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Treating Injuries to Hip Flexors Using Physical Therapy

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Hip flexors are the muscles located on the front of your hip. They’re a muscle group that helps your hip move and bend. These muscles play an important role in a lot of movements. They’re especially important for movements such as kicking or running. Hip flexors undergo a significant amount of stress as part of their everyday function. We can reduce the stress and likelihood of injury by warming up prior to strenuous activity. Without warming up these muscles they are particularly susceptible to injuries or tears.

Injuries to hip flexors are not only painful, but they impact your hip’s ability to move effectively. Thankfully, A Family Chiropractic Clinic has experienced physical therapists that are trained to improve recovery time. Our expert staff can help with a variety of physical therapy needs, including rehabilitating torn or injured hip flexors. Our physical therapists can help you through recovery while minimizing pain.

Injuries to Hip Flexors

Your hip flexors are vital to a number of movements. It’s extremely important you stretch and warm up these muscles before partaking in any strenuous activity. If you don’t, then every stretch and contraction has the potential to tear your hip flexors. When these muscles experience a tear you feel pain and varying degrees of loss of function.

There are three different degrees of hip flexor tears. Mild or small tears are considered to be Grade 1. This level has minimal loss of function and mild pain. When a larger number of muscle fibers are torn the injury is considered to be Grade 2. This often has moderate pain and significantly limited mobility. The most severe hip flexor injury is a Grade 3 tear. This occurs when there is a total rupture of all hip flexor muscle fibers. Grade 3 tears result in intense pain and nearly a total loss of function. Thankfully, grade 3 tears are rare. Most injuries to hip flexors tend to be a Grade 2 injury.

In addition to an inadequate warm up, injuries to hip flexors are also caused by muscle tightness, muscle weakness, inappropriate training or exercise, bad posture, bad core stability, and muscle fatigue. When these muscles tear you experience sudden pain which increases when the leg is lifted. It’s also often accompanied with bruising, swelling, and tenderness.

Diagnosing Injuries to Hip Flexors and Treatment

If you believe you’ve sustained an injury to your hip flexors then you’ll want to consult your doctor. They’ll examine the area and, depending on the severity of the injury, will order diagnostic tests. Tests such as x-rays, MRIs, CT Scans, or Ultrasounds help doctors rule out any other potentially serious conditions.

When diagnosed with an injury to your hip flexors you’ll want to let the muscles rest. If the tear is severe, your physician may recommend using crutches to get around for a period of time. Jumping back into activities that worsen your symptoms will lengthen your recovery time. The muscles need time to heal. Your doctor may suggest using ice on the affected area for about 30 minutes every 4 hours or so.

After your muscle has had time to rest and heal then the next step in recovery is physical therapy. Physical therapy is the best way to treat this type of injury. A good physical therapist will help expedite your recovery time. They’ll also apply various techniques to help strengthen the muscles in the area. Many times, your treatment plan will include soft tissue massage, electrotherapy, or heat and ice treatments. All of these things can help your body recover more quickly.

As you make progress and your injury heals then additional physical therapy treatments are added to your routine. These include joint mobilization of your hip and lower back. They also include stretches and progressive exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles.

Physical therapists also help athletes get back on track with their training. They’re the best way to quickly return to your activity or sport. Your physical therapist will also help you learn how to reduce the chance of suffering from the same injury again.

Ongoing Physical Therapy for Hip Flexors

Minor hip flexor tears take around two or three weeks of healing. Major tears often take up to six weeks of healing time. In the event of a Grade 3 tear you can expect a healing time of around 8 weeks. Of course, these time frames are based on allowing the injury to heal before you exert yourself. Reinjuring the area before it is completely healed may double or even triple your recovery time.

For the fastest recovery time you’ll want to follow your physical therapist’s instructions closely. If you deviate from your treatment plan there can be serious consequences. Before participating in any strenuous activity you should consult with your physical therapist. These activities include running, jumping, climbing, kicking, exercising, and playing sports.

If your injury wasn’t the result of a sport or other intense activity then your physical therapist will work with you on strengthening your core and back muscles. Strengthening your hip flexors as well as other muscle groups is the best way to a healthy body with a reduced risk of injury. If your injury was sports related then your physical therapist may have a special treatment plan to help you through recovery. This often includes a plan to help prevent the injury from happening again.

As long as you follow your treatment plan your recovery time should be relatively short. A well trained physical therapist will get you back on your feet and participating in the activities you love. The expert staff at A Family Chiropractic Clinic has significant experience in treating this type of injury, along with many others. Our goal is to help our patients live a healthy and pain free life.

Call A Family Chiropractic Clinic today at (940) 566-0000 for more information on how our physical therapists can help you recover from injuries to your hip flexors.