A hip strain can happen to anyone but mostly occurs during sports activities, when one of the muscles supporting the hip joint gets stretched beyond its limit or torn. These strains vary from mild, moderate, to severe, depending on the extent of the injury but a severe strain can limit your ability to move your hip. Once the muscle is injured, it becomes vulnerable to reinjury which is why it is important to get it treated as soon as possible.
Some common symptoms of a hip sprain include:
- Pain and tenderness in the injured area
- Increased pain when using the muscle
- Limited range of motion
- Muscle weakness
There are two main causes of a hip sprain:
Occurs suddenly, such as from a fall, a stretch injury, or a direct blow during contact sports.
Occurs when the muscle or tendon becomes weakened over time by repetitive movements.
Other factors that put you at risk include:
- Prior injury in the same area
- Muscle tightness
- Not warming up properly before exercising
- Exhaustion or deconditioning
Your orthopaedic specialist will start off with a physical examination to check your leg and hip for any tenderness or swelling and you may be asked to perform a variety of stretches and movements to help determine which muscle is injured. You may also be required to undergo an MRI to rule out other injuries, such as muscle/tendon or labral tears.
Treatments for hip sprains are designed to relieve pain and restore range of motion and strength and are largely non-surgical. In the acute period, rest, or activity modification, using an assistive device, such as crutches, are recommended to offload the hip. Anti-inflammatory medication can help to reduce symptoms. Physical therapy in the form of heat therapy to reduce discomfort and stretching exercises to maintain flexibility are often recommended. Surgery is usually only required in the event of frank muscle/tendon or labral tears.
Every case is different; hence it is best to consult an orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis so that you can obtain the best treatment option that is most suitable for you. Reach out to us today if you suspect you are suffering from a hip sprain and let us help you enjoy a better quality of life.