Hip Flexor Muscle

What is a Hip Flexor or Hip Flexor Muscle?

What is the Hip Flexor or Hip Flexor MuscleHip Flexor Muscles

Where is your hip flexor? The quick answer, there are several muscles that make up the hip flexors or hip flexor muscle.  The largest hip flexor muscle is the iliopsoas.  It attaches to the front of the lower back (lumbar) vertebrae and the inside surface of the pelvis and runs through the pelvis and attaches to the top of the thigh bone (femur).  When it contracts, it flexes the hip joint into a marching position.  The hip flexor or hip flexor muscles help to bring the leg forward during walking and running.  

There are other muscles which assist with flexing the hip, but the iliopsoas is the main and major hip flexor or hip flexor muscle. Because of the position of the hip flexor muscles, they can become tight with repetitive sitting activity such as working at a computer.  

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Hip Flexor Strain?

A hip flexor strain usually causes pain in the front of the hip near the groin.  There can be pain along the muscle but pain is usually near the attachment at the thigh.  Pain is usually worse with stretching the muscle.  When the thigh is extended behind the body, the hip flexor muscles are stretched.  This can cause pain if there is a strain in the hip flexors.  

How to Stretch your Hip Flexors or Hip Flexor Muscles?

Strengthening the hip flexor is helpful to prevent strains with exercise and sport activity.  It is recommended that you see a physical therapist to give you a injury specific strengthening program.  Exercises to strengthen the hip flexor may include:


-Straight leg raises


Stretching the hip flexors is also helpful to decrease the risk of injury.  Stretching may include:

Holding a lunge position with a chair

What is a Hip Flexor Avulsion?

The quick answer is an avulsion is a fracture when the part of the bone where a muscle attaches pulls away from the rest of the bone.  This can happen with the tendon which is attaches to the bone is stronger than the bone itself.  When there is a forceful or traumatic pull on the tendon, the weakest point may be injured.  In some cases, its the bone.  

A hip flexor avusion can happen when the thigh is forcfully stretched backward behind the body.  The main hip flexor attaches to the lesser trochanter of the femur, which is a bony bump on the upper inside portion of the femur (thigh bone).  With an avulsion, that bump can pull away from the bone.

Another site of possible avulsion is the Anterior Inferior Iliac spine (AIIS).  This is on the front of the pelvis where part of the quadriceps called the Rectus Femoris attaches.   

An avulsion at either site may cause severe pain.  Treatment may require immobilization and possibly a surgical repair if the injury is severe.  Bones typically heal in 6 to 8 weeks but after healing, Physical therapy is typically required to rebuild strength and gain flexibility.  

Where is Hip Flexor Pain Felt?

Hip flexor or hip flexor muslce pain is typically felt deep in the front of the hip region.  It may be worse during or after activity if there is a strain.  Ice and rest may help initially to calm pain.

If you have an injury to the hip flexor or hip flexor muscle, the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute can help.  With state of the art rehabilitation and world class orthopedic surgeons, JOI is the one stop shop for hip flexor injuries.  To schedule an appointment or telemedicine visit with an Orthopaedic Hip Flexor Muscles Injury Specialist, please call JOI-2000, schedule online or click the link below.

By: Ehren Allen, PT, Certified Manual Therapist

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