Do you have pain when lifting your leg up? Yes, than you might have hip flexor strain.

Your hip flexors are comprised of iliopsoas (psoas and iliacus), rectus femoris and sartorius. These group of muscles are responsible for moving the knee to the chest, in other words bending the hip. The most common hip flexor muscle to strain is the iliopsoas. This muscle travels from the lower back to the top of the thigh bone. When you strain your hip flexor, pain will generally present in the groin or hip region. 

What is the main causes of hip flexor strains?

Your hip flexors are most likely to be strained during an explosive motion through the hip. This includes sprinting or kicking a ball. The muscle gets strained when it’s close to its maximum stretch or in a stretched position. Hip flexor strains can occur as a result of overuse. This can be from repetitive strains or from over use of the hip flexor muscles. It is most commonly seen in sports such as football, dancing and soccer.  When the hip flexors contract or stretch, the hip flexor muscle fibres are put under a lot of pressure. When this tension and pressure continues to increase, the muscle fibres will eventually tear. 

Grades of hip flexor strains?

As a strain is a tear in the muscle fibres, the degree of the strain can vary. Hip flexor strains ranges from a grade 1 to 3 strain. The most common being a grade 2 strain. A Grade 1 tear is when a few fibres are torn, where you will experience some pain however your range of motion is not affected. A Grade 2 tear, is when a moderate number of hip flexor fibres are torn, where pain and a moderate loss of function is reported. A Grade 3 tear is a full rupture of all the muscles fibres resulting in severe pain, bruising and loss of function. 

What are the signs and symptoms of a hip flexor strain?

A sudden, sharp, local pain or pull at the groin/ hip area is felt. A grade 1 strain will usually permit the individual to continue in the activity. In a more severe strain the patient can experience muscle spasm, severe pain, won’t be able to continue the activity and weakness in the hip. Stiffness in the morning or during rest may occur as a result of inflammation in the hip flexor muscle. A minor tear will take roughly 1-3 weeks to recover, where as a major tear can take 3-8 weeks.

How can you prevent a hip flexor strain?

  • Warm up and stretch properly before activity
  • Don’t over load the muscle with too much activity or a sudden increase/ Overtrain
  • Heat pack to release the muscle
  • Foam rolling- flexibility of the muscle is important
  • Strengthen hip flexors and surrounding musculature
  • History of hip flexor strains- use cold and compression post physical activity

If you feel you are experiencing hip flexor tightness or a strain, please come see our friendly chiropractors at Lakeside Chiropractic. Our sports chiropractors will be able to diagnose the cause of your hip and groin pain and provide appropriate care. A multimodal approach will be used to treat a hip flexor strain, depending on the individual’s needs. Here at Lakeside Chiropractic our treatment can include soft tissue therapy, rehabilitative exercises, dry needling, mobilisations, cold laser therapy, electrotherapies, taping and hip manipulative therapy.

Lakeside Chiropractic is located central to the northern suburbs of Perth, Joondalup 6027. Surrounding suburbs include; 6028-Currambine, Kinross, Burns Beach, Iluka; 6027-Connolly, Mullaloo, Ocean Reef; 6036-Butler, Jindalee; 6065-Hocking, Ashby, Tapping; 6025- Hillarys, Kallaroo, Padbury, Craigie. You can call Lakeside Chiropractic on 9300 0095 to make an appointment or book online at www.lakesidechiro.com.au. We accept all major health insurances and provide HICAPS with HCF, SGIO, BUPA, AHM, HBF, HIF Medibank, NIB. If your private health care isn’t listed please ask the reception upon making your booking.

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