Tight hip flexors and hip flexor pain may result from a sedentary lifestyle. This is because sitting for long periods of time causes muscles to contract and deactivate. They weaken and shorten over time, resulting in a debilitating condition known as adaptive shortening. Hip flexor pain is also a common complaint among athletes, especially runners, soccer players, and hockey players. The discomfort is felt in the hip and/or groin region, and it may make simple tasks like tying a shoe and walking up and down stairs more challenging. Tight hips usually cause pain and stiffness but there are more signs and symptoms you are experiencing that signify that it’s time to get a treatment.
Hip flexor pain may occur progressively or as a result of a traumatic event, such as a crash. Typically, hip flexor pain is usually intensified by such tasks or actions, such as sitting for extended periods of time, such as at an office job or on a long road ride, taking the staircase up or down, picking up something, and changing course using the affected leg when running or skating. Because of these, many people who suffer from hip flexor pain experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Even while sitting, you feel a constant aching pain or stiffness in the groin or hip
- Reduced range of action, which is most apparent when running, lunging, kicking, or leaning.
- There is pain when squeezing in the areas – usually upper leg or groin – where there is tenderness, swelling, and bruising.
- Pain in the lower back, groin, or pelvic area
- Pain radiating down the leg
- Swelling and inflammation
- Heat and redness around the tendon
- Painful muscle spasms and/or cramping in the hip or thigh that limit mobility
- Weakness in the groin area that can make such movements painful or difficult, such as kicking.
- Walking is affected by changes in gait caused by pain, reduced range of motion, and other causes.
- Visible knots surrounding the tendon
- Pain when lifting one or both legs
- Pain when climbing stairs
- Pain when standing from a sitting position
Ultimately, there are a variety of explanations why an individual can suffer from hip flexor pain. The root cause of hip flexor pain may be correctly diagnosed by a health care provider such as a physical therapy, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist (physiatrist), or orthopedic surgeon. Read more about treating hip pain.
Hip flexor strain signs range from mild to severe, and they can impair the mobility. If you do not rest and seek treatment for your hip flexor strain, your symptoms can worsen. To accurately diagnose the source of your pain and receive the most effective treatment, contact a hip specialist.