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Hip flexor tendinitis: What is it and what do you do about it?

3 minutes, 54 seconds

Does the front of your hip hurt? Is it stiff in the morning or when you stand up from the couch? Does it feel hot to the touch?

If so, you might be experiencing hip flexor tendinitis. In this article, we'll talk all about this condition and how to treat it.

What is hip flexor tendinitis?

Hip flexor tendinitis is a condition characterized by inflammation in your hip flexors, which are the group of muscles toward the front of your hip that help you move your legs up and down. More specifically, this condition is characterized by inflammation in the tendons around your hip, which are like thick ropes of tissue that hold your muscles and bones together.

Tendinitis occurs when your tendons are overstretched or torn. In response to your injury, your body increases your circulation to send more blood, oxygen and nutrients to your injured body part. As a result, the body part ” in this case your hip flexor ” becomes swollen, inflamed and painful.

Note that hip tendinitis is not the same as hip tendinopathy. The latter is a chronic disorder characterized by the degeneration of the flexors and other hip muscles. It is not the same as tendinosis either, which is characterized by a thick, hardened swelling that appears over the tendons.

What causes tendinitis in your hip flexor?

Tendinitis can have many causes, but here are some common ones:

  • Acute injury A one-time injury to a bone or soft tissue in the hip area.
  • Repetitive stress An hip injury caused by a repetitive motion, such as twisting, stretching or even sitting.
  • Joint strain A tear in the tendons around the joint, leading to inflammation.
  • Arthritis Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or another condition that causes inflammation in the joints.

It's important to note that these are just some potential causes of hip flexor tendinitis. The cause is sometimes undeterminable.

What are the symptoms of hip flexor tendinitis?

Hip tendinitis usually causes pain in the hip that's tender to the touch. This pain may worsen when you bend, sit or lie down. Furthermore, you may experience a clicking or snapping sound when you move. This is the sound of your tendon rubbing against your hip bone and is usually accompanied by discomfort.

Can you treat hip flexor tendinitis at home?

It's recommended to consult a doctor or physical therapist if you believe you have tendinitis in your hip flexor. However, you may find temporary pain relief by applying the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) therapy method to your ailment.

Here's how RICE works for tendinitis:

  • Rest Rest helps you avoid irritating or injuring yourself further, giving your body the downtime it needs to heal. While you're resting, your body will send white blood cells to the irritation site to fight infection and nutrients to help promote healing and regrowth.
  • Compression Compression sleeves increase circulation to send more oxygenated blood to your hip muscles while also holding your muscle in place to help facilitate healing.
  • Elevation ” Elevating an injured muscle helps drain away any waste material created by your body's inflammatory response. This reduces swelling and can help any strained muscles to heal.

How do physical therapists treat hip flexor tendinitis?

Physical therapy can treat your hip tendinitis by reducing inflammation, relieving pain, strengthening your hip flexors and increasing the range of motion in your hips. Therapists use exercises and other methods that help not only to treat your existing hip pain but to prevent future injuries.

If your tendinitis is caused by a repetitive stress disorder, your physical therapist can identify any habits in your posture or movements that may be irritating your hip flexors. They will coach you in how to correct these habits so you can work and live without causing inflammation.

In some cases, hip tendinitis can get so severe that doctors recommend surgery. Physical therapy can be a viable alternative to surgery for some patients, but it can also help you prepare for your operation and recover afterward.

How long does it take for hip flexor tendinitis to heal?

Recovery times vary depending on the cause and severity of your tendinitis, as well as your course of treatment. Those who take ample time to rest and follow their physical therapist's treatment instructions may experience faster healing times than those who don't rest or seek professional treatment.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for hip flexor tendinitis

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we're proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that's close to you and that can help you address tendinitis.

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.

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