The hip flexor, made up of your psoas and iliacus muscles, runs from the lower spine and pelvis to your upper thigh. It is a big mover muscle, it flexes your hip, bends your trunk towards your thigh and contributes to rotating the thigh. It is a hard working muscle involved in many daily activities, but it also tries to pick up the slack when other muscles such as your core and pelvic stability muscles like your glutes aren’t working up to par, meaning it is easier for this muscle to become overworked and injured.
What causes hip injury?
This muscle is often starting in a disadvantaged, shortened position, making it harder for it to do its’ job because we spend so much of our day sitting. Repetitive overuse stresses can create micro-tears in the muscle belly or tendon leading to inflammation, damage, weakness and pain.
- bending over to put socks on,
- squatting to sit down,
sitting for long periods all aggravate this condition.
Patients also commonly complain of “clicking” in the hip.
Hip injury treatment
With treatment, initially you need to stop or limit the aggravating activity to give the muscle/tendon time to heal. It can also help to adjust your seat height so that the hips sit higher then the knees to avoid “hip pinching” in the initial stages of healing. We will work to manage the inflammation to promote an optimum environment for healing through manual techniques, modalities and icing instructions.
We will use manual techniques and a prescribed stretching program to decrease muscle tension, taking stress off the healing muscle/tendon. We will look at your gait mechanics, and the muscle activation/strength of your stability muscles in the core and pelvis, and develop an appropriate exercise program to build strength and ingrain proper movement patterns to make sure the hip flexor can focus on its’ primary job and to help prevent this condition from coming back!
If you think you may be suffering from a hip injury, contact us today to book an appointment.