To flex your hip means to move your knee up toward your chest. Your primary hip flexor is a large, bulky muscle called the iliopsoas. It extends from your low back passing down through the front of the hip and connects to the large thigh bone called the femur. When you draw your knee up toward your chest that is primarily the iliopsoas working. It is a very strong muscle and one that works a lot. Every step of ever day your hip flexor is working. As exercise enthusiasts we really make the hip flexor work for it’s wages.
Sometimes due to overuse, or muscle imbalance you can develop inflammation or irritation in the muscles or their tendons as they cross over the hip joint. You may feel pain in the front of the hip that is worse with sporting activities or putting on socks, standing up or other hip-centric activities. Some patients also describe a clicking sound or sensation when they move the leg. As you might guess, other diagnosis can present in the same way so correct diagnosis is imperative to guide your treatment. Other problems that may have overlapping symptoms include hip osteoarthritis, iliopsoas bursitis, groin pulls and even hip fractures. Once your diagnosis is clear, there is a lot you can do to accelerate recovery and prevent future injury.
Once you have a diagnosis of hip flexor tendonitis, follow your healthcare provider’s advice. We often encourage patients to take a period of “relative rest.” If you find that certain activities exacerbate your pain, then avoid those for now and cross train instead. As part of our treatment plans we encourage all patients to develop flexibility around the hips. That means stretching the quadriceps, hamstrings, low back, abdominals and iliopsoas. We have developed a hip flexibility program you can purchase at our store today. Daily improvements in flexibility should also be balanced with a strengthening program of any imbalanced muscles. In many cases, the iliopsoas is overdeveloped and very tight while the gluteals are less dominant. Our hip strengthening program can help target some of the muscle imbalances and reduce the risk of recurrence.
To learn more about hip flexor tendonitis or to schedule a consultation, contact us.