The hip flexors are defined as a cluster of muscles, which are toward the anterior of the hip. They assist you to flex or move your knee and leg near your body. The strain of the hip flexor takes place when one or more than one muscle of the hip flexor gets torn or stretched.
The Function of the Hip Flexor
The hip flexor is made up of psoas major and iliacus muscles, and therefore it is called as a person’s iliopsoas. The part iliopsoas is the toughest or strongest among all the hip flexors. Both the muscles are separated in the stomach, but fuse in the thigh.
Important functions of Iliopsoas Muscle
The iliopsoas is the most important part of the hip flexor as it helps in running, standing and walking. This muscle originates from the region of lumbar discs and vertebrae and later insets onto the femur bone. A tight and short iliopsoas results in rotated feet and legs. It can even cause severe pain in the mid or low back, hip, knee, groin, thigh and SI joint.
Ways to treat Hip Flexor Strain
1) A person suffering with pain should take a lot of rest, as inflammated hip flexor muscles can really benefit from appropirate amount of rest. One should avoid doing activities that can cause pain. Apply ice on the affected hip for atleast 20 minutes and repeat several times in a day. Keep the affected leg in an elevated position for a maximum time as much as around 48 hours.
2) If the pain persists above three days, one should visit your doctor. A physician can guide the best after analysing the patient’s medical history and if required imaging studies. The patient should follow the doctor’s instructions religiously. The doctor can advise complete rest, physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medications.
3) Stretching of hips really does wonders to relieve the pain in the hip flexor muscles. One should also do a hip flexor stretch in a standing position. Change your exercise routine as you start to recover. Strictly avoid the activities that can aggrevate pain. One can start with slow walking on the treadmill or practise low-impact set of aerobic exercises.
Hip flexor injuries usually occur when you overstretch or overexert your hips or legs. It is recommended that you pursue adequate warm ups prior to doing any rigorous exercise.