Your hip flexors are activated whenever you walk, lean over, or lift anything. It doesn't matter what you're doing. It's important to note that having hip flexor pain may make even the simplest of day-to-day activities a painful ordeal for the person experiencing it. The hip flexors are a collection of muscles and tendons that may be found near the top of your thighs. Since they connect your femur to your lower spine, hip flexor discomfort will often be felt in the upper groin area of your body.
Hip flexor discomfort is quite frequent in particular types of sports, such as sprinters and cyclists; nonetheless, anybody can have a strain in this muscle group. The good news is that it is relatively simple to cure.
According to James Suchy, MD, a sports medicine expert at the Hoag Orthopedic Institute, hip flexor discomfort is often experienced as tightness or ache at the front of the hip or the groin. However, the intensity of the pain might vary greatly depending on the nature of the damage.
According to Suchy, a cracking or popping sensation may also be present if there is an associated feeling of constriction.
Other signs of an injured hip flexor include the following:
According to Suchy, athletes frequently have discomfort in their hip flexors because explosive motions, such as sprinting, can strain or tear the muscles or tendons that support the hip, including the iliopsoas and the rectus femoris.
An illustrated guide to the muscles that bend the hips with annotations
Pain in the hip flexors can be caused by two distinct types of injuries in the majority of cases:
Physical therapist Sridhar Yalamanchili, MSPT, who works at the Atlantic Spine Center, claims that the following groups of people are more likely to get injuries to their hip flexors:
According to Tobias Barker, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Riverside Health, "If it's not severe, most hip flexor discomfort may be managed at home." [Citation needed] RICE is an acronym that stands for "rest, ice, compression, and elevation." This treatment is often recommended for treating muscular strains.
Important: If you are trying to heal from hip flexor discomfort, you should refrain from getting massages. According to Suchy, the pressure that is placed on the strained muscle or tendon can be excruciating, particularly in the initial few days after the injury.
Here are seven such home remedies that might help treat hip flexor discomfort.
"Rest is the best initial step to take if you think you may have injured your hip flexor. It would be best if you didn't continue with your regular sports activities because doing so puts you in danger of further hurting the tissues in the hip. The healing process for injured tissues begins when they are allowed to rest, "Dr. Jacob Hascalovici, one of the co-founders of Clearing and the company's Chief Medical Officer, states.
In the event that you suspect the discomfort is the result of a sports injury, Barker recommends that you refrain from participating in the activity in question until your hip flexor has fully recovered.
However, resting does not always mean that you are not moving at all. In fact, according to Hascalovici, being sedentary can lead to muscular stiffness as well as a limited range of motion.
The hip flexor mobility of persons who are sedentary or sit for extended periods of time was shown to be diminished in a small study conducted in 2020. This was in comparison to people who sat for shorter amounts of time or who had greater activity levels. Hascalovici suggests beginning a time of "active rest" gradually by adding low-impact activities like yoga and swimming, in addition to mild stretching.
Ice and heat are two treatments that are commonly recommended by medical professionals for hip flexor injuries.
According to Hascalovici, while ice can help relieve pain, it can also decrease bruising and reduce swelling. Heat, on the other hand, can enhance blood flow, relax the muscles, and improve range of motion while reducing stiffness in the muscles.
Barker suggests administering ice to the affected area region for approximately twenty minutes every three to four hours, beginning as soon as possible after an injury or the onset of the discomfort. It is essential to keep in mind that frostbite can be caused by applying ice straight to the skin. Wrap an ice pack or a plastic storage bag that is loaded with ice in a damp towel or cloth rather than using a freezer bag.
Before beginning treatment with heat wraps or heating pads for 20 minutes at a time, you should wait until the inflammation has subsided, which should take around 48 hours.
According to Barker, "Compression may help stabilize the joint and decrease some of the edoema that might otherwise occur."
He suggests wearing compression shorts or wrapping the hip and pelvic region gently with an elastic bandage. Alternatively, you might try covering the area with a towel.
According to Barker, another strategy to minimize edoema is to elevate the affected limb. This helps to expedite the drainage of any extra fluid that may have accumulated in the area of the injury.
Put a pillow or a stack of cushions beneath the leg that is related to the problematic hip flexor, and do this whether you are sitting or standing. The ideal position for your foot is one in which it is higher than your heart.
Consult a medical professional or a physical therapist for individualized advice if you have sustained an injury that makes climbing stairs difficult or unpleasant.
According to Barker, stretching can be effective for reducing hip discomfort and increasing hip flexibility at the same time.
He suggests that you hold each of the following stretches for your hip flexors for several seconds:
One study from 2021 revealed that stretching the hip flexors increased not only the range of motion but also reduced the amount of tension in the area. According to the researchers, this indicates that it has the potential to be helpful in lowering pain and preventing future harm.
Important: Keep in mind that you should immediately stop executing a particular stretch if it causes any pain.
There are two categories of pain relievers that are available without a prescription:
Ibuprofen is available under the brand names Advil and Motrin, and it may be used to treat both pain and swelling.
According to Barker, acetaminophen, which is sold under the brand name Tylenol, is merely a pain reliever.
Always be sure to follow the dose directions, regardless of which option you choose.
Before using any of these pain medicines, you should first check with your doctor whether any of the following apply to you: Do you currently use any drugs that require a prescription?
The previous history of having ulcers in the stomach suffer to excessive blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or renal disease at the present time.
According to Barker and Hascalovici, avoiding the following sorts of physical actions, which might make hip flexor discomfort worse, is the best course of action.
You have a temperature and see redness around the hip flexor, both of which may be indicators of an infection.
Athletes frequently suffer from hip flexor discomfort, which is typically brought on by a strain or persistent inflammation in the area.
Pain in the hip flexors can be alleviated by using the RICE method (Rest, ice, compression, and elevation), stretching gently, and using over-the-counter pain medication. However, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible if the pain is severe if it does not get better, if it stops you from walking, or if it is accompanied by indications of infection.
"Although most injuries to the hip flexors recover within two months with the help of time, active Rest, and self-care, there are some injuries that are serious enough to require the attention of a specialist. If this is the case, you could find that working with a physical therapist or, in more extreme circumstances, undergoing surgery to heal the muscle rips can be beneficial to you, "says Hascalovici.
Warming up and stretching before engaging in physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of sustaining an injury to the hip flexors Pain.