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Hip flexor strain - aftercare

Pulled hip flexor - aftercare; Hip flexor injury - aftercare; Hip flexor tear - aftercare; Iliopsoas strain - aftercare; Strained iliopsoas muscle - aftercare; Torn iliopsoas muscle - aftercare; Psoas strain - aftercare

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Description

The hip flexors are a group of muscles toward the front of the hip. They help you move or flex your leg and knee up towards your body.

A hip flexor strain occurs when one or more of the hip flexor muscles becomes stretched or torn.

More About Your Injury

Hip flexors allow you to flex your hip and bend your knee. Sudden movements, such as sprinting, kicking, and changing direction while running or moving, can stretch and tear the hip flexors.

Runners, people who do martial arts, and football, soccer, and hockey players are more likely to have this type of injury.

Other factors that can lead to hip flexor strain include:

What to Expect

You will feel a hip flexor strain in the front area where your thigh meets your hip. Depending on how bad the strain is, you may notice:

You may need to use crutches for a severe strain.

Symptom Relief

Follow these steps for the first few days or weeks after your injury:

You can use ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) to reduce pain and swelling. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) helps with pain, but not with swelling. You can buy these pain medicines at the store.

Activity

Your doctor may recommend that as you rest the area, you do exercises that don't strain the hip flexors, such as swimming.

For a severe strain, you may want to see a physical therapist (PT). The PT will work with you to:

Self-care at Home

Follow your provider's recommendations for rest, ice, and pain relief medicines. If you are seeing a PT, be sure to do the exercises as directed. Following a care plan will help your muscles heal and likely prevent future injury.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you do not feel better in a few weeks with treatment.

References

Huntoon E, Louise K, Caldwell M. Lower limb pain and dysfunction. In: Cifu DX, ed. Braddom's Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 36.

Obrock BR, Bankhead CP, Richter D. Hip and thigh contusions and strains. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee, Drez, & Miller's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 87.

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Review Date: 6/13/2021  

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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