The hip flexor is a group of muscles that originate near the hip downward to the femur, or thighbone. The hip flexor muscles flex the hip joint.
Flexion occurs when you bring your thigh upward toward your abdomen, reducing the angle of your hip joint.
Strains occur when muscles begin to tear. Your hip flexors are used when you run, regularly running strains it.
Hip flexor strains are graded one to three. A grade one strain is characterized by a small number of muscle fibers being torn with minor pain, and regular muscle function. Grade two strains are larger number of fibers tear, and impairment of range-of-motion (ROM) and flexibility. Grade three is a complete hip-flexor tear usually with extreme pain and loss of muscle function.
A hip flexor strain is tearing of one or more of the hip flexor muscles, typically with pain in the front of the hip or groin.
- grade one hip flexor strain recovery time is one to two weeks. Minor strain requiring rest and the conventional RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
- grade two hip flexor strain recovery time is two to four weeks. Partial strain recovery time is crucial
- grade three hip flexor strain recovery time is six to eight weeks, usually after surgery and physiotherapy rehabilitation
The most commonly involved muscle in a hip flexor strain is the iliopsoas.
Initial treatment and throughout rehabilitation the RICE technique helps swelling and inflammation. Specially ice and compression anytime to counter immediate inflammation and to help circulation.
Generally, they should be performed three times daily. A physiotherapist should personalize initial exercises up to an advanced phase. Relatively, progression to more advanced exercises should be done without pain.
Grade one recovery time is one to two weeks. Grade two, is two to four weeks. Grade three is six to eight weeks. When there is no pain immediately start rehabilitation exercises to restore strength and flexibility (range-of-motion, ROM). Two commonly performed exercises immediately after injury are
- hip flexion stretch (10 sets)
- hip extension in lying (10 sets)