Groin pain 2 – Hip Flexor strains


In our blog series looking at groin pain, this time we take a look at hip flexor strains which can particularly affect field-sports enthusiasts and runners.

What’s a hip flexor?

Lifting your leg up in front of you is also known as hip flexion – a good example would be when you lift your knees up while running.

There are two main hip flexor muscles; psoas major and iliacus. As they join together they are often referred to as illiopsoas.

As this image shows these muscles insert into the groin so it’s easy to see how a strain here can lead to groin pain rather than just at the front of the hip.


How do they get injured?

Hip flexor strains are common injuries in runners and people who play ‘field sports’ – basically anything that involves sprinting or rapid extension of the leg as you’d find when taking a shot in football for example.

What’s the treatment?

As with all muscle strains, treatment will depend on the severity as this table shows.


Muscle and ligament tears table

Once diagnosed, the first course of treatment may involve a period of rest – but compared to other injuries this will usually be quite short.

After this you’ll want to start with some gentle movement as soon as possible, as shown in this video here.

The next step will be some more challenging strengthening exercises like this straight leg raise. 

Depending on your needs, injury history and training plans this can then be progressed further to include faster movements and exercises specific to your sport. It’s here where your physio can advise on the best course of treatment to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again.

Worried about groin pain or anything else for that matter? Just get in touch and one of the team will be happy to chat through your concerns and advise on the best course of treatment.

3 thoughts on “Groin pain 2 – Hip Flexor strains”

    1. Hi Kim,
      Groin pain can originate from several underlying causes, one of which is the hip joint. Other examples include adductor muscles and the iliopsoas muscle (the main hip flexor), although there are quite a number of other causes. If you have a specific issue you’d like to discuss, please feel free to call us and one of our physios will more than happily discuss the problem with you.

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