Yoga Exercises & Stretches For Hip Flexor Injury

By Patricia | June 22, 2010
Hip Flexor Exercises

The hip flexors are a set of six muscles that control the movement of the thigh bone or femur. These muscles are situated in the hip region and in the anterior, upper thigh region and are used excessively whenever we walk or run. Strenuous activity involving running and kicking which is common in sports, puts a lot of strain on the hip flexor muscles and can lead to a hip flexor injury. Such an injury results from an over-stretching of the hip flexor muscles and can result in anything from a mild to a complete tear of the muscles.  This can result in something as mild a sore hip to something much more severe and crippling.

Symptoms

Hip flexor injuries are classified into three types depending on the degree of muscle tear.

  • Minor tears come in the category of first degree strains with the only symptoms being a slight pain or feeling of soreness in the hip or groin region. These injuries can heal by themselves provided the muscles are not strained further. The tendency to ignore a mild pain can lead to a cumulative effect causing a more severe injury.
  • Intermediate tears are classified as second degree strains. The symptoms will include moderate pain in the hip or the anterior upper thigh and motion of the leg either forward or upwards will be affected. The recovery process in such cases may stretch on for a few weeks and may require rehabilitation.
  • Complete tears are classified as third degree strains and symptoms will include severe pain in the hip, groin and upper anterior thigh regions. The recovery process is very long, calling for complete rest and extensive rehabilitation.

A common characteristic of hip flexor injuries is that the pain worsens as the leg is lifted upwards. Knee pain and inflammation may also be evident. Even everyday tasks such as walking can prove to be difficult because of the pain.

Yoga for Hip Flexor Injury

Certain yoga poses can benefit the hip flexor muscles and speed the healing process. These yoga poses should only be performed along with the regular exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist and only after proper consultation. They include poses such as the Sun Salutation, the Cobra pose, the Wind Relieving pose, the Corpse Pose and the Shoulder Stand. These poses can help to strengthen the injured muscles as well as increase flexibility. However, they should only be performed under the trained guidance of an experienced yoga instructor or physiotherapist.

Tight Hip Flexor Exercises

Underutilized hip flexor muscles may become tight and cause you to stoop slightly forward as a result. Yoga poses that work and stretch these muscles will lead to a loosening up of these muscles, making them both flexible and strong. This will lead to an improvement in posture as well as balance.

Hip Pain Exercises

Hip flexor exercises can help strengthen and increase flexibility of the hip flexor muscles that have been injured. At times, hip pain can also be caused by weakness in the iliopsoas; muscles that connect the pelvic bone to the spine and these exercises will also strengthen the iliopsoas muscles and relieve pain.

Hip Flexor Strain and Pointer Exercises

Hip flexor strain exercises can help relieve the strain on the hip flexor muscles leading to an improvement in posture. Pointer exercises helps to strengthen muscles weakened either due to injury or due to atrophy.

Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises

Apart from the yoga poses used to strengthen the hip flexor muscles, other exercises such as single leg stretches, front and back kicks while lying on your side and bicycle kicks while lying on your back are excellent exercises to strengthen the hip flexor muscles.

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