The Role of Physical Therapy in Recovering from Hip Flexor Strain and Preventing Reinjury
Are you experiencing tightness, weakness, and pain in your hip flexors? If so, you may be dealing with a hip flexor strain or tendinopathy. Physical therapy can help alleviate the pain, improve flexibility, and strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip joint so that you can return to your normal activities.
In this article, we’ll explore what physical therapy might look like for someone with hip flexor strain or tendinopathy. You’ll learn about the various types of exercises and how long recovery could take. Taking appropriate action now and getting a good recovery strategy in place can help you stay fit, active, and pain-free for the long haul.
What to Expect at Physical Therapy
If you are diagnosed with a strained or injured hip flexor muscle, physical therapy is likely to be recommended by medical providers as part of your treatment plan. Your personalized assessment will include a range of motion tests, strength testing, and possibly imaging to evaluate your flexibility.
Using this information, your physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. This may incorporate manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and modalities such as ultrasound or electrical stimulation to aid in your recovery. Additionally, activity modification and home exercise programs can be included in your treatment plan to help manage pain and improve your overall function.
What Types of Exercises You Might Do
Your physical therapist will likely recommend exercises to help improve your strength, flexibility, and mobility in the hip.
- Glute Activation Exercises: These exercises involve activating the glutes to help take some of the pressure off of the hip flexors. Examples include lying clam shells, side-lying hip abduction, and quadruped alternating march.
- Quadriceps Strengthening Exercises: Your quadriceps (front thigh muscles) are important for helping move and support your leg, so strengthening them can help improve overall hip strength. Examples include straight leg raise and lateral mini-band walk.
- Hip Flexor Stretches: Tightness in your hip flexors can contribute to pain, so stretching these muscles can help reduce tightness and improve flexibility. Examples include wall stretch, kneeling lunge, and standing hip flexor stretch.
- Core Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening the core is important for improving stability and balance, which are essential for preventing re-injury. Examples include quadruped bird dogs, side planks with reach-through, and double leg lifts.
How Long Recovery Takes
It is difficult to determine how long it will take to recover from hip flexor strain or tendinopathy since everyone’s individual situation is different. Generally speaking, recovery times may be 2-6 weeks depending on the severity of your injury. Your physical therapist will provide you with an estimated timeline based on your initial assessment and will work with you to set short-term and long-term goals.
How Physical Therapy Prevents Reinjury
Physical therapy plays a crucial role in preventing reinjury by optimizing strength, flexibility, and mobility in surrounding muscles. Your physical therapist will design a custom treatment plan that includes exercises to improve these areas and educate you on proper body mechanics. They can also provide feedback on modifying everyday activities to prevent overstraining your hip flexors. This education helps you heal fully and prevent future injuries.
Hip flexor strain or tendinopathy can be a painful and debilitating injury, but physical therapy can help you recover. Physical therapy helps to reduce pain, increase strength and improve flexibility which are all important for helping you return to full functionality. In addition, physical therapists provide education on proper body mechanics as well as how to modify everyday activities so that reinjury is avoided. With the help of a physical therapist, you can get back to your daily life in no time!