HIP FLEXOR STRAIN / TEAR
Hip flexion is the action of moving the thigh upwards towards the torso or if the thigh is fixed it pulls the torso down towards the thigh, for example if you fix your feet under something when doing a sit-up.
The main muscles associated with hip flexor strains are the psoas, iliacus and rectus femoris. The psoas and iliacus are often incorrectly referred to as one muscle, the “iliopsoas”. Both these muscles act as one-joint hip flexors, meaing they only cross the hip joint.
The rectus femoris is one of the four quadriceps muscle group and acts as a two-joint hip flexor which means it crosses both the hip joint and the knee joint. Along with the other quadriceps muscles, it extends (straightens) the knee.
The rectus femoris muscle has two origins just above the hip joint and runs down front of the thigh into the patella (knee cap), which in turn inserts into the tibial tuberosity (upper shin). If the knee is flexed at the same time as the hip is extended, a similar action to a back swing position for a kicking action, the muscle is stretched. Because of the fact it is stretched at both joints, it is very important to warm up before exercising, as it is frequently strained and torn.
Muscle strains have three gradings:
• Grade I Strain: this is a mild strain and only some muscle fibers have been damaged. Healing occurs within two to three weeks.
• Grade II Strain: this is a moderate strain with more extensive damage to muscle fibers, but the muscle is not completely ruptured. Healing occurs within three to six weeks.
• Grade III Strain: this is a severe injury with a complete rupture of a muscle. This typically requires a surgical repair of the muscle and the healing period can be up to three months.
(The list of conditions given above and subsequent explanations are intended as a general guide and should not be considered a replacement for a full medical examination. Furthermore, we do not purport to treat all the conditions listed. Should you wish to discuss any of these conditions with our chiropractors, please do not hesitate to phone the clinic on 020 7374 2272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).