What Is a Hip Flexor Injury?

By Darin McGilvra

The hip flexors are a group of three muscles that work together to move the hip. A hip flexor injury occurs when one or more of these muscles are strained or pulled. This is usually associated with athletes who participate in football, soccer, or track and field. This is not a common injury for a golfer, but it can happen on occasion.


The most common cause for a hip flexor injury is acute trauma. On the golf course, this can happen when swinging a golf club and hitting the ground, a tree or a rock and having the club suddenly stop. This injury can also happen when attempting to compensate for Achilles' tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, weak abdominal muscles, or weak calf muscles, especially when walking long distances on a golf course.


The main symptom is pain at the front of the hip that will increase when moving the hip. There also may be apparent swelling depending on the severity.


To check for a hip flexor injury, bring your knee on your injured leg up toward your chest while standing, then have someone push down on the leg while you resist. If this results in pain in the front of your hip, then a hip flexor injury is confirmed.


Treatment usually involves rest and icing down the area. Careful stretching of the muscles for 30 seconds at a time can also help speed healing. In severe cases that involve the muscles being torn, a doctor may choose to repair it with a surgical procedure.


Warming up and stretching the hip muscles before each round of golf will reduce the chances for a hip flexor injury. Also, making sure you are fully recovered from Achilles' tendonitis or plantar fasciitis also will help avoid a hip flexor injury, as well as strengthening abdominal muscles and calf muscles with exercise.

About The Author

Darin McGilvra is a writer in Southern California. He has been a writer since 1997. He worked as a sports writer and copy editor for newspapers for more than 12 years before becoming a freelance writer. His articles have appeared recently in "The Californian" newspaper in Temecula, Calif. McGilvra holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics education from Northwest Nazarene College.

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