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Many athletes, and especially those involved in sports where the hip flexors are highly used, are susceptible to hip flexor strain. The hip flexors are an important group of muscles that assist in moving the leg and knee towards the body. If one of the hip flexor muscles becomes stretched or torn, you might experience hip flexor strain. This condition can be treated at home, but if symptoms worsen, contact your doctor.

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Hip Pain

Experiencing pain in the hip area or other muscles surrounding it is a likely indication of a hip flexor strain. If you are active in sports, you might feel pain in the front area that connects that thigh and the hip. You may notice a mild, pulling pain. In some cases, pain can be more severe and may make it difficult to move. If you do experience this type of pain, seize any physical activity and apply an ice pack over the area for up to 20 minutes. Repeat this over the course of a few days, making sure not to apply ice directly onto the skin.

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Cramping

Cramping is another painful symptom that appears in many cases of a hip flexor strain. Cramping can occur when you try to move the affected muscles, but it may also occur during other moments of the day, even when you aren't physically active. Cramping can be felt in the hip flexor muscle group, especially in the front area near the groin. To ease the pain, try taking over-the-counter pain medication, including ibuprofen or naproxen. Remember to consult your doctor before using such medication. Some people should avoid certain medication, and never consume more than the recommended amount.

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Limping

As a result of your injury, limping may occur. The hip flexor muscles are an essential group of muscles in the legs, and without them, movement would be jeopardized. As such, limping may occur if the muscles become damaged. You may also experience a sharp pain alongside limping, which may make walking difficult. Your medical caretaker may issue a series of recommendations to ease the pain. These include stretches that aid in strengthening the hip flexors. You should also rest, as certain movements can make the condition worse. Swimming, for example, should be completely avoided.

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Spasms

It is not uncommon to feel spasms in the hip flexor muscles if these become injured. Injury can occur for various reasons, the most common of which is stretching too much or sudden movements of the muscle. Spasms may be felt throughout the leg, which may result in involuntary movement. If you experience hip flexor strain, try contacting a physical therapist who can assist you in recovering. He or she may ask you to stretch the muscles in a certain way. You can also control the amount of physical movement to help the recovery process. Following the recommendations of your health caretaker is important.

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Bruising

If one or more of the six muscles in the hip flexor muscle group become strained, you may notice a slight to moderate amount of bruising on or near the affected area. The most important muscle in this group is the iliopsoas, which is often ignored due to forceful movements such as kicking or sprinting. As a result, you may notice bruising in the following hours or days. In most cases, bruising is completely harmless, and it just indicates a breakage of the veins. You can apply an ice pack over the area. Continue to monitor the symptoms to evaluate healing.

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Swelling

A frequent indication of hip flexor injury is swelling present in the affected muscles. Swelling usually occurs shortly after injury, and may persist for the duration of recovery. You may also notice accompanying symptoms, such as tenderness and bruising. Swelling occurs because the injured muscles receive a higher amount of blood flow. This might make the skin feel warm to the touch. To help reduce swelling, try applying an ice pack over the area several times a day, for up to three days. If swelling persists, contact your doctor. If you practice sports such as martial arts, be sure to take necessary precautions.

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Severe Pain

When it comes to the muscles of the hip flexor, there are varying degrees of muscle injury. In benign cases, pain will be minimal; a slight discomfort, at best. However, in other cases, pain can be categorized as severe. This might make it difficult to move or get around. If there is a complete tear of one of the muscles, you are likely to feel severe pain. Another warning sign of a damaged muscle is bruising that occurs along the affected area. Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you notice this type of pain.

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Lack of Strength

You may observe a weakening of the legs as a result of your injury. Depending on the case, you might even feel as if you can't control the muscles of the leg. To check if your strength is okay, try lifting the knee. This test uses resistance to see if there is a complete tear of the leg. It's important to pay special attention to the core stability of the body because this supports smooth and healthy movement of the hip flexors. If you actively participate in sports, make sure to go over the necessary precautions with your trainer.

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Tender To Touch

Another common symptom of a hip flexor strain is being tender to the touch. The muscles of the hip flexor, when injured, are likely to become tender. You can notice this when massaging the area lightly. Besides tenderness of the skin, other similar symptoms may appear on a superficial level, indicating potential injury. These include a redness of the skin as well as bruising. You may also notice the skin becoming hot when touched. If you have weak muscles, don't warm up, have stiff muscles, or have recently suffered a trauma or fall, you have a higher risk of developing hip flexor strain.

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Muscle Deformity

If your hip flexor muscles become severely damaged, you may notice a visible deformity of the muscle. There are various degrees of injury, each with their symptoms. On a grade one tear, symptoms are minimal, and light rest is needed. On a grade two tear, pain and other symptoms become more aggravated, and on a third-grade tear, meaning a severe case of hip flexor strain, muscle deformity is usually visible. This will cause massive pain, which requires medical attention. Contact your doctor if you become injured while practicing physical activities.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.