Running: Hip Flexor Muscle Injuries

The hip flexor refers to the illiopsoas muscle. The illiopsoas is three different muscles called

  • Ÿrectus femoris
  • psoas major
  • iliacus

The hip flexor muscles flex and stabilizes the lower extremity. A severe muscle strain usually impairs the hip flexor range-of-motion (ROM). Tight muscles and poor flexibility aggravates tension on tissues. When the lower abdominal muscles and the pelvis are unstable, the hip flexor muscles are overworked thus becoming weak.

  • Common symptoms of a hip flexor strain is
  • pain along the front hip downward to the front thigh. Also pain from ROM kneeing toward the chest
  • running, jumping even walking is painful. Limited ROM and limping can occur
  • minimal swelling, muscle spasms and bruising

A hip flexor rehab program helps with balance, mobility, flexibility, and strengthening repair. Consistency with rehab exercises really compliments rehabilitation progress.  A hip-flexor muscle injury from running is either grade two or three. A hip flexor muscle strain is graded one to three, partial or severe muscle tear.

A first-degree strain occurs with  25% torn muscle fibers. Mild pain and a slight pull at the time of the injury. If more muscle fibers are torn then it is a second-degree strain. There is noticeable discoloration from bruising. A grade two or three running injury is expected because of the hard impact and an overstretched muscle. Hip stress fractures are most common in high-impact sports like long distance running.

Hip and thigh injuries relative to a hip flexor strain like

  • hip bursitis
  • snapping hip syndrome
  • iliotibial and syndrome
  • pulled hamstring

Related knee injuries are

  • patellofemoral syndrome (runner’s knee)
  • dislocating kneecap
  • plica syndrome (knee joint injury)

Common hip pain generally is arthritis, bursitis, muscle strain, and nerve irritation. Physical activity causes impacts and overuse syndromes, physiotherapy helps from becoming a chronic condition.

Initial treatment with the conventional RICE (rest, elevation, compression, elevation) is important, particularly ice and compression. Ice for 20 minutes every two hours, up to three days. Wrap or bandage to stabilize circulation and swelling. The wrap support should be two inches thick.

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