Hip Strains

The hip and thigh support stability and mobility and are essential for movement. The hip joint is a weight-bearing ball-and-socket that allows the leg to pivot rotatably while keeping your body stable in its posture. A hip muscle strain can happen in the blink of an eye or gradually materialize from continuous wear and tear on the ligaments and muscles within the hip. Home treatment may be sufficient for mild hip strains, but more severe cases may require physical therapy or surgery.

Hip strains or sprains are common medical conditions that cause pain and discomfort in the hip area. This condition can result from overuse, trauma, or sudden movement that leads to tearing of the muscles or ligaments in the hip area. Here, we will discuss the most common causes, symptoms, and hip strains or sprains treatments.

What are Hip Strains?

A hip strain is also known as a hip tear because it causes injury to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the hip area. Hip sprains or strains often result from a sudden or intense movement that puts too much stress on the hip area. If you experience severe hip strains or sprains, you may feel difficulty moving your hip properly. 

Hip strains or sprains are caused by many factors that involve overusing and overstretching the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the hip area. Common causes of hip strains include running, jumping or kicking, and weightlifting. Trauma can also lead to hip strains or sprains, such as falls or car accidents. Additionally, sudden movements requiring extreme hip flexion or extension can result in hip strain.

Common causes of hip strain include sports activities such as running or jumping, lifting heavy objects, and falls. Various symptoms of a hip strain are pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected area. Treatment of hip strains or sprains usually involves rest, ice, or heat therapy, and physical therapy involves stretching and strengthening exercises of muscles around the hip.

However, a hip strain can heal within weeks or months, depending on its severity, with proper care and necessary medical treatment. Book an appointment today and get expert advice from the best fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon in Sarasota, FL.

How Are Hip Strains and Sprains Caused?

A variety of contributing factors can lead to hip strains or sprains, including:

  1. Excessive strain typically occurs due to overuse or repetitive movement of the hip. 
  2. Stretching the injured area beyond its capabilities
  3. If you play contact sports, a direct blow to the hip can result in physical trauma. 
  4. A hip strain or sprain is commonly caused by sports activities such as running and jumping, where the muscles are suddenly overstretched. 
  5. Refraining from stretching and preparing before physical activity can be detrimental; therefore, it’s important always to warm up.
  6. Pushing yourself too hard, too soon, during rehabilitation can harm your health.
  7. Occasionally, a misstep on an uneven surface can cause a hip strain or sprain. 
  8. Other causes include falls, direct blows to the area, and lifting heavy objects. 

Professional and recreational athletes must take precautions when exercising and warm up appropriately before strenuous activities. If you experience hip pain or any symptoms pertinent to hip strains or sprains, consult your doctor at the earliest and call 941.378.5100 to make an appointment.

Who’s Most At Risk For Hip Strain?

You may develop a hip muscle strain if you often do the following:

  • Refraining from warming up and stretching your muscles before engaging in physical activity can be detrimental.
  • Experienced a hip injury in the past.
  • Challenge yourself with a vigorous and demanding workout.
  • Even when you lack energy, find the strength to engage in physical activity.
  • Play contact sports such as hockey, football, wrestling, or basketball, which require running and jumping.
  • Feel your muscles tense.

Even with everyday activities, anyone can suffer from a hip muscle strain.

Symptoms of Hip Strains?

The primary symptom of hip strains and sprains is a dull discomfort over the affected area, which worsens when one attempts to use their hips more forcefully.

Additional indications of hip strains or sprains include:

  • The affected area might feel discomfort when pressure is applied.
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reddish discoloration on the hip area
  • A lack of strength in the muscles encircling the afflicted hip

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, you may experience the following:

  • Soreness in your calf muscle
  • Stabbing pain in the area below your knee
  • Tender edema and discoloration around the affected region

How are Hip Strains or Sprains Diagnosed?

Your doctor will conduct an in-depth physical examination to accurately diagnose a hip strain or sprain. This assessment is critical to determine which activities may have triggered the injury and ensuing symptoms. As part of this evaluation, you can anticipate that your doctor will ask you to move around as they monitor how well (or not) specific muscles are working.

Your doctor may require an X-ray or MRI to reach the root of severe hip injuries. The images created by an X-ray are highly detailed and show dense structures like bones with perfection.

For more information about various types of Hip Conditions and their treatment options, contact us here. 

How are Hip Strains or Sprains Treated?

We understand how debilitating muscle strains can be at our orthopedic care Charles E. Stewart M.D. – Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine. Our medical treatment focuses on relieving pain and helping you regain your full range of motion and strength as soon as possible. Fortunately, most patients with hip strain injuries will not require surgery. 

Combining rest, ice, compression, and elevation with anti-inflammatory medications can effectively treat mild hip strains or sprains. By combining these therapies, you can experience relief from pain and swelling.

For more intense strains or sprains, your physician may suggest the following:

  1. Physical therapy — Physical therapy can encompass various forms of treatment, such as massage, therapeutic ultrasound or heat therapy, and strengthening exercises. These strategies enable individuals to feel better both physically and mentally while helping them reduce pain and improve their overall mobility. 
  2. Surgery — Severe hip strains or sprains that tear an entire muscle or ligament may necessitate surgery and rehabilitation to return to normal activities.

Plasma-rich protein (PRP) injection — PRP therapy is an effective choice to accelerate the healing process for hip strains or sprains. In this method, your doctor will inject concentrated growth factor platelets from you directly into the injured area to help promote recovery.

How Long Do Hip Strains or Sprains Take To Recover?

The hip strain recovery time depends on the severity of the particular injury and treatment protocols.

For those struggling with minor to moderate sprains or strains, a full recovery is possible within just eight weeks of conservative treatment–as long as their doctor’s directives are strictly adhered to.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation can effectively heal even the most severe hip strains or sprains that may require surgery. However, severe hip strain injuries may take a longer recovery period of up to six months before the patient can return to full activity.

To make sure of total recuperation, it’s vital to wait until any injuries are fully healed before resuming regular activity. When the injury is caused by overuse of a specific kind of motion or activity, an alteration in your movements may also be necessary.


Preventing hip strains or sprains can be achieved by practicing good body mechanics, starting slowly and building up slowly to physical activity, and investing in running shoes that provide good cushioning and support. A person might also prevent injury by warming up properly before exercising or engaging in strenuous activities.


If you are experiencing hip strain, hip flexor strain, torn hip muscle, or hip ligament injury, seeking medical attention is crucial for prompt diagnosis and proper treatment. A board-certified hip specialist will recommend the best action and provide educational advice to prevent further injury. With the recommended treatment and prevention measures from Charles E. Stewart M.D. – Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine, you can recover quickly and reduce the likelihood of future hip strains or sprains.


What does a hip strain feel like?

A hip strain can feel like a dull or sharp pain in the hip, groin, or thigh area. You may also experience tenderness or swelling in the affected area, and your range of motion may be limited.

How do you treat a strained hip?

Treatment for a strained hip may include rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), and over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. In some cases, physical therapy or other forms of rehabilitation may also be recommended.

How do I know if my hip pain is serious?

If you experience severe hip pain that persists over a few days, you must see a physician to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Other signs that your hip pain may be serious include fever, difficulty walking, or pain that radiates down your leg.

What is the most common muscle strain on the hip?

The most common muscle strain on the hip is the hip flexor strain. These hip flexors are a group of muscles that allow you to bend your hip and bring your leg up toward your body. This type of strain is often caused by overuse or sudden movements and can be painful.

Focusing On You

As healthcare is ever changing, Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine, is doing things differently…

  • Christopher R. Sforzo, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand and upper extremity surgery. He provides expert care in the treatment of problems involving the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. He performs many procedures using minimally invasive techniques includi
  • Christopher L. Dillingham, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand, shoulder, and arm surgery. He specializes in the treatment of problems with rotator cuff disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve injury, joint replacement, arthritis surgery, fracture repair, foot and ankle
  • Charles E. Stewart M.D. is a board certified, Johns Hopkins fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult complex reconstruction of the lower extremity. His specialties include, lower extremity sports injuries, meniscal injuries, partial knee replacement, total hip and knee arthroplasty (replacement), as
  • Philip A. Meinhardt, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained spine surgeon. He specializes in adult spinal surgeries including reconstruction of spinal deformities, minimally invasive/microscopic spinal procedures, decompression, spinal instrumentation, fusion procedures and microscopic cer



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