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Common Injuries and Treatments

Ankle / Elbow / Hip / Knee / Shoulder / Spine / Wrist



Hip Muscle Strains & Tears

What is a hip muscle strain or tear?

A muscle strain is an overstretching or overloading of a muscle fiber which can cause failure or tearing of the tissue.  Large muscles such as the hip flexor (the group of muscles on the front of the hip) and glut muscles (the group of muscles making up the buttock) are comprised of hundreds of thousands of muscle fibers.  Strains in these muscles can vary in intensity from minor (when a minimal number of fibers are torn or overstretched) all the way to a full rupture of the muscle (all fibers are torn). Symptoms will also vary depending on intensity of the injury but can include bruising, swelling, pain and difficulty with basic tasks (eg. walking, standing, etc).

What causes injuries to this tissue?

It is common with active individuals to see strains of muscles in and around the hip joint. The way these long, high force producing muscles work can lead to a higher risk for strain. Overloading these tissues with too much weight (either body weight or while exercising), too many repetitions of a single activity or position, or a significant change in training volume or intensity can lead to injury.  Flat feet, postural issues, muscle weakness or tightness can all lead to over-stressing of certain muscles.  

What is the best treatment approach?

Relative rest, icing, and compression can all be helpful. Ruptured muscles may need to be surgically repaired. Physical therapy will play a vital role in both conservative, non-operative rehabilitation, as well as post operative cases. There is also a lot of current research on using PRPs (Platlet-rich Plasma) to help with repairing injured muscle tissue.

What will the role of physical therapy be in this process?

Treatment of these injuries by physical therapists includes soft tissue massage, stretching and progressive strength work when able.  The biomechanics of the entire lower half of the body (including the low back) will also be evaluated to determine if something away from the site of pain may be leading to excessive stress at the hip and therefore causing the strain/tear.

Will other services be helpful in taking care of this?

Underlying muscle tightness and soft tissue restrictions that are found to be related to hip muscle issues may be helped by massage therapy work.  Acupuncture can also be of assistance with the pain associated with these conditions.  Training to return to specific life tasks or sports can be initiated by physical therapists and progressed by personal trainers.  After your initial physical therapy evaluation, your physical therapist will help to determine if these services may be helpful.

Need More?

If you have more clinical questions about this condition, please click here to email our Director of Clinical Operations, Jessica Douglas, MSPT, OCS, or you can get more information by searching our blog.

If you'd like a complimentary injury screen with one of our licensed physical therapists to discuss your condition, please contact us.

If you're ready to make an appointment for any of our services, please contact us.

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