Managing a hip flexor strain

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A hip flexor strain involves tearing or stretching of a muscle or tendon. The hip flexor is a group of muscles found at the front region of the hip that is responsible for the forward movement when running or walking. Kicking or sprinting places significant strain on the hip flexor. Straining these muscles causes severe pain in the groin, difficulty walking or lifting the leg becomes very difficult. People who play kick boxing and soccer are susceptible to this condition.

Causes of hip flexor strain

  • Sedentary lifestyle can result to weakness of the hip flexors.
  • Overuse and repetitive movement
  • Acute and spontaneous contraction of the muscles such as sudden kick or turning in some sports.
  • Performing exercises without proper warm-up
  • Falls or vehicular accidents
    Hip flexor strain
    Difficulty walking or lifting the leg in a vertical direction and folding the leg from the joint of the hip.


  • Severe and nagging pain that can be felt in the groin area.
  • Difficulty walking or lifting the leg in a vertical direction and folding the leg from the joint of the hip.
  • Limping when walking due to pain.
  • Bruising and inflammation of the muscles
  • The area is tender when touched
  • A bulge can be seen on top of the thigh when there is rupture of the hip flexor.


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected hip flexor. Avoid performing activities that causes pain. Avoid running or lifting the thigh for a few days. Light walking is good for the condition.
  • Apply an ice pack on the area for at least 30 minutes at a time every 3-4 hours. Avoid applying the pack directly on the skin to prevent. Continue applying compress for the next 2-3 days until the pain totally disappears.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications to lessen pain and inflammation.
  • As pain is minimized, start performing rehabilitation exercises with the help of the physical therapist to increase strength of the affected muscles.
  • Stretch the muscle to improve the strength and flexibility of the hip such as hip flexor stretches.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a hip flexor strain is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage strains including on the hip flexor, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

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