by repetitive motions such as running or walking, especially up hills or on uneven terrain. You may feel pain when you try to stretch your hip muscles.
  • Hip impingement: it is a condition in which the ball of your femur (thigh bone) rubs or squeezes against the socket (acetabulum) of your pelvis, causing pain and inflammation. 
  • Hip dislocation: it occurs when your thigh bone (femur) slips out of place, usually because of trauma.  

Symptoms of Hip Flexor Pain

When someone has strong Hip Flexor pain, it is important to stretch the Hip Flexors. Hip flexor pain can be in different parts of your body such as Inner Hip Pain and Groin Hip Pain.

The most common symptom of Hip Flexor Pain is:

– Difficulty standing from a seated position.

– Hip pain when stretching or bending the hip.

– Groin pain.

– Tenderness and swelling in the Hip Flexors.

– Limited range of motion in the Hip Flexors.

– Hip flexor pain is a condition that results in pain in the hip area.

– The pain can be caused by a few factors, such as injury, overuse, or strain.

– Hip flexor pain can make it difficult to move the hip and may cause difficulty walking.

How to fix hip flexor pain?

A hip flexor strain occurs when one or more of the hip flexor muscles become stretched or torn. Hip flexor discomfort can be a debilitating condition that limits your ability to move and do normal activities.

There are a variety of methods for avoiding and treating hip flexor discomfort. Here are some ideas for healing your hip flexors:

– Stretch your hip flexors regularly. Hip flexor stretches can help to loosen these muscles and prevent pain. There are several different stretches that you can do, including the kneeling hip flexor stretch, the standing quadriceps stretch, and the lying groin stretch.

Strengthen your glutes. Weak glutes can cause your hip flexors to work overtime, which can result in pain and injury. To strengthen your glutes, perform exercises that require you to lift one leg at a time off of the floor while lying on your back. Hip thrusts are an excellent exercise for strengthening this muscle group.

– Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Sitting is one of the main causes of hip flexor pain. If you have to sit for long periods of time, make sure to get up and move around every few hours.

– Correct your posture. Poor posture can cause tightness in the hip flexors and lead to pain. Make sure to stand up tall and engage your core muscles when sitting or standing.

– Use a foam roller. A foam roller can help to massage and loosen the hip flexors, which can relieve pain. Roll your hip flexors for at least five minutes each day.

If you experience hip flexor strain, make sure to try these tips to help get relief. If the pain continued or becomes more severe, consult a hip specialist. Hip flexor pain can be a sign of a more serious injury and should not be ignored.

Exercises for hip flexor pain relief 

There are many exercises that you can do to help relieve hip flexor pain. Hip flexor stretches and strengthening exercises are a good place to start.

Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Start in a kneeling position. 
  2. Bring one foot forward so that the ankle is in line with the knee of the kneeling leg.
  3. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the hip of the back leg.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercise

  1. Lie on your back with one foot flat on the floor, knee bent.
  2. Place a weight, such as a can of soup, on the ankle of the other leg.
  3. Straighten the leg against the weight for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
  4. Do this at least twice per day until relief is felt. Hip Flexor pain should improve. within 72 hours of starting treatment.

Severe injuries Hip Flexor Pain

if you continue to have a severe strain, it is recommended that you visited health care centers. Hip flexor injury should be evaluated by your doctor before being treated with stretching and strengthening exercises. A cortisone injection may also help provide relief from Hip Flexor Pain.

Prevention tips for avoiding hip flexor pain in the future

-Maintain good posture and alignment when standing, sitting, and walking.

-Stretch properly, before doing any kind of exercise, even walking. and It’s better to stretch muscles slowly and hold the position rather than rush through the stretches too quickly (remember, quality over quantity). Then do regular stretches and exercises that target the hip flexors.

-Avoid excessive or repetitive twisting and bending motions at the waist.

-If you are overweight, work on losing weight gradually to avoid putting extra stress on your hips and joints.

-Wear supportive shoes with proper arch support.

-Avoid sitting for long periods of time; get up and move around every 30 minutes or so.

-Ice the affected area after exercising or performing any strenuous activity.

How to treat a hip flexor strain?

In many cases, most hip flexor injuries are resolved at-home treatments within a few weeks. If the pain continues for more than 4 to 6 weeks, seek medical care immediately from, local health department, or contact your physical therapist. A doctor can make a diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment.  

Here are some common treatment steps you can try at home:

  1. Take a break in the first 48 hours to relax your hip muscles.
  2. Avoid stressful activities such as exercising, exercising, and physical activity that may increase your pain. Thus, you will be able to return to activity faster.
  3. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers. It is very important to follow the instructions and not to use them for more than 10 days.
  4. Apply an ice pack for 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours on the Apply an ice pack for 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours on the influenced area. Continue this treatment until the pain subsides.
  5. To provide more support for your hips and thighs, you can wear compression shorts.
  6. Start doing a workout gradually with your hip flexing muscles to improve your hip strength and flexibility.

If the pain persists after 10 days, it is recommended to visit a doctor to discuss alternative treatments.

Conclusion

In this blog, we have explored how hip flexor muscles work and the injuries that can occur from overuse. We also shared some of the most common symptoms a person might experience if they are experiencing pain in their hips or lower back area. 

If you’re experiencing hip flexor pain, it’s time to look at your diet and exercise routine. To avoid any pain in these areas, we recommend strengthening exercises for both groups before you start running again or increase speed on an exercise bike while increasing distance until it becomes uncomfortable. If this does not work, consult with a doctor about how best to treat the problem so you can resume physical activity without fear of hurting yourself again!

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