Hip Flexor Strain

Hip flexor strain can occur when the hip flexor muscles are pulled, strained, torn or injured.


Pain in the front of the hip is the most common symptom associated with a hip flexor injury.

The pain can range from mild to intense, depending on the severity of the strain.

Other common symptoms include:

• Tenderness, swelling, and bruising

• Increased pain when you lift your knee

• Decreased mobility

• Difficulty walking without limping

• Muscle spasms, cramping and/or sharp pain


Athletes, particularly those who play sports that involve kicking, changing direction, or other sudden movements, are at greater risk for experiencing a hip flexor injury. This movement can stretch and tear the hip muscles.

An injury to the hip flexors from a direct hit or fall can also injure these muscles. Weak muscles and not stretching before play increase your risk for straining your hip flexors.

Sports associated with hip flexor injuries include:

• Rugby • Hockey• Football • Martial Arts • Cycling •Dancing


The hip flexors are groups of muscles that connect your femur (thighbone) to your pelvis. They allow you to bend and lift your knee towards your body. These muscles can become injured if they are stretched too far or torn.

A strain is a tearing of the muscle ranging from mild to severe:

Grade I tear: a minor tear, in which only a few fibers are damaged

Grade II tear: a significant number of muscle fibers are damaged and you have a moderate loss of hip flexor function

Grade III tear: the muscle is completely ruptured or torn, and you usually can’t walk without a limp


Hip flexor strains generally heal on their own. However there are steps you can take to reduce pain and swelling. Your therapist may recommend a number of options including:

• Rest from aggravating activities

• Ice and then heat alternated after 72 hours

• Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID)

• Light Stretches

• After your pain and swelling subside gentle strengthening exercises to improve your range of motion and speed up your recovery.

How long it takes a hip flexor strain to heal depends on how severe the injury is. A mild strain can take a few weeks to heal. But a severe strain can take six weeks or more to heal

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