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October 23, 2014

Injury Report: Hip Flexor Pain


hip flexor pain

The Hip Flexors are the muscles at the front of the hip that perform the action of lifting the leg up/forward. They are:

  • Psoas major and Iliacus aka Iliopsoas
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Sartorius
  • Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL)
  • Pectineus
  • Adductor Longus
  • Adductor Brevis
  • Gracilis

Common (only some) causes of Hip Flexor Pain:

  • Tight hip flexor muscles
  • Muscle strain
  • Hamstring dominance (hamstrings fire more than the glutes causing the head of the femur to glide forward & put pressure on anterior joint capsule)

So the treatment of hip flexor pain is dependent upon the cause.

If it is purely tight hip flexors causing the pain, then obviously stretching the hip flexors is the best option.

  • Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

hip flexor stretch

  • Prone Hip Flexor Stretch


  • Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch


If it is a muscle strain, then rest and ice.

If it is a hamstring dominance issue, then glute strengthening would be the best option to correct the muscle imbalance. Since the glutes only cross one joint (the hip joint), they have more control of the hip joint and can stabilize it better than the hamstrings can.  If this muscle imbalance is not fixed, you risk issues like groin strains, hamstring strains, and lower back pain.

  • Bridges
  • Squats
  • Side Step with Band at Ankles


  • Sidelying Clamshells


  • Traditional Dead lifts
  • (Also do some Abdominal strengthening!)

If there is no improvement after a couple weeks, you may want to visit your Physician for further evaluation and testing. They would want to rule out back, hip joint, labrum, tendon, diagnoses.

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