Strain in the Hip

Strain in the hip occurs when one of several muscles found where the femur meets the pelvis is overstretched or torn. Anyone can experience strain in the hip, but it is a common injury among athletes who play sports that require frequent starts and stops.


A strain in the hip usually occurs suddenly as a result of athletic injuries or falls. Overuse can cause the muscles and tendons to weaken over time, leading to a strain. Strains are also more likely if there has been a prior injury or if proper warm ups do not take place before strenuous physical activity.


Pain and tenderness are most common in hip strains. Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the strain. Mild cases are sometimes referred to as a “pulled muscle.” In moderate strains, a partial tear of the muscle or tendon occurs. Severe strains usually result in a complete tear of a muscle or tendon. The tendon may completely tear away from the bone and pieces of the bone can break off in some severe cases.


In order to properly diagnose a strain in the hip, a physical examination will take place that involves stretches and movements. Symptoms and medical history will also be assessed. Imaging tests such as x-rays may be used to rule out other conditions, such as stress fractures of the hip.


Conservative treatments, such as rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications, are usually effective in mild to moderate hip strains. In severe cases where there is a complete tear from the bone or if the bone breaks, surgery may be required.

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