Hip-Flexor-Strain

Hip Flexor Strain During the Lacrosse Season? The Fastest Way to Get Back on the Field

Christopher C. Dodson, M.D. April 13th, 2017

Here is the information any lacrosse player suffering from a hip flexor strain needs to know.

Any athlete who has experienced a hip flexor strain knows the frustration of this type of injury. The injury may happen suddenly, but often pain and tension build gradually and persistently from overuse. The familiar twinge and tightness in the hip are dreaded by athletes of all types. Lacrosse players can be particularly susceptible to this injury as a result of the high intensity running and pivoting movements associated with the sport that put particular strain on the hip joint.

When an athlete experiences an injury, the top priority is to facilitate complete recovery as quickly as possible so they can return to participation. At Rothman Institute we understand how important this is for athletes--not just to make a complete recovery, but as quickly and effectively as possible. Let's take a look at what you can expect from a hip flexor injury and the most effective way to get you back on the field.

Hip Flexor Strain Signs and Symptoms

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that run across the front of your hip and allow the knee to bend and the hip to flex. A hip flexor strain occurs when one or more of these muscles becomes stretched or torn.

Risk Factors Include:

  • Weak muscles

  • Failure to warm up properly

  • Stiffness in muscles

  • Trauma or falls

Symptoms (vary depending on severity)

  • Pain and a "pulling" feeling in the front of the hip

  • Cramping and sharp pain

  • Hip flexor pain when walking way make it difficult to walk without a limp

  • Severe pain and spasms

  • Bruising

  • Swelling

  • Bulging in front of thigh muscle

If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, then you may have sustained a hip flexor strain. The temptation for any athlete may be to push through the pain and ignore the symptoms in a hope that they will go away or, at least not worsen. While this is understandable, it is the worst course of action to choose. A very slight or mild strain may easily be injured further. This result can keep you off the field even longer.

Treatment Options

  • Rest: This may be hard to hear, but you need to cease any activity that causes pain. You may be able to cross-train using other activities that do not put stress on the muscles. Biking and swimming are both possible options.

  • Ice: Icing will help reduce swelling in the joint. Apply ice for 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for 2 to 3 days.

  • Anti-inflammatory meds: Medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen can be used to manage pain and inflammation. Do not use the medication to push through the pain and continue activity.

  • Stretch and Strengthen: Utilize stretches and exercises that target the hip flexor muscles and surrounding muscles to strengthen the hip joint.

  • Heat therapy: At least 72 hours after the injury occurred heat therapy can be employed to reduce pain and improve motion.

  • Physical therapy: If pain persists after a few weeks of rest and strengthening, physical therapy may be advised to further facilitate rehabilitation.

  • Surgery: Surgery is only likely to be recommended if the muscle fibers have been completely torn. The torn pieces will be stitched back together to allow healing.

To ensure the quickest recovery, you may want to consider speaking with the orthopaedic experts at Rothman Institute. An evaluation will determine the exact extent of the damage done to the hip flexor muscles and a plan can be made for the most efficient and effective form of treatment to get you back on the field. A hip flexor strain can be very frustrating, but the experts at Rothman Institute can help you to make a successful recovery and return to your sport stronger than ever. For more information, visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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