How to manage painful hip flexor strain

Last Updated on November 23, 2022 by Dr. Saqib Mueed

Table of Contents

Hip flexor strain is a medical condition when hip flexor muscles become injured, torn, damaged, or inflamed which leads to severe pain and discomfort. 


Pain is the dominant symptom in this condition. This can take the following forms:

  • Sudden sharp pain is felt during the exercise.
  • Tight or sore groin (Pull) muscles 
  • Pain on walking or movement of the thigh.
  • Pain and inability to bring the legs together.
  • Pain on stretching the Skeletal.
  • Pain resisted bending.
  • Pain resisted hip joint flexion.
  • Bruising in the groin area.
  • Swelling in the affected area.
  • Swelling occurs on the inner thigh.
  • The pain increases when a person raises their knee or lifts their knee.
  • More pain occurs when both legs come close to each other and open their legs [1]122- Hip Flexor Strain.pdf (

Grading of Severity

The condition is graded according to the severity of the pain and associated symptoms:

Grade I: There is discomfort, usually with the absence of any disability. There is no swelling. Recovery usually takes 2 weeks in this case.

Grade II: There is discomfort associated with the inability to perform strenuous activities such as running. Some swelling or bruising may be evident. About 1 to 2 months may be required for recovery.

Grade III: Severe pain in walking. In severe cases, there may be a pain at rest also. Significant swelling and bruising are often present. The patient may also experience muscle spasms. Recovery may take 3 months or more. [2]Hip Flexor Tear or Strain | Orthopedics & Sports Medicine | Bon Secours


  • Groin strain was diagnosed by the doctor or physical therapist
  • The doctor during the examination asks some questions to find out the cause of the injury and severity.
  • Feel and heard the popping sound when injury of the groin occurs
  • Notice swelling just time passes and after injury.
  • The patient feels pain in the upper thigh region when fast-moving and changes its direction the part swells up and causes severe pain and the patient won’t able to walk. [3]Hip Flexor Tear or Strain | Orthopedics & Sports Medicine | Bon Secours

Clinical Examination of a hip flexor strain

  •     The presenting or main complaint is a pain in the Skeletal area.
  •     Palpation or touching reveals tenderness or pain of the Skeletal muscles.
  •     Provocative test: Resisted bending or inward movement of the thigh causes pain; sometimes a hip joint flexion or a bending thigh is also painful.

Imaging Studies

In some condition or cases, the doctor asks for a test because the test clarify the diagnosis of injury x-ray of the upper thigh of legs that is determined by muscle condition MRI Scan needed to check the leg and hip joints is also essential for scanning the ligaments and muscles.

Treatment of hip flexor strain

  • The injury of groin strain treated quickly after the injury the 24 and 48 hours are important to reduce the pain swelling bleeding and ease the pain to the area
  • A person should rest their leg after the injury and stay still and trying not to walk
  • After 48 hours a person raises the leg for example resting this on a fool stool and gentle movements of legs should do.
  • Apply ice packs on the injured area if the ice packs are not available the bag of ice apply. The ice packs do not apply directly to the skin because this causes ice burns and ice packs hold on the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes or 2 hours.
  • The painkiller should be taken immediately.

Reviewed by:
Dr. Shafaat Yar Khan (Ph.D.)
Medical University of Vienna, Austria 
Present: University of Sargodha, Pakistan

Our reviewers’ details, Click Here

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