The Best Hip Flexor Strain Treatments

Struggling with a hip flexor strain?

This article covers the best treatments for relief.

A person doing a hip flexor stretch on a yoga mat

The Best Hip Flexor Strain Treatments

Struggling with a hip flexor strain?

This article covers the best treatments for relief.


Did you know a hip flexor strain could sideline even the most finely-tuned professional athletes in the world for months at a time?

Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal suffered one in early 2023 and was initially projected to miss six to eight weeks of action. But he didn't respond well to hip flexor strain treatment and was eventually forced to undergo surgery. It could keep him out of commission for the remainder of the year.

The good news is that not everyone will need surgery like Nadal for a hip flexor strain. The strained hip flexor recovery process for the majority of people will only be a few weeks at most as long as they take rehabbing a hip flexor strain seriously.

But you will need to take the right approach to hip flexor strain treatment to put your hip pain in the past. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about hip strain treatment.

What Is a Hip Flexor Strain?

Your hip flexors are a group of muscle tissues that are situated at the top of your thigh near your pelvis. The iliopsoas is the primary muscle in your hip flexors, but there are also other muscles associated with your hip flexors, including:

  • Rectus Femoris
  • Tensia Fascia Lata
  • Sartorius

A hip flexor strain occurs when you strain any of these muscles. It can lead to you having to deal with a lot of pain and make it difficult for you to move around.

More often than not, those who suffer hip flexor strains are those who participate in sports. Football players, distance runners, and tennis players are those diagnosed with hip flexor strains the most.

But those who lead sedentary lifestyles can also suffer hip flexor strains. If you're always sitting down at a desk or just sitting around in your home, your hip flexors can be very tight. Any sudden movements you make involving your hip flexors can lead to them straining.

Different Types of Hip Flexor Strains

There are several different types of hip flexor strains you can sustain. These types of hip flexor strains are graded from 1 to 3. The higher the grade of a hip flexor strain, the more painful it'll be and the more hip flexor strain treatment it'll require.

Here are the three main types of hip flexor strains:

  • Grade 1: A mild tear of the hip flexor that comes with a small amount of pain and some loss of function
  • Grade 2: A slightly more serious tear of the hip flexor that comes with more pain and more loss of function
  • Grade 3: A very serious tear of the hip flexor that can be extremely painful and lead to a total loss of function

If you ever sustain a hip flexor strain, getting the right hip flexor strain treatment right away will be important. Otherwise, a Grade 1 hip flexor strain can turn into a Grade 2 or even a Grade 3 hip flexor strain before long.

Hip Flexor Strain Symptoms

If you ever suffer a hip flexor strain, it shouldn't take you too long to realize it. There will be a whole host of hip flexor strain symptoms that'll come along with it.

Here are some of the most common hip flexor strain symptoms:

  • Sharp pains in your hip area
  • Weakness in your upper leg muscles
  • Swelling in your hip
  • Pain that comes along with lifting your leg up
  • An inability to jump, kick, or make other movements that involve raising your leg up
  • Limited mobility

It would be worth reaching out to your doctor if you spot any of these hip flexor strain symptoms as soon as possible. It'll help you decide which hip flexor strain treatment you should try to help your hip heal.

Home Hip Flexor Strain Treatments

The tricky thing about a hip flexor strain is that there isn't one surefire way to treat it. The hip flexor strain treatment your doctor recommends will be based on your specific hip flexor strain and its severity.

But you'll be happy to hear that, at first, you shouldn't have to take any drastic measures when treating a hip flexor strain. You might be able to get all the treatment you'll need right at home. Here are some of the best home hip flexor strain treatments.

A man drinking water recovering from exercise


If you sustain a relatively minor hip flexor strain, you might be able to treat it by simply giving your body the rest it needs to recover. Getting off your feet as much as you can and providing your hip with rest might help heal your hip flexor strain quickly.

When you're using rest to try to treat a hip flexor strain, you'll want to avoid walking around as much as you can. You'll also want to steer clear of making any movements that will engage your hips, which means that doing things like kicking and even just lifting your legs will be out of the question.

You might be able to help a hip flexor strain heal within just a few weeks, if not sooner, by giving your body the rest it needs.

A woman using a hot/cold wrap over her hip flexor

Hot and Cold Therapy

Providing your hips with enough rest after suffering a hip flexor strain might help your body heal. But while it's healing, you may have to deal with your fair share of pain. It's why you should look into getting the right hip flexor pain treatment.

Using heat or ice for hip pain would be a great idea. In fact, you should try using heat and ice for hip pain to get the best results when attempting to figure out how to treat hip flexor pain.

Try using ice first for hip flexor pain to minimize inflammation. Then, add heat to the equation to bring more blood flow to your hip to minimize cramping and continue to take away more of the pain you feel.

Hot and cold therapy can be very effective for all types of pain, including hip flexor strain pain. It's a fantastic option for those trying to come up with a solution for how to relieve hip flexor pain.

A person doing a hip flexor stretch on a yoga mat

Hip Stretches and Exercises

If you have a severe hip flexor strain, your doctor will likely caution you against stretching or exercising your hip muscles too quickly. Doing this could make your injury even worse if you're not careful.

But as your hip flexor strain heals, certain hip stretches and exercises can help nurse your hip flexors back to full strength. Here are a few of them:

  • Pelvic tilt with marching
  • Scissors
  • Hamstring stretch

Different stretches will specifically target your hip flexors. The kneeling hip flexor stretch is a great example of this. Here are the steps you'll need to take to do it:

  • Kneel down on your leg that has been impacted by a hip flexor strain and bend your other leg out in front of you
  • Push your hips forward while keeping your back straight until your upper thigh muscle start to stretch
  • Hold this position for up to 30 seconds and repeat this motion several times

By taking these steps, you can stretch your hip flexor and make your hip flexor strain go away for good. It would be a great idea to continue to do stretches like this even after you're finished with hip flexor strain treatment to keep your hip flexors looser overall.

Close up of a TENS unit clipped to a woman’s hip

TENS Therapy

A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit, better known as a TENS unit, is a device used to carry out TENS therapy. This type of therapy involves sending mild electric shocks to a muscle in the body through electrodes that stimulate this muscle and its nerves.

TENS therapy can be used to release endorphins within your body that'll help reduce the hip flexor pain you feel. It can also be used to help with "pain gating," which is a process that blocks pain signals from going to the brain.

There are great TENS units you can use to conduct TENS therapy right at home on a hip flexor strain. Using a TENS machine for hip flexor pain might work wonders for you.

Black kinesiology tape next to its packaging

Compression and Support

It might seem as though it would be difficult to use compression for hip flexor pain, but it's possible. A special kinesiology athletic sports tape called STRENGTHTAPE® can compress your hip flexor and allow you to maintain motion while providing it with the support it needs.

There are so many benefits that'll come along with using kinesiology sports tape. Some of these benefits include:

  • Pain relief
  • Increased blood flow
  • Less fatigue
  • Reduced swelling

This type of tape will also stay put for days at a time without you having to replace it constantly. It would be worth trying as part of your hip flexor strain treatment plan.

Close up of a hip flexor massage


When you set out to heal a hip flexor strain, having your hip massaged might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But there are many benefits of using massage to promote healing in an injured hip flexor.

A deep tissue massage, in particular, can promote healing within the area of a hip flexor and prevent pain. During this type of massage, a licensed masseuse will move the hip around to release any tension in it. This alone can help a hurt hip flexor to heal more quickly than it would otherwise.

Using massage as part of a hip flexor strain treatment plan will also prevent the muscles in your hip from spasming. This could prevent you from having to work your way through as much pain as you might have to under normal circumstances.

Close up of pain relief lotion being applied

Pain Relief Gel

Doing something as simple as applying a pain relief gel to a sore hip flexor can provide you with the instant relief you're looking for. This Sub Zero pain relief cream would be great to have around any time you're dealing with muscle pain in your hips or other parts of your body.

This gel contains menthol to provide you with a cooling sensation from the second you start rubbing it into your skin. It also contains herbs like Ilex, Boswellia, and Uncaria Tomentosa that can stop hip pain from taking such a toll on you.

A red light therapy device on a yoga mat

Red Light Therapy

Once upon a time, red light therapy products were used exclusively by NASA to help astronauts stay healthy in space. But today, many of these same products are now available for at-home use for those dealing with health complications like hip flexor strains.

You may be able to use red light therapy products to improve the blood flow in your hip flexors. You might also be able to utilize them to regenerate cells in your hip flexors. This can help your hip flexors heal and work to prevent hip flexor pain from impacting you.

Medical Hip Flexor Strain Treatments

The home hip flexor strain treatment options we just discussed should help most people recover from hip flexor injuries. But in some instances, you may also need to consider going with a medical hip flexor strain treatment to get long-term relief from hip pain.

There are two main types of medical hip flexor strain treatments that you can try. Check them out below.

A physical therapist helping a patient with a hip flexor strain

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is typically the first medical hip flexor strain treatment a doctor will suggest to you. During physical therapy sessions, you'll work with a physical therapist to perform different stretches and exercises that will help your damaged hip flexor heal.

A great physical therapist will develop a hip flexor strain treatment plan designed specifically for you. It'll include you stretching both your hip muscles and any muscles surrounding it to improve your strength and flexibility.

Many physical therapists will also use things like a TENS machine for hip flexor strain treatment along with compression for hip flexor treatment. The goal will be to get your hip flexors to a point where you won't need to undergo surgery to correct your issue.

Surgeons performing surgery on a hip flexor strain


If you suffer a Grade 1 or Grade 2 hip flexor strain, you should be able to avoid having even to consider surgery as a treatment option. But if you suffer a Grade 3 hip flexor strain and it doesn't respond well to other treatment options, surgery might be used as a last resort.

When you suffer a Grade 3 hip flexor strain, tendons or ligaments in and around your hip might come right off your bones. During surgery, they will be reattached so your hip can fully heal.

How to Prevent Hip Flexor Strains

Would you like to avoid having to worry about going through hip flexor strain treatment at all?  Then you should do your best to prevent hip flexor strains in the first place.

Here are some ways you can prevent these types of strains from impacting you:

  • Always warm up before you exercise and cool down once you're finished
  • Steer clear of doing any movements that might overwork your hip flexors
  • Aim to strengthen your hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings, especially if you spend long periods of time sitting throughout each day
  • Wear the proper gear while exercising
  • Stop working out if you ever sense you may have strained a hip flexor, and give your body time to heal
  • Understand the risk factors you face as you age and work to avoid any activities that might lead to hip injuries

There isn't any way to completely eliminate the chances of you suffering a hip flexor strain. But you can minimize the chances by taking each of the steps we just laid out.

Let Us Help You Through Your Hip Flexor Strain Treatment

If you just strained a hip flexor, you might have a decent amount of pain right now. You might also be worried about what the future might hold for you because of your hip injury.

But you should know that you can get back on your feet and get things back to normal by going through the right hip flexor strain treatment. Talk to your doctor about your injury, and then choose the best hip flexor strain treatment for your situation.

Carex can provide you with many of the products you'll need to treat a hip flexor strain. Contact us now for more information on them.

About the Author

Head shot for Brandon Landgraf

Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

About Carex Health Brands


Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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