One of the most common Hip Flexor injuries, for athletes in particular, is hip flexor tendonitis (or hip tendonitis) [1]. This is due to the fact that this condition is usually an overuse injury caused by inflamed tendons. Any time pressure is applied to the affected tendon or it brushes against another internal structure, you will feel pain or discomfort.

Causes of Hip Flexor Tendonitis

Unlike conditions like arthritis, tendonitis affects everyone, young and old. Tendons attach muscles to bone and become inflamed when too much stress is placed upon them as a result of overworking a muscle. This is common in a sport that involves a lot of repetition, like running, dancing or skating. It is possible for your tendons to become inflamed as a result of muscle damage (like a hip flexor tear), which means you could have multiple injuries.

Note that there are several Hip Flexor tendons, because there are several muscles in the muscle group. The most affected tendons in regards to the Hip Flexor muscles are the ones that connect to the Iliopsoas, the large muscle at the front of your body over your hip joint. Here’s a quick overview of Hip Flexor anatomy if needed.

The one remaining issue to address is why does it only plague certain people doing the same activity? One of the key aspects is the fitness base that an athlete has. If you start doing more than your Hip Flexors can handle, injury is a likely result. A seasoned athlete on the other hand will have a harder time overdoing their training, but it is possible.

Hip Flexor Tendonitis Symptoms

hip flexor tendonitis symptoms

Some of the most reliable symptoms of tendonitis in the hip region is pain while lifting up your knee. It will also hurt if you attempt to stretch it. The problem with this is that these are shared symptoms of Iliopsoas strains.

The type of pain symptoms you feel along with when it first started hurting is the most reliable identifier of tendonitis. Typically inflammation injuries come with a constant dull burning pain, as opposed to sharp pains that you get during activity with strains.

In order to differentiate the condition further from strains, try to remember when and how it first started hurting. If the pain was caused by a sudden snap where you placed excessive stress on your Hip Flexors, it’s likely a strain. On the other hand, if it was a pain that continued to develop and nag you while training, it’s likely an inflammatory issue. Keep in mind that you could potentially have both injuries.

Why You Need to Deal With it Immediately

Tendons are a central part of your musculature anatomy, and any damage to them often indicates previous muscle damage, and can often cause further problems. Of those problems, one is that inflammation of tendons often leads to bursitis, which is another serious inflammation injury [2].

If you carry on training or doing activities while your tendons are inflamed, they have no time to recover and will only get worse. If activity is a big part of your life and you don’t have the luxury of uncertainty and being out for a few weeks, go see a doctor as soon as possible to get an in-person diagnosis; it’s the only way to be sure.

How to Treat Hip Flexor Tendonitis

The typical treatment for tendonitis is simple: rest. Stretching is not recommended while tendons are inflamed as it typically makes the inflammation worse. The key to preventing recurrence of tendonitis is to avoid overusing your Hip Flexors. Figure out what caused the problem in the first place and avoid it.

For most minor cases of the injury, resting for a few weeks is all that is needed before slowly returning to activity. For severe cases of Hip Flexor tendonitis, exercises to strengthen the muscle group should be done to reduce the chance of inflammation returning.