Thursday, November 19, 2009
Hip Flexor Injury
Muscles at the front of the hip are called the hip flexors - iliopsoas ( muscle originates from the lower back and pelvis and inserts into the thigh bone (femur).
Hip flexors - responsible for moving the knee towards the chest (bending the hip) during activity and are particularly active when sprinting or kicking.
Hip flexor strains - occur due to a sudden contraction of the hip flexor muscles (particularly in a position of stretch).
Signs and symptoms:
Sudden sharp pain or pulling sensation in the front of the hip or groin at the time of injury.
Minor strains - pain may be minimal allowing continued activity.
Severe strains - experience severe pain, muscle spasm, weakness and an inability to continue the activity, may also be unable to walk without limping. Pain when lifting the knee towards the chest or during activities such as running, kicking or going upstairs, pain or stiffness after these activities with rest, especially upon waking in the morning. Swelling, tenderness and bruising may also be present in the hip flexor muscles.
Minimize activities which place large amounts of stress through the hip flexors particularly running and kicking activities - rest from aggravating activities - once can perform activities pain free, gradually return to these activities.
Ignoring symptoms may to lead to chronic condition - appropriate treatment for hip flexor strain is essential to ensure a speedy recovery – to avoid future recurrence.
Apply ice to the hip flexors in the initial phase of injury (first 72 hours) will speed up recovery time - apply ice for 20 minutes every 2 hours.
Massage therapy or Physiotherapy are essential to avoid injury recurrence.
Reconditioning the hip flexor muscles with flexibility and strengthening program – gradually return to activities
Minor hip flexor strain can usually recover in one to three weeks - larger tears, recovery may take four to eight weeks or longer depending on the severity - complete ruptures of the hip flexor muscles are rare and are usually managed conservatively, recovery may be significantly longer.
Factors to the development of a hip flexor strain
• muscle weakness (quadriceps, hip flexors or gluteals)
• muscle tightness (hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings or gluteals)
• inappropriate training
• inadequate warm up
• joint stiffness (lower back, hip or knee)
• poor biomechanics
• poor posture
• inadequate rehabilitation following a previous hip flexor injury
• decreased fitness
• poor pelvic and core stability
• neural tightness
• muscle imbalances