Hip Flexor Strain
Hip Flexor Strain is a muscle (psoas) strain felt in the front part of the hip. It is often associated with speed training or compensating for another injury, especially Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.
To see if you have strained your hip flexor muscle try the following maneuver: while standing, flex your hip such that your knee comes up towards the chest, then have a friend apply moderate pressure to pull the knee down while you resist. This test should result in pain similar to your symptoms.
You may be able to run just fine at slower speeds and shorter distances, but as the distance or speed increases; watch out - it can bite. Be sure to fully recover before resuming progressive training.
- See Principles of Recovery.
- Gentle stretching of the hip flexor muscles usually accelerates healing. Hold the stretch for thirty seconds, repeat three times, and perform this routine two to three times per day. See Hip Flexor Stretch.
- Check to see if your hip pain could be from compensating for decreased calf strength. Perform twenty to thirty heel raises while standing on one leg and then compare to the other leg. If there is a substantial difference then work on strengthening the calf muscles (see Achilles tendonitis).
- Trunk strengthening is essential, especially for more chronic injuries. The hip flexors attach to the spine and will perform optimally with good trunk strength. The hip flexors propel us forward as we run and must be balanced by well conditioned trunk muscles. An excellent routine is presented as a portion of The Injured Runner – A Balanced Solution.